Tacoma trailed in the ninth inning, 2-1, with runners at second and third… and Carlos Triunfel came through with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to center field, leading Tacoma to a 3-2 win over Tucson on Tuesday night.
And with that, Tacoma won the Nine Game Mega Series against Tucson, five games to four. The first ever Nine Game Mega Series Trophy goes to Tacoma, where it will be displayed and cherished at Cheney Stadium for years to come.*
Triunfel had the clutch hit, but lots of credit should go to starting pitcher D.J. Mitchell. Mitchell lasted seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs – both of which were unearned, due to infield errors. Mitchell walked one, struck out four, and threw 92 pitches (62 strikes).
Mitchell had his sinker going on Tuesday – it was much better than in his Rainiers debut last week; he was able to get 13 ground outs compared to four fly outs.
The Rainiers have a rough travel day on Wednesday – hence this brief blog post. The team wakes up at 3:30 AM in Tucson, takes a 4:15 bus to the airport, flies to Las Vegas, then to Tacoma – and we do, thankfully, arrive early enough to mix in a quality nap before heading to the ballpark for the game.
Tacoma starts an eight-game homestand on Wednesday, with Oklahoma City in town. The RedHawks are the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate, and they have not visited Tacoma since the 2010 season. Former Sacramento skipper and old nemesis Tony DeFrancesco is the Oklahoma City manager – and as usual, he has his team winning. The RedHawks are 62-48, and 1.5 games behind first place Albuquerque in the American-South.
It’s actually kind of amazing that Tony D has his team in a race right now, once you consider that the parent Astros are, um, 35-70. Yowza.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and it’s Microbrew Wednesday at Cheney Stadium – $5 micros at the first base concession stand. Tacoma starts LHP Steve Garrison (0-3, 4.64) against Oklahoma City RHP Jake Buchanan (0-0, 9.00). Catch the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.
- Last night’s Rainiers game was an excellent battle – read all about it in the game story from The News Tribune.
- Jack Z says that the Mariners are going to slow down Danny Hultzen, Ryan Divish writes. Right now Hultzen is listed as Tacoma’s Thursday starter. I’ll let you know if anything changes.
- The Mariners won their sixth in a row, beating Toronto, 7-2. Trayvon Robinson had two hits and a walk, Dustin Ackley homered and drove in three, and Jason Vargas is absolutely dealing right now – he went 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in July.
- The Mariners made all of their moves the day before the trade deadline. Jack Z explains the situation in this story.
- Oklahoma City lost at home to Omaha, 12-5, and the RedHawks are coming in to town riding a three-game losing streak. It’s always bad when the opening line of the story in your hometown newspaper says you were ”lit up” (and just a few words later we get a gratuitous ”drubbing”).
- Most of the above story is about Oklahoma pitching coach Burt Hooton, who has a plaque on the Tacoma Wall Of Fame on the first-base side of Cheney Stadium. Check it out and say hi to Burt if you are coming to the ballpark this week.
- I don’t have a link for this, because it’s not up yet and I’m doing this before bed, but it’s worth noting that Salt Lake starter Barry Enright (recently acquired from Reno) pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout in Las Vegas last night. That’s no easy feat.
OK, long travel day. Come see us during this homestand, should be a good time!
* in a secret, hidden location of course – to keep this precious heirloom away from scoundrels, vandals and thieves.