The Rainiers completed the eight-game Nevada road trip with an 8-4 win over the Las Vegas 51s on Thursday night, salvaging a 4-4 record on the journey. Tacoma split four-game series in both Reno and Vegas.
David Winfree continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three runs batted in. Winfree has a nine-game hitting streak, going 18-for-38 during the streak. He’s also hit six home runs in his last 12 games.
Hitting streaks are all the rage right now – Winfree’s isn’t even the longest on the team. Mike Carp and Matt Mangini each have 12-game streaks, and Eliezer Alfonzo has hit safely in seven straight games.
Starting pitcher Luke French earned the win for the Rainiers. French pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just two earned runs while picking up his league-leading 11th win (French is tied with Eric Hacker of Fresno for the league lead).
The Rainiers return home tonight to open a brief four-game homestand with the Sacramento River Cats in town. Tonight’s game is at 7:00, and it’s Friday Night Fireworks. The Rainiers will start the big kid tonight – RHP Michael Pineda (3-0, 4.03) takes the hill. Sacramento starts its ace, RHP Clayton Mortensen (10-3, 3.75). It will also be the home debut of Dustin Ackley. If you can’t make it to the park, we’ll have the broadcast on 850 AM and streaming via www.tacomarainiers.com.
Some quick morning links from the Las Vegas airport:
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners had a miracle comeback – a gift, perhaps – but they lost anyway in 13 innings to the Red Sox.
- M’s manager Don Wakamatsu can’t bench everyone.
- One of my favorite announcers won the Ford Frick Award and will be honored by the Hall of Fame on Sunday.
- The competition for Best Name in the Minors is heating up.
- In the PCL, Salt Lake remains seven games behind Tacoma. The Bees ripped up Fresno last night, 11-3. Here’s a feature on Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell.
- By losing, Fresno is now tied in first with Sacramento. That 12.5-game lead Fresno had in June? Gone!
- Round Rock won on a walk-off grand slam.
- Carlos Zambrano pitched a scoreless inning for the Iowa Cubs last night.
- The Omaha Royals are excited about young slugger Mike Moustakas, who is having a breakout season.
Gotta split – don’t want to miss my flight home!