The Rainiers season opener could not have gone better for fans of either the Tacoma nine or the Seattle Mariners.
Tacoma coasted to a 9-1 victory over Fresno, with top prospects Danny Hultzen and Mike Zunino leading the charge.
Hultzen was very sharp, striking out eight and walking two over six innings. Details on his outing can be found in the first link below, which during the season is always the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
Zunino had a great Triple-A debut. He walked in his first plate appearance, and then homered in his second.
Zunino’s home run was a prodigious blast. It was a towering drive to left-center that hit off the video board at Chukchansi Park – I estimate it at around 425 feet.
If you have seen some of Carlos Peguero‘s moon-shot home runs in the past, Zunino’s first dinger was of a similar style.
Zunino’s game kept getting better even after it ended. His fifth inning pop-up that dropped in shallow center was originally ruled an error on the shortstop, but after the game the official scorer changed his call to a double – giving Zunino a belated 3rd hit on the night. He finished 3-4 with a double, triple, and homer.
It wasn’t just the Danny and Mike show. Alex Liddi lined a two-run homer. Endy Chavez had four hits. Peguero doubled and tripled. Rich Poythress, Eric Thames, and Carlos Triunfel had two hits each.
How about a perfect bullpen? Logan Bawcom (two innings) and Yoervis Medina (one inning) combined to retire the final nine batters of the game.
It’s going to be hard to improve on that performance, but the Rainiers will try tonight.
Game two of the 2013 season is at 7:05 PM in Fresno. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway against Fresno RHP Chris Heston. The broadcast is on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.
- I’m covering most of the away games for The News Tribune again this year. Here is my story on the opening day win.
- Mariners rookie Brandon Maurer had his welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment, Ryan Divish writes.
- John Sickels wrote a “prospect retrospective” on new PCL Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez.
- In the PCL, Las Vegas went in to Raley Field and blew out the River Cats on opening day. Remember, Vegas is now a New York Mets affiliate.
- Salt Lake rallied late to beat Tucson, 9-5. Former Rainiers infielder Luis Rodriguez went 2-for-5 and scored three runs.
- Two top third base prospects went head-to-head in Colorado Springs. Nolan Arenado homered for the Sky Sox, but Reno’s Matt Davidson hit a game-winning two-run shot in the ninth for a 5-4 victory. It was the Triple-A debut for both players.
- The Nashville Sounds players are very optimistic about this season. The Sounds held off New Orleans, 5-4, as Hunter Morris had a big game at the plate.
- Jurickson Profar had two hits and a walk, while Nick Tepesch pitched well in Round Rock’s 3-1 win over Omaha. Omaha starter Will Smith struck out 11 batters and managed to get hung with the loss.
- Memphis’s home opener against Oklahoma City was rained out. Yuck. Twinbill today.
- Albuquerque beat Iowa 10-3, and the effect of the new baseball humidor was noticeable. There were 22 hits in the game, but 20 were singles and there were no home runs. Tommy Lasorda, PCL president Branch Rickey, and ‘Topes mascot Orbit were all there.
- Taijuan Walker got knocked around and Double-A Jackson lost its season opener.
Make sure you get your tickets for the home opener one week from today! Grab ’em online or head to the Cheney Stadium box office (during normal business hours) to pick ’em up.