Zunino Strikes Again

Tacoma topped Fresno on Saturday night, 8-6, as catcher Mike Zunino had another big game at the plate.

Zunino hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and a two-run double in the eighth. After his five-RBI day, Zunino now has eight runs batted in after three games. He’s 5-for-13 at the plate, with all five hits going for extra bases.

That’s a pretty good start to his Tacoma Rainiers career – a career that will be pretty brief if he keeps this up.

Despite the game by Zunino, the key plays in the win involved Scott Savastano and Endy Chavez. I wrote about that in the Rainiers game story (first link down below).

Today the Rainiers play their first day game of the season, at 2:05 in Fresno. It’s the final game of the series here, and the Rainiers can win the series with a victory. Tacoma starts LHP James Paxton against Fresno LHP Michael Kickham.

I’m curious to see Paxton today. The heralded prospect makes his Triple-A debut after a strong 2012 season at Double-A Jackson. Paxton also pitched in the Arizona Fall League, and he is generall considered one of the top five prospects in the Mariners system.

You can hear the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.


  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, with quotes from Daren Brown on Endy Chavez‘s game-changing speed.
  • My first Sunday minor league column for the paper has reaction from Danny Hultzen and Mike Zunino on working together for the first time.
  • Felix Hernandez just missed on a couple of milestones in the Mariners loss yesterday.
  • Aaahhhh! It’s our first Larry Stone Sunday baseball package of 2013. We have a column (spurred by the release of the move “42”) on the shortage of African-Americans in the major leagues, a notebook, power rankings (the Astros comment is awesome), and thumbs up-and-down.
  • Baseball America’s minor league transactions has all of the Mariners end-of-spring training moves.
  • In the PCL, we have the latest plan for a new ballpark in Las Vegas.
  • Sacramento lost to Las Vegas and is 0-3 for the first time in franchise history. However, the River Cats got some roster help.
  • Salt Lake outfielder Roberto Lopez had the game-winning hit as the Bees beat Tucson, 5-3. Salt Lake is 3-0 – their best start since 2008. Uh-oh – that was the year they started the season 21-1 and clinched the division in April.
  • Colorado Springs downed Reno in the 15th inning, 3-2. Ben Paulsen‘s first Triple-A hit was the game-winner. It is believed to be the longest game in Sky Sox history – seems a little short for that, doesn’t it? I could easily believe longest home game (fewer extra innings due to high-scoring environment) but I figured at some point they would have played 16-17-18 innings on the road.
  • Here’s a feature on new Tucson manager Pat Murphy, the former Arizona State coach. The story details his rise and fall at ASU.
  • Johnny Hellweg and Nashville shut out New Orleans.
  • Albuquerque catcher Matt Wallach is the son of former Isotopes manager Tim Wallach. Another Dodgers legacy – Scott Van Slyke – went 4-for-5 with five RBIs in a win over Iowa last night.
  • For my Rainiers front office buddies, here is a look at opening day attendance figures and promotions from around minor league baseball.
  • Sunday reading alert: down in Junction City, Oregon baseball’s oldest living Hall of Famer celebrates his 95th birthday. Bobby Doerr is also in the PCL Hall. Great stuff here. My mom sent me the link, which was nice of her, wasn’t it?

After the game today the Rainiers take a rare PCL bus trip up to Sacramento. It’s about a three-hour ride. Four games with the River Cats, beginning Monday night!


2 Responses to Zunino Strikes Again

  1. Tom Dickerson says:

    Hi Mike,

    I enjoyed listening to the game this afternoon.

    Why is Nick Franklin not in the lineup at 2nd base? Is he injured or is there another reason he sat?

    Thank you.

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