Infielder Nick Franklin made his belated 2013 debut last night in Sacramento, and his impact was immediately felt.
Franklin went 2-for-5, collecting hits from both sides of the plate. His RBI double in the top of the 7th off left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto was a big hit in Tacoma’s six-run rally that led to a 7-4 come-from-behind victory.
The recovery of Franklin (he was out with an illness) improves the team defensively, too – he was involved in three of Tacoma’s five double plays last night. The club was playing Nate Tenbrink at second base, and he has very little experience at the keystone. Now Tenbrink can slot in at the corner positions he is more comfortable playing.
Tacoma (5-2) is going for a rare four-game road sweep at Sacramento tonight at 7:05. Tacoma starts RHP Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 5.40) against Sacramento RHP Dan Straily (first PCL appearance of the year). The broadcast is on 850 AM and streaming right here – tune in at 6:50, as I expect to have Mike Zunino on the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show.
Now we have a trade: just announced, the Mariners traded Tacoma reliever Steven Hensley to the Colorado Rockies for major league starter Aaron Harang.
Hensley appeared in two games for Tacoma this year, allowing one run in 2.2 innings for a 3.38 ERA. He had his ups and downs last year, with the highlight being his 4.1 shutout innings in that crazy 18-inning game against Sacramento.
Steven is a super-friendly guy and we wish him the best with the Rockies. Presumably, he’s going to Colorado Springs. I hope he packed his winter coat on this road trip!
Tacoma is short in the bullpen tonight. Lucas Luetge does not report until tomorrow (he couldn’t pitch tonight anyway due to his prolonged outing on Tuesday versus Houston), and both Hensley and Bobby LaFromboise are gone. The Mariners designated Kameron Loe for assignment, he might clear waivers and come to Tacoma but that won’t be known for ten days.
The Rainiers now have an open roster spot. I’ll let you know when it gets filled.
The Rainiers home opener is Friday at 7:05, with fireworks after the game. There are still some tickets left for all of opening weekend – come out and see these guys, this is a really good team right now.
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners lost to Houston, and Michael Saunders injured his right shoulder.
- Greg Johns writes that if Saunders has to go on the disabled list, Endy Chavez could get the call-up.
- Bobby LaFromboise did get called up, and he pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts in his major league debut. Nice job, Bobby!
- For ESPN Insiders, Buster Olney has more on Mike Zunino.
- Chicago Cubs top prospect Jorge Soler charged the opposing dugout wielding a bat. He’s going to get suspended for a while.
- In the PCL, former Rainiers infielder Luis Rodriguez drove in seven runs, hit a grand slam, and had the go-ahead RBI in both games of Salt Lake’s doubleheader sweep of Reno. Wowza.
- The ball was flying out of Chukchansi Park – there were five homers in Fresno’s 6-3 win over Vegas.
- The Sacramento Bee has a feature on new River Cats manager Steve Scarsone.
- Oklahoma City’s Jarred Cosart was dealing in a 3-1 win over Nashville.
- Round Rock starting pitcher Justin Grimm got the call to the big leagues.
- Omaha swept a doubleheader at Albuquerque, winning both games by a score of 6-3. That makes it very difficult to determine which one was game one and which one was game two.
- New Orleans scored four runs in the top of the 12th inning and was still batting when the game was suspended due to rain in Memphis.
Goodness gracious, we’re going to have good food at Cheney Stadium this season. First Ivar’s and Kidd Valley, now pizza from The Hub? Awesome!