Two-Strike, Two-Out Bunt Single Dooms Rainiers

Friday’s game at Cheney Stadium was decided on an interesting play in the ninth inning, one that goes against the usual strategy.

The score was tied in the top of the ninth inning, 3-3. Memphis had runners at first and third base, and there were two outs.

Adron Chambers, the speedy leadoff man for the Redbirds was at the plate. He’s a threat to try to bunt for a hit, even with two outs, and the Rainiers know this. Alex Liddi was playing at the edge of the grass at third base.

Brian Sweeney was on the mound, and he threw a few change-ups for strikes to make the count two balls, two strikes.

No way was Chambers going to bunt now, so Liddi backed off to normal depth at third. If he bunts foul, he strikes out to end the inning with the go-ahead runner at third base and he has to go face his manager and do some explaining. Swing away, right?

Chambers stunned the Rainiers by bunting with two strikes and two outs, laying down a perfect roller up the third base line. Sweeney raced over, picked it up, and fired to first – but it was too late, Chambers was safe, the go-ahead run scored, and then the wheels came off as Memphis tacked on three more runs with a string of singles. The Redbirds ended up winning the game, 7-4.

Tacoma has dropped the first two games of this series, and is now 24-18 on the year.

Roster Round-Up

The Mariners called up Rainiers reliever Danny Farquhar yesterday, optioning Hector Noesi to Tacoma. Reliever Stephen Pryor was moved to the 60-day disabled list to clear room on the 40-man roster.

Farquhar had been pitching extremely well for the Rainiers, allowing just one run in his last 16 innings. He also had a 30-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season.

Tacoma added rehabilitating Mariners reliever Josh Kinney to the bullpen, and he delivered a scoreless inning last night. Kinney has been on the Mariners disabled list since March with a stress reaction in his left rib cage.

Today, the Rainiers are swapping relief pitchers with Double-A Jackson: Andrew Kittredge is going back to the Generals, and the Rainiers are getting hard-throwing Jonathan Arias. Arias was 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA for the Generals, with 28 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. The converted catcher got rocked in his first three games of the season, but has allowed only three runs over 15.1 innings with 22 K’s in his last nine games.

How about a roster move for another team? The Tucson Padres have acquired popular former Rainiers outfielder Mike Wilson, signing him away from the independent Atlantic League.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight’s game is at 5:05, with Tacoma starting RHP Jeremy Bonderman (2-3, 3.70) against Memphis LHP Nick Additon (2-1, 4.00). The broadcast airs on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streams online right here, and is available on iPads and smartphones through the TuneIn app.

Links:

  • Leading off, it’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • Mariners manager Eric Wedge explained why Franklin Gutierrez is going to play some right field while rehabilitating with the Rainiers.
  • The Indians used speed and power to beat the Mariners last night.
  • Geoff Baker caught up with Danny Farquhar in Cleveland.
  • John McGrath has a column on the Cheney Studs reunion happening in Tacoma this weekend.
  • In the PCL, super-prospect Jurickson Profar had three hits and two RBI as Round Rock knocked off Colorado Springs, 7-4. Tacoma remains 1.5 games behind the first-place Sky Sox.
  • The Salt Lake Bees broke out the wood in a 12-6 win over Nashville.
  • Tyler Skaggs did the impossible: he pitched well in Albuquerque, and earned the win for Reno.
  • Former Rainiers pitcher Matt Fox got the win as Las Vegas knocked around PCL ERA leader Will Smith and Omaha last night.
  • Guillermo Moscoso pitched well, but the Tucson Padres defeated his Iowa Cubs, 9-8.
  • PCL rookie Juan Perez keeps hitting well as Fresno defeated New Orleans, 6-1.
  • Sacramento’s Andrew Werner tossed a gem and picked up a win over Oklahoma City.

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