Just 14 hours after being shut down by Chris Volstad, the Tacoma offense erupted for 16 runs and 16 hits in a 16-4 win at Colorado Springs on Wednesday afternoon.
The victory evened the series at a game apiece, and brought the Rainiers lead in the division standings back up to 3.5 games. Salt Lake is still charging hard in third place – they won again to remain five games back.
The game story (first link below) has details on the offense, so let’s talk about the pitching.
Brandon Maurer started and left after one laborious (35-pitch) inning. He had spasms in his lower back – I talked to him after the game, he said he is fine, could have started pitching again just a little bit later, and he plans to make his next start in five days.
With the Rainiers suddenly in need of early relief, Jonathan Arias saved the day.
The box score does not do justice for Arias. He was incredible yesterday: he came in and set down the first 11 batters he faced, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the second, third and fourth. He got two quick outs in the fifth, then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk as he was finally tiring. Bobby LaFromboise came in to face Ryan Wheeler, who ended a long battle with a two-run single to center – and Arias got charged with the runs.
LaFromboise, Brian Moran, and Logan Bawcom held the Sky Sox scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Tonight’s game is at 6:05 (Pacific), and the broadcast is in the usual sports: South Sound Sports 850 AM, streaming online, and via the TuneIn app for iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 7.63) against Sky Sox RHP Drew Carpenter (1-3, 5.21).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- They named the PCL All-Star Team’s coaching staff: manager Brett Butler of Reno, pitching coach Pat Rice of Fresno, and hitting coach Damon Minor of New Orleans.
- Guys, we need you to do some voting. Not a single Rainiers player leads the PCL all-star fan voting at any position. Get some votes in right here. We should at least be able to get Alex Liddi in there at third base. I just handed out 25 votes to reliever Brian Moran, too.
- Reliever Stephen Pryor is going to be out for a long time, Ryan Divish reports.
- Geoff Baker has a blog post on Dustin Ackley and his path back to the big leagues.
- The Mariners lost, 1-0. Too bad Eric Wedge didn’t go all Harry Doyle in the post-game interview. “Two hits? Is that all we got?”
- Salt Lake keeps winning. Trent Oeltjen homered twice in the Bees 11-7 victory over Sacramento last night.
- Reno’s Mike Jacobs hit his seventh homer in his last seven games, and the Aces beat Fresno, 11-5. Reno pitcher Charles Brewer had a memorable major league debut.
- Tucson added reliever Kevin Quackenbush who, sadly, is not a Oregon Duck. The Padres were beaten by Las Vegas, 8-4.
- New Orleans had a dramatic win. How dramatic? How about a walk-off grand slam by Kyle Skipworth (a .161 hitter) to beat Oklahoma City, 4-3.
- Iowa split a doubleheader with Nashville.
- Omaha split a doubleheader with Albuquerque.
- Oscar Taveras homered on his 21st birthday and Memphis beat Round Rock.
- The Sky Sox made a public statement that they aren’t going anywhere.
It’s Day 11 of the road trip. Can’t wait to get home on Saturday!