After a three-and-a-half game stretch in which scoring runs wasn’t so easy for the Tacoma Rainiers, the team broke out in a big way on Monday night.
Tacoma pounded out nine extra-base hits and added six more singles in a 14-4 win over Fresno. It was the second straight win for the Rainiers, who will now try to claim a series victory with a win tonight.
Carlos Peguero led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs, and three RBI. Nate Tenbrink had two hits and four RBI, and Rich Poythress had two hits, two walks, and two RBI.
Brad Miller extended his hitting streak to 20 straight games with a pair of doubles. He’s six games away from tying the franchise record of 26 (Rex Johnston, 1965, and Chad Akers, 1999).
Tonight should be a good one: Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker makes his Triple-A debut. He was dealing in the Southern League, posting a 2.46 ERA while leading the league with 96 strikeouts (in 84 innings).
Hopefully Walker will do well. Yes, expectations are high, but remember that he will be facing better hitters than he has ever faced before. This is a challenging assignment for him (just like any other Triple-A rookie).
Good note from Rainiers PR wizard Ben Spradling: at age 20, Walker will be the youngest Tacoma Rainiers starting pitcher since Felix Hernandez was in the rotation at age 19 in 2005.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online. The TuneIn app works on iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts RHP Taijuan Walker (Triple-A debut) against Fresno RHP Austin Fleet (0-1, 4.43).
I checked with our ticket guys and there are still plenty of good seats available for tonight’s game. Come see the kid pitch, this should be fun.
- We start with Meg Wochnick’s Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Taijuan Walker ranks No. 9 on Baseball Prospectus’s Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects list (subscription required).
- James Paxton was named PCL Pitcher of the Week. Nice work, James!
- Larry Stone has a blog post on the Rainiers impressive starting rotation.
- Make sure you read Ryan Divish’s guest piece at Baseball Prospectus on Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan‘s greatest play (it’s free).
- Apparently Nick Franklin absconded with his Rainiers batting helmet and continues to use it in Seattle. Hey Nick, if you keep hitting, you can keep the helmet. But if you go into a slump, you gotta ship that thing back to 2502 S Tyler.
- The Mariners were off yesterday, but that didn’t stop Jerry Brewer from writing this fun column about Raul Ibanez’s “old pop.”*
- Buster Olney’s MLB column is available on a free preview today. Usually you have to be an ESPN Insider to read it – this near-daily column is the main reason I pay for their service.
- In the PCL, Las Vegas slowed down the Salt Lake Bees win train. The Bees are now four games behind Tacoma. Thank you, Las Vegas!
- Colorado Springs remains 2.5 games behind Tacoma – the Sky Sox bullpen starred in a 5-3 win at Sacramento. It’s starting to look like Sacramento’s Hiroyuki Nakajima might be ready for the big leagues.
- Tucson ace Sean O’Sullivan pitched the Padres to a 4-2 win at Reno.
- The Des Moines Register has an interesting, thorough story on what starting pitchers go through when the manager calls ’em in and says, “Son, we’re moving you to the bullpen.” Meanwhile, Brooks Raley tossed seven scoreless innings in Iowa’s 6-1 win at Memphis.
- The Oklahoma City RedHawks would lose to the Omaha Storm Chasers. Wouldn’t they?
- New Orleans was in command all the way during a 7-2 win over Nashville.
- Scott Van Slyke is rehabilitating with Albuquerque, and the ‘Topes topped Round Rock on Monday night, 10-9.
- I think we’re going to have a nice crowd in Tacoma tonight to see Taijuan Walker – which is not the case in other cities. For example, the Las Vegas 51s didn’t get a boost when Zack Wheeler pitched, according to this column.
This could be one of those fun nights of the season which we’ll remember for years to come. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll be able to brag to your friends or kids, “I saw that guy when he was in the minors!”
* Initially I accidentally typed a second ‘o’ in pop, and upon discovering it I spent quite some time sitting in my office, laughing. Yes, I’m 12.