Is it possible for a walk-off grand slam to be anti-climactic? It kind of seemed that way to me last night.
Tacoma and Salt Lake were tied going to the bottom of the ninth, 3-3.
Matt Long led off with a triple, so the Bees had the winning runner at third base. A fly ball, a base hit, a wild pitch – any of these things would end the game.
Tacoma elected to intentionally walk the next two batters, loading the bases on purpose to set up the possibility of a force out at home plate. Josh Kinney issued the intentional walks to the leadoff and No. 2 batters in Salt Lake’s lineup.
That brought up No. 3 hitter Kole Calhoun, and Tacoma brought in lefty Bobby LaFromboise to face him. All Calhoun had to do was hit a fly ball and the game was over – and that’s what he did, swinging at the first pitch and pulling it to right field. It just so happened that his fly ball landed on the berm beyond the right field fence, making the final score 7-3 instead of 4-3.
Kinney got a raw deal, getting hit with three earned runs when two of them were batters who he intentionally walked prior to the grand slam.
The big positive for Tacoma was the offense of second baseman Ty Kelly, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer that tied the game in the fourth inning.
Salt Lake gained a game on the Rainiers and is now three games back. The Bees are 24-10 over their last 34 games.
The Rainiers will try to even the series tonight. First pitch is set for 6:05 (Pacific), and the broadcast airs on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streams online right here, and can be heard on iPads and smart phones with the TuneIn app. Tacoma starts RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-3, 2.82) against Salt Lake RHP Barry Enright (3-4, 7.23).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners were unable to finish off a three-game sweep at Texas.
- Larry Stone looked back at all of Jack Z‘s mid-season trades.
- Colorado Springs got wiped out at home by Reno, 9-2.
- Fresno lost a pitcher’s duel to Sacramento ace Sonny Gray, 1-0.
- The Tucson Padres are having fun while leading the Southern division. They beat Las Vegas, who not only lost the game but also lost Ike Davis to a call-up.
- Round Rock was shut out by Omaha, 3-0. The Express are ready to add Manny Ramirez, who will debut on Sunday.
- Albuquerque had a record crowd of 16,229 but the Tops lost to Iowa in ten innings, 9-5.
- Chris Narveson tossed eight shutout innings for Nashville at Memphis.
- Oklahoma City picked up a 2-1 win at New Orleans in front of over 11,000 fans.
Big game tonight for the Rainiers, who just want to get out of Salt Lake City with a split. A loss tonight would make that tough…