Paxton, Romero Shine In Tucson Rain

Monday night was one of the most fun games of the season to date, with James Paxton tossing a shutout and Stefen Romero going off in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

Romero singled in a run in the top of the first, doubled to spark a two-run rally in the fourth, and lined a grand slam in the seventh. All told, he went 3-for-4 with five RBIs.

Romero’s grand slam was his second of the year – tying the Tacoma single-season record, done many times over the last 53.5 years. I’d love to see him get some chances for grand slam No. 3.

The Tucson native was playing his first professional game in his hometown. A good percentage of the tiny crowd was pulling for him.

There was a light rain during much of the game, which was a welcome relief from the heat for most involved – including Rainiers starting pitcher James Paxton, who turned in his first career complete game.

Paxton tossed a five-hit shutout, needing just 104 pitches. He walked two and struck out four. Paxton had never pitched more than seven innings in a regular-season game before, and his longest previous pro outing was 7.1 innings in a 2011 playoff game.

It was the first nine-inning shutout thrown by a Tacoma pitcher since Chris Seddon tossed his second of the season on June 15, 2010 at Colorado Springs.

We had some roster moves yesterday, too: pitcher Lucas Luetge was called up by Seattle, and Tacoma activated Forrest Snow from the disabled list. Catcher Jason Jaramillo‘s wife is having a baby so he went home; he was placed on the Temporarily Inactive List and is expected to return Thursday. Tacoma added young catcher Daniel Torres from the Arizona Rookie League to back up Brandon Bantz.

Today Danny Hultzen will hit the disabled list, and Andrew Carraway will be activated and take his spot in the starting rotation.

Today’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streaming right here, and available via the TuneIn app for iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (6-2, 3.41) against Tucson RHP Burch Smith (3-1, 2.57).

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has quotes from James Paxton regarding his shutout. Please note that I wrote this story, but I did not write “Double-A Everett.” I have no idea who added that or why.
  • MiLB.com has a story on Stefen Romero‘s game, in which Romero discusses his massive home/road splits.
  • The PCL announced the three players who will participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby, and Carlos Peguero did not make the cut. Obviously, the PCL does not like tape-measure home runs.
  • Mariners hitters had a field day in an 11-4 ripping of the Red Sox.
  • The Mariners DFA’d Jeremy Bonderman, creating an opening in their starting rotation.
  • Ex-Rainiers catcher Rob Johnson was called up by The St. Louis Cardinals today, as starter Yadier Molina is dealing with injuries.
  • Former Rainiers reliever Steve Delabar is a candidate to make the AL All-Star team via the final vote process. Vote for him right here.
  • Salt Lake remains four games behind first-place Tacoma, beating Las Vegas last night 7-1 behind Matt Shoemaker.
  • Colorado Springs rehabbers Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler couldn’t stop the Sky Sox from getting waxed by Sacramento, 14-6. The Sky Sox are five games behind Tacoma.
  • You can’t help but like Tucson infielder Gregorio Petit.
  • Chris Dominguez drove in four runs and Yusmeiro Petit tossed a gem as Fresno beat Reno, 6-2.
  • Albuquerque edged Nashville 6-5 in a game shortened to five innings due to rain.
  • Former Rainiers slugger Brad Nelson had three hits in Iowa’s 5-2 win at New Orleans.
  • Omaha won in Memphis behind the pitching of Justin Marks.
  • Oklahoma City’s Asher W actually out-pitched James Paxton last night, tossing a one-hit shutout at Round Rock.

Tucson has won four straight series; all the Rainiers need to do to end that streak is win one of the next two games.

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