The Rainiers six-game losing streak came to an emphatic halt Saturday night in Fresno, as Tacoma pounded out 14 hits in an 11-5 victory.
Rich Poythress was the star of the day. He hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning, a solo shot in the seventh, and a two-run triple in the eighth which iced the game.
All told, he went 3-for-5 with the triple, two homers, and six RBI. He’s batting .256 with nine homers and 45 RBI on the year.
The burst of extra-base hits raised Poythress’s slugging percentage 35 points in one game – which seems like a lot to me for this late in the season. His slugging bumped from .406 to .441.
Jesus Montero and Abraham Almonte also had big games. Montero was 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI, and Almonte reached base four times (two hits, two walks) and stole two bases.
The victory kept Tacoma alone in first place – both Salt Lake and Colorado Springs won, remaining one- and two- games behind the Rainiers.
The road trip ends with a night game tonight, and Tacoma can earn a split of the series with a win. If you’re wondering why a night game is scheduled on a Sunday, it is simply too hot to play day games in Fresno at this time of year.
Tonight’s game is at 6:05, 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 Chance Ruffin (0-1, 8.31) against Fresno RHP Justin Fitzgerald (0-3, 7.33).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- My Sunday minor league notebook for the paper looks at the no-hitter thrown by Mariners Class-A prospect Victor Sanchez.
- The Mariners had a strange victory over the Houston Astros, Ryan Divish writes.
- Mariners shortstop Brad Miller reflected on his two-homer game.
- Larry Stone has his Sunday baseball package: a column on the issues facing baseball’s union chief, power rankings, and thumbs up-and-down.
- Read it if you dare: John McGrath’s 25-man roster of Mariners acquired via “front office gaffes.”
- Salt Lake remained one game behind Tacoma by edging Sacramento, 7-6. Roberto Lopez homered in the bottom of the eighth to give Salt Lake the lead. Angels coach Omar Vizquel was in town, he wants to become a manager.
- Colorado Springs keeps pressing from third place, beating Tucson last night to remain two games behind Tacoma.
- Reno topped Las Vegas in the 12th inning, 5-4. The Reno paper selected the Aces All-Time Team.
- Mike Olt hit a three-run homer and started a triple play in Round Rock’s 5-2 win over Iowa.
- Oklahoma City spoiled Chris Carpenter‘s rehabilitation outing, whacking nine hits off the Cardinals star in an 8-1 victory at Memphis.
- Albuquerque saw its lead in the American-South get trimmed to one game.
- Nashville fended off a late New Orleans rally and won, 8-5.
The team returns home for a quick four-game homestand, Monday-through-Thursday, against Tucson.