Rainiers Knocked Out Of First

After 51 straight game-days with at least a share of first place, the Rainiers were knocked out of the top spot by the Salt Lake Bees on Tuesday night.

Tacoma lost a day game to Tucson, 8-4. The Rainiers blew an early 4-0 lead as Tucson scored eight unanswered runs from the sixth inning on. It was only the second time Tucson has defeated Tacoma this year – in nine tries.

Then last night Kole Calhoun hit three home runs and led Salt Lake to a 5-4 win over Fresno, and the Bees moved one game ahead of Tacoma in the Pacific-North standings.

Tacoma can’t spend much time worrying about the standings – the Rainiers need to get things figured out in their own house, first. Tacoma has dropped eight of the last ten games to fall out of the top spot.

The offense struggled for a while, but now it is showing signs of life again – only to have the bullpen blow two games since the all-star break. The bullpen didn’t have problems like this earlier this season, and the bullpen personnel remains (mostly) unchanged.

Yesterday the Rainiers received left-handed reliever Bobby LaFromboise back from Seattle, moving Forrest Snow back to Double-A Jackson to make room on the roster. Snow had been pitching pretty well – I’m sure he’ll be back in time.

LaFromboise allowed a run yesterday, ending a rather remarkable streak: prior to yesterday, he had never allowed an earned run at Cheney Stadium. He pitched a total of 42 innings in Tacoma before giving up an earned run!

Michael Morse continued his rehab, playing five innings in right field as directed by the Mariners medical staff. He went 1-for-2 with a long double at the plate.

Tonight’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 Brandon Maurer (2-4, 5.63) against Tucson RHP Anthony Bass (2-3, 7.48).

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Off to the ballpark!

* I’m not sure if the Salt Lake Tribune’s software auto-corrected Austin Fleet’s name to Austin Feet, or if the writer just thought his last name was Feet. I mean, “fleet” is a word so it wouldn’t be auto-corrected, right? These are the things I spend my time thinking about…

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