On a day in which the parent Seattle Mariners took a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth at Fenway only to see the bullpen allow six runs and lose 8-7, the Tacoma Rainiers had great relief pitching but no offense in a 4-2 loss to Omaha.
Tacoma starter James Paxton allowed four runs in the first three innings (mostly on bloopers and infield singles), and deep pitch counts led to an early exit. Then the Rainiers bullpen of Chance Ruffin, Brian Sweeney, Carter Capps, and Bobby LaFromboise combined to toss six shutout innings, keeping Tacoma within striking distance.
Unfortunately, the Rainiers offense was not up to the task – despite being given multiple free base runners courtesy of the Omaha pitchers, who walked eight batters.
The bottom of the sixth was the most discouraging: Omaha’s Maikel Cleto walked the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Tacoma was trailing 4-2 at the time – a base hit would tie it; even just scoring one run would really tighten up the game. Instead, Omaha reliever Francisley Bueno entered the game and escaped the jam without allowing a run.
Tacoma’s offense has scored just three runs total in the first three games of this series, despite the largess of an Omaha pitching staff that has issued 19 walks. Tacoma has just 16 hits and is batting .180 in the series.
The Rainiers have lost six in a row, and are now four games behind first-place Salt Lake. Tacoma tries to avoid being swept at home tonight.
On the roster front, Tacoma adds outfielder Joe Dunigan today. Dunigan was hit in the face by a pitched ball on April 18 against Fresno, breaking his jaw. He rehabbed in Arizona, and went to Double-A Jackson for a few games – now he’s back, filling Robert Andino‘s roster spot.
Dunigan hit a two-run homer last night in Tennessee – reportedly a mammoth shot. Perhaps he can help fire up the Tacoma offense.
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 Andrew Carraway (6-4, 4.45) against Omaha LHP Danny Duffy (2-0, 4.50).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Read it if you dare: Ryan Divish’s story on the Mariners debacle in Boston. (Note: I try to maintain a happy life, so I didn’t read it. However, you can live your life as you choose).
- Geoff Baker has a nice little piece on how Danny Farquhar has improved recently.
- Salt Lake whacked Iowa, 9-3. The Bees have won nine straight home games.
- New Orleans pulled away from Colorado Springs late and won, 9-3.
- Oklahoma City won its seventh in a row, 3-2 over Reno.
- Sacramento tightened the race in the Pac-South, beating Albuquerque, 4-1. Sacramento and Tucson are tied in second place, two games behind Las Vegas.
- The worst team in the PCL – Nashville – beat first place Las Vegas again, and is going for a sweep tonight.
- Tucson lost in the tenth at Memphis.
- Fresno held off Round Rock, 2-1, getting a great start by Justin Fitzgerald.
Fireworks tonight after the game – come for the baseball, stay for the pyrotechnics!