Brandon Bantz launched a walk-off home run as the Rainiers claimed a 6-5 victory over Iowa on Monday night.
It was Bantz’s second home run of the season – but really, his first: his homer on June 3rd against Sacramento was actually a foul ball called fair by the umpires, resulting in a number of Sacramento ejections.
Monday’s homer was way better – even without the ejections.
Tacoma used seven singles to take a 5-3 lead in the second inning, but the Rainiers had just one more hit until the ninth inning while Iowa methodically tied the game. In fact, a rare Bantz throwing error contributed to Iowa’s tying rally in the seventh inning.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bantz ripped a Casey Coleman pitch off the reader board in left-center, giving Tacoma the win.
The win was Tacoma’s second in the past three games, and it kept the Rainiers four games behind first place Salt Lake in the Pacific-North. Staying within four games of Salt Lake is important: the Bees come to Tacoma for a four-game series starting August 26.
Late last night, word came down from Seattle that Tom Wilhelmsen was optioned to Tacoma. A corresponding roster move will be announced today.
Carter Capps seems like a good pick for a recall – he has made some progress in his recent outings for Tacoma. However, they now have room on the 40-man roster to purchase the contract of a deserving pitcher such as Brian Moran, Brian Sweeney, or Logan Bawcom. Also, two current Rainiers already on the 40-man are throwing well right now, in Bobby LaFromboise and Hector Noesi. Now that I’ve typed all of that, I suppose it’s pretty clear that I have no idea who they are going to call up.
Today’s game is at 11:35 AM, 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
LHP James Paxton (7-9, 4.29) RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (AAA debut) against Iowa RHP Yoanner Negrin (3-5, 4.95).
- We open with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. TJ Cotterill has reaction from Brandon Bantz.
- The Mariners lost a “home” game to Toronto, and after the game Tom Wilhelmsen was optioned to Tacoma.
- Salt Lake edged Omaha, 5-4, ending the Storm Chasers win streak at six. The story focuses on Bees reactions to the MLB suspensions – although it is noted that the Bees made five errors and still won, something I have seen before but is very rare.
- Oklahoma City manager Tony D must be giddy right now – his RedHawks won their 11th in a row last night, 6-2 over Colorado Springs.
- New Orleans pitcher Sam Dyson tossed six shutout innings and homered in the Zephyrs 7-3 railroading of Reno.
- Sean Halton and the Nashville Sounds walked off Tucson last night, 5-4. Nashville has won seven of its last eight games.
- Gotta say I’m surprised to see Fresno reeling off wins – despite Brett Pill and Roger Kieschnick getting called up, they won their seventh in a row yesterday by shutting out Albuquerque, 2-0.
- Las Vegas held a share of first place by beating Memphis, 5-2 – but there is word out of New York that the Mets are calling up star Wilmer Flores.
- Sacramento stayed tied with Vegas by dramatically beating Round Rock, 5-4. Michael Taylor hit a two-run double to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
- Geoff Baker is angry that Jesus Montero lied to him.
The Rainiers have their last off-day of the season on Wednesday, and I’m going to gleefully take it. This blog will next be updated on Thursday afternoon, prior to the series opener at Albuquerque.