The Rainiers took game three on Saturday in Albuquerque, 7-6.
Taijuan Walker pitched well – three runs in six innings at high-elevation Isotopes Park is a good result, any PCL lifer will tell you that – and the Rainiers offense provided seven runs on 13 hits.
Things got dicey in the ninth, as they often do in Albuquerque. Tacoma took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the inning, and manager John Stearns went to Jonathan Arias to close it out.
This surprised me, as I was expecting Logan Bawcom to finish it off, and I said so on the air. After the game, Stearns told me he wanted to challenge Arias, as he hadn’t pitched since Tuesday, and he has great stuff.
Well, Arias got it done – but it wasn’t easy. A leadoff walk, a hit batter (in the head – ouch!), and two singles made it 7-6, and the ‘Topes had two on with one out. Then Arias buckled down, striking out Elian Herrera and Alex Castellanos to end the game.
Tacoma gained a game in the standings, as the Round Rock Express ended their ten-game losing streak by beating Salt Lake. Tacoma is five games out with 23 to play.
A quick note on a guy who deserves one: Nate Tenbrink is (not literally) on fire right now. He was 4-for-5 yesterday, with a two-run double.
Since the all-star break, Tenbrink is batting .386 with five home runs and 12 RBI. The guy plays every position on the diamond except pitcher and catcher – and who knows, maybe he can play those, too.
Yes, he strikes out a lot – but he mitigates that by drawing a lot of walks, and he’s got some pop with 12 homers and 35 extra-base hits this year.
He’s someone for Mariners fans to keep an eye on, as he could end up as an offense-oriented super-utility guy someday.
Today’s game is at 12:35 (Pacific), 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 Blake Beavan (4-4, 5.16) against Albuquerque RHP Red Patterson (6-4, 3.43).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- My minor league notebook for the paper looks at that 30-run game in High Desert, and a couple of Mariners minor league “sleepers.” However, it’s not in the online edition – at least I can’t find it, so I guess it’s print-only.
- The Mariners inducted Ken Griffey Jr into their hall of fame yesterday, and by all accounts it was a hit. Unfortunately, the game was not.
- Columns on Griffey’s induction, from Jerry Brewer of the Times and Dave Boling of the TNT. Here is the TNT’s photo gallery.
- A rehabilitating Lance Berkman provided a lift as Round Rock ended a ten-game losing streak and beat Salt Lake, 9-6. Late in the game, Manny Ramirez pinch-hit for Lance Berkman at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, which just kind of boggles the mind and probably shouldn’t be thought about for very long. You know, for sanity purposes.
- Colorado Springs ended its seven-game losing streak in style, sweeping Nashville in a doubleheader.
- Kolten Wong hit a three-run homer in the first inning, helping Memphis to an 8-7 win at Reno.
- Sacramento narrowly avoided a walk-off grand slam and won a thriller in Omaha, 10-8.
- Las Vegas remained one game behind Sacramento in the South by knocking off Oklahoma City, 4-1. Rafael Montero had a great start, and the newspaper has a story on the Pitch F/X system at Cashman Field.
- Tucson received a strong start from Keyvius Sampson and beat New Orleans, 6-2.
- Brooks Raley was dealing and Iowa beat Fresno, 3-0.
- The Sacramento newspaper has a detailed explanation of former Rainiers Vinnie Catricala‘s one-pitch strikeout in a Double-A game.
Off to the ballpark – let’s get a series victory!