Tacoma was coasting along with a 5-0 lead, James Paxton hadn’t allowed a hit… and then it all came crashing down as Tucson scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and went on to beat the Rainiers, 9-6.
The Rainiers had a defensive misplay that prevented the inning from ending with only one run scoring, failing to turn two on a routine double play grounder to shortstop. Tucson scored six of the runs after there were two outs.
The good news is that Salt Lake also lost, and remains four games ahead of the Rainiers.
The Bees magic number is eight, there are 11 games left, blah blah blah – all that really matters is that the Rainiers must remain four or fewer games behind the Bees, and then start beating them up when head-to-head play begins at Cheney Stadium on Monday night.
There is still an opportunity to draw closer in the next three days. It would be nice to get within three games of the Bees, so that a sweep of Salt Lake won’t be required next week.
Tacoma has had the upper hand on Tucson all year, going 9-4 against the Padres. That includes the first two losses in this current series – let’s see if the Rainiers can get back in the win column tonight.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05 (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 Andrew Carraway (6-6, 4.82) against Tucson RHP Matt Andriese (1-5, 4.53).
- Check out my Rainiers game story from The News Tribune if you want the details on how the Rainiers lead dissolved.
- Ryan Divish has an off-day feature on Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan and his new role.
- Mariners prospect DJ Peterson – this year’s first round draft pick – was hit in the face by a pitched ball last night in Clinton, Iowa.
- Two lower-level Mariners prospects appear on this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- If you are into scouting reports and you are a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, they had a guy in Round Rock who wrote up Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
- The Tucson newspaper has a column on the last days of Triple-A baseball in the city.
- The Reno Aces keep helping us out – Juan Rivera homered and drove in five runs as the Aces beat Salt Lake last night, 8-3.
- Matt dan Dekker and the Las Vegas 51s are red-hot. They shut out Fresno last night, 5-0.
- Sacramento was rained out in Colorado Springs and now trails Vegas by 1.5 games. They’ll play a doubleheader today.
- Brett Hayes provided the heroics as Omaha topped New Orleans in ten innings, 3-2, to remain two games ahead of Memphis in the American-North.
- Memphis rallied to beat Iowa, 4-3, and stay close to Omaha. The newspaper story focused on former Rainiers star Brad Nelson.
- Round Rock used a ten-run inning to knock off Oklahoma City, 12-3.
- Albuquerque used a big second inning to beat Nashville. The Nashville paper has a historical look at the proposed site of the new ballpark.
- There is a book coming out soon on colorful broadcaster Bill King.
- Speaking of great broadcasters, Vin Scully announced he is coming back to the Dodgers next year. Here is the LA Times story on the 85-year-old Scully.
It’s time to get this turned around and pick up a win here in Tucson. Let’s put some pressure on those Bees. Tonight is the night!