Tacoma played its first away game on Friday night, falling to Albuquerque 6-3 in front of a big crowd in the Isotopes home opener.
I’m going to go ahead and call this the Rainiers first tough loss of the season. The team took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning on Jesus Sucre‘s clutch hit, only to see things go south in the eighth.
First, Tacoma failed to get anything out of a bases loaded, one-out opportunity in the top of the inning. Then the bottom of the frame saw Tacoma relievers walk in the tying and go-ahead runs with the bases loaded, followed by a three-run triple by Nick Buss.
The hard-to-swallow eighth inning came after a tremendous start by 23-year-old left-hander Anthony Fernandez. Making his second Triple-A start, Fernandez showed why he is on the Mariners 40-man roster: he allowed just four hits and one run over six innings, striking out eight batters in one of the best hitter’s parks in the PCL.
The Rainiers are now 2-5 on the season, and they look to turn things around tonight.
Today the Mariners announced that pitcher Hector Noesi was traded to the Texas Rangers for cash or a player to be named later.
Noesi was designated for assignment earlier in the week, and apparently Texas claimed him off waivers which is why they worked out (or more accurately, will work out) a trade. Noesi reports to the Rangers big-league club because he is out of options.
Saturday’s game is at 6:05 (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show starts at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Chance Ruffin (0-1, 14.41) against Albuquerque RHP Henry Sosa (1-0, 1.50).
- My Rainiers game story for The News Tribune has the blow-by-blow of how the game got away from the Rainiers. The game ended too late to get any quotes from manager Roy Howell, because…
- There was a 25-minute delay due to a blackout, when three of the light standards went out. Half of the field was covered in darkness. I strongly agree with the writer’s assertion that the ‘Topes missed a golden opportunity to play some UFO on the sound system. They should have mixed in some Triumph, too.
- Felix Hernandez regularly dominates the Oakland A’s, and he did it again last night. The Mariners bullpen stumbled a bit, but held on for a 6-4 win.
- Who is going to replace James Paxton in the Mariners rotation? We should find out today, Bob Dutton writes in this notebook.
- I agree with what Ken Levine wrote about advanced statistical analysis and baseball broadcasting.
- Forgot to link this yesterday: Albuquerque’s Joc Pederson earned the No. 1 ranking on the first Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet of the season.
- The game of the night in the PCL was played in Colorado Springs, where Tim Wheeler hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth, and after falling behind 10-8 Drew Garcia hit a three-run walk-off dinger in the bottom of the 11th inning for an 11-10 victory. And this all happened in the Sky Sox home opener.
- Fresno outfielder Gary Brown drove in three runs, and the Grizzlies beat Las Vegas 5-1 in a highly successful home opener.
- Nate Freiman hit a grand slam and Sacramento scored a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Salt Lake at Raley Field. The Kitties home opener was all about the fans.
- When El Paso plays Reno in Tucson, it’s difficult to find a newspaper story on the game. Here’s a recap from El Paso radio man Tim Hagerty (the little dogs won, 2-1).
- Apparently the road was the cure for the New Orleans Zephyrs: they ended their seven-game losing streak by spoiling Oklahoma City’s home opener, 8-4.
- They played the last-ever home opener at Greer Stadium in Nashville last night, and the Sounds lost to Omaha, 5-4.
- Sorry, no first-hand reports from the Memphis Redbirds home opener due to an annoying Commerical-Appeal paywall which I cannot find a way around. Oscar Taveras had three hits as the Redbirds beat Iowa, 8-5. Javier Baez sat out with back pain.