Tacoma won its fifth straight game on Wednesday night, taking down Salt Lake 10-8 in a game that was highlighted by one big inning.
Each team actually had a big inning, and Salt Lake was first: trailing 2-1 after three, Salt Lake scored five runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead. Grant Green – one of the hottest hitters in the PCL to open the season – hit a grand slam to cap the rally.
It didn’t take long for Tacoma to come back.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tacoma sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the club’s biggest single inning of the season so far. Cole Gillespie hit a two-run homer early in the frame, and new Rainiers infielder Gabriel Noriega hit the go-ahead two-run single to center.
Noriega had an excellent Triple-A debut, going 2-for-4 with the game winning hit and making a nice play defensively on a hard-hit ball up the middle.
The bullpen did the job again. Lucas Luetge went two innings and earned the win, Ramon Ramirez delivered a scoreless inning in his Tacoma debut, and Stephen Pryor worked an inning which was an important step in his rehabilitation program: he pitched in back-to-back games.
Tacoma has won five straight and is now 7-5 on the season. Meanwhile, Salt Lake is tanking – they’ve lost eight in a row!
Thursday’s game is at 7:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (0-0, 11.57) against Salt Lake LHP Justin Thomas (1-0, 6.10).
- The Rainiers game story for The News Tribune looks at the starting pitching performance of Anthony Fernandez.
- Roster round-up: Nick Franklin and James Jones were promoted to Seattle (the Mariners placed Blake Beavan and Logan Morrison on the disabled list). Tacoma added Gabriel Noriega from Double-A Jackson, and will probably add an outfielder today, and will need to add a starting pitcher for Saturday.
- Stephen Pryor‘s rehab ended and the Mariners activated him from the DL and optioned him to Tacoma – so he now counts on the Rainiers 25-man roster.
- Taijuan Walker has a right shoulder impingement and is not going to throw for two weeks. This means that even if everything clears up, he’s unlikely to pitch in the majors until at least June.
- The Mariners lost in gut-wrenching fashion on Tuesday night in Texas.
- Bob Dutton writes that Brandon Maurer is in line to be the Mariners starting pitcher on Sunday.
- The hottest team in the PCL right now is Sacramento, which won its sixth in a row with a 4-2 win over Fresno last night. Alden Carrithers drove in all four runs.
- Albuquerque received a strong pitching performance from Zach Lee, who tamed the Chihuahuas for a 3-1 win.
- Allan Dykstra plays for Las Vegas manager Wally Backman. He’s not related to Wally’s old teammate Lenny, but he still drove in three runs in the 51s 4-2 win at Reno. Vegas has won five in a row.
- Rising Cubs prospect Kyle Hendricks pitched well and Iowa beat New Orleans, 6-3.
- It was the Round Rock Express – not the Storm Chasers – who took advantage of a strong wind blowing out to right field last night in Omaha.
- The day after outfielder George Springer was called up by Houston, Oklahoma City first baseman Jonathan Singleton had a big game in the RedHawks 8-6 win at Colorado Springs.
- A good pitcher’s duel was spoiled by a bullpen blow-up in Nashville. Memphis scored six runs in the eighth and won, 7-1.
- Baseball America’s minor league round-up includes notes from an 18-inning game in Class-A in which one team stole 11 bases.
Now, let’s head out to the ballpark and see if the Rainiers can make it six in a row.