There are fun slugfests, and there are ugly slugfests.
I’m going to classify Thursday night’s 15-11 Tacoma loss in Reno as an ugly one.
Reno did a little slugging, hitting three homers and a double along with 14 singles. But Tacoma managed to score 11 runs with just 12 hits – and no homers. The Rainiers had nine singles and three doubles.
How did all of the runs score?
Walks, hit-by-pitches, errors, and even a rare catcher’s interference.
This was a game that featured 14 walks and six sacrifice flies. That’s not a fun slugfest.
The game was played at a crawling pace. We hit the two-hour mark during the bottom of the fourth inning. Things sped up later, and it finished at 3 hours, 58 minutes.
It will probably go down as the worst-pitched Rainiers game of 2014. Reno scored in each of the first seven innings. Reno’s leadoff man reached base in all eight innings that the Aces batted in – and three of them were leadoff walks.
Xavier Avery may remember it as a fun night. Batting leadoff for Tacoma, Avery went 5-for-6 for his second five-hit game as a member of the Rainiers (he did it on September 1 last year, too).
Avery had hits in each of his first five at-bats. He came to the plate to lead off the ninth, looking to become the fifth Tacoma player this century to record six hits in a game. Alas, he grounded out to the first baseman.
Friday’s game starts at 6:35 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Gillheeney (1-2, 7.59) against Reno LHP Randy Wolf (4-1, 4.18).
This will be just the fourth time Tacoma has faced a left-handed starting pitcher this season. There haven’t been many left-handed relievers, either – most of the Rainiers hitters have fewer than ten at-bats against left-handers this season.
- My Rainiers game story for The News Tribune is right here – the game ended too late to get any quotes.
- The Mariners beat the Royals last night, 1-0, and have now won 11 of the last 14 games. Hisashi Iwakuma showed his 2013 form, delivering eight shutout innings.
- The lack of a dominant team in the American League plays right into the Mariners hands, John McGrath writes.
- Injured pitchers are making progress, Bob Dutton writes in his Mariners notebook.
- No Mariners appear on this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- In the PCL, Las Vegas hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in Salt Lake City last night. Allen Dykstra, Zach Lutz, Taylor Teagarden, and Brandon Allen connected consecutively against Jose Alvarez. That tied the PCL record, and the 51s won 16-4.
- Alex Guerrero went 4-for-5 with six RBI as Albuquerque beat Sacramento, 12-7. Guerrero status check: still stuck behind a red-hot Dee Gordon.
- Fresno topped El Paso, 7-4, as Chris Dominguez launched a pair of two-run homers.
- PCL home run leader Jon Singleton of Oklahoma City ripped No. 11 in the RedHawks 8-3 win over Memphis last night. He ranks second in all of the minors – a huge kid down in A-ball named Joey Gallo has 12.
- Elih Villanueva delivered seven shutout innings of two-hit ball and New Orleans worked the Iowa Cubs, 9-1.
- Omaha and Round Rock got suspended due to rain in the third inning of a 1-1 tie. The Austin newspaper has a story on Express infielder Adam Rosales and his hot bat.
- Something fishy is going on in Colorado Springs. Just days after the first 1-0 home Sky Sox win in nearly two decades, the Sky Sox played their first-ever home game that was 0-0 after nine innings. They’ve been in the league for 27 years! Kyle Parker drove in the only run as Colorado Springs defeated Nashville in 13 innings, 1-0. The story has a great quote from Sky Sox pitching coach Dave Schuler, who said his pitcher “elevated his game into another dimension.” Obviously, that is a dimension where they play 1-0 games in Colorado Springs.
- The Denver Post has a timely story on the baseball humidor in Colorado Springs. They had it last year, too – I think this season somebody turned it up to eleven.
- We’ll finish up with Baseball America’s daily minor league round-up.
This is it tonight: the Rainiers chance to win a series in Reno for the first time ever. Gotta get the win and end the biggest little jinx in the world.