Rainiers Start Road Trip With A Bang

Ty Kelly homered in the top of the 12th inning and the Tacoma Rainiers started an eight-game road trip with a 3-2 win at Memphis on Monday night.

Kelly’s eighth home run of the season capped a long, long 24-hour period for the Rainiers: after Sunday afternoon’s loss at home to Albuquerque, the team took a red-eye flight to Memphis, arriving late in the morning.

After some quick naps, the team walked over to beautiful Autozone Park – only to dodge torrential rains and even a tornado warning. These are Southern storms, though, and once they pass through they are gone.

The game was delayed one hour and 28 minutes prior to first pitch, which means lots of waiting around in the clubhouse drinking coffee. Then the zombie Rainiers proceeded to play extra innings, of course – 12 all told, before Kelly ended it.

Massive credit goes to the Tacoma bullpen which delivered seven scoreless innings after rehabilitating Taijuan Walker went the first five.

Walker allowed solo home runs in the first two innings, but settled down nicely and had his best start so far. He allowed four hits, walked one, and had three strikeouts in five IP. He threw 77 pitches.

I missed the game due to a travel snafu – I flew separately from the team, and my connecting flight through Houston was cancelled due to thunderstorms. I eventually flew to Nashville and drove to Memphis, arriving shortly after midnight. I listened to Steve Selby of the Memphis Redbirds Radio network on the drive and enjoyed his call – hopefully you did, too.

Big thanks to Selby and the Redbirds for allowing us to carry his broadcast. Sorry, Rainiers fans – I’m here and you’re stuck with me now.

Tuesday’s game starts at 5:05 (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 4:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Matt Palmer (1-2, 2.14) against Memphis RHP Zach Petrick (3-3, 4.47).

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Hopefully the rain will stay away tonight – it’s in the forecast for all eight days of this Tennessee road trip, but it comes and goes quickly here.

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