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).
- The News Tribune has a brief recap of last night’s game.
- The Mariners are scorching hot, winning eight of the last nine games while tossing shutouts seemingly every-other day. They beat Tampa yesterday, 3-0.
- Felix Hernandez won the American League Player of the Week award and Ji-Man Choi was sent to Double-A. All of this and more in Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook.
- The Rainiers gained a game on both of the division co-leaders. Sacramento was shut out at home by Ryan Verdugo and Omaha, 2-0. Reno lost at Nashville in the bottom of the ninth inning.
- Here’s a good story from Salt Lake City on the perseverance of former Rainiers pitcher Jarrett Grube.
- Iowa hit two grand slams in a 17-2 plastering of Fresno, with top prospect Javier Baez hitting a long opposite-field shot.
- Matt Duffy launched three solo home runs in Oklahoma City’s 6-2 win over Salt Lake. Duffy did a Q&A with the local newspaper.
- New Orleans rallied late an won in the 11th inning at El Paso, 5-3.
- Colorado Springs rode the hot bat of “temporary fill-in” Tim Smalling to an 11-6 win over Las Vegas. If he keeps hitting, that won’t be very temporary.
- Trayvon Robinson is starting to heat up, but his Albuquerque Isotopes were shut out by Round Rock on Monday, 2-0.
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.