Jesus Montero went 5-for-5 with six RBIs, and Stefen Romero homered twice in Tacoma’s 11-7 Independence Day victory at Fresno.
Montero’s five-hit game was the first of his career. He had three singles, a double, and a two-run homer. His first three hits – including the homer – came against highly regarded Giants pitching prospect Edwin Escobar, who had a rough night.
Romero hit a three-run homer off Escobar in the first inning, and then hit a solo shot right after Montero connected in the fifth. Montero and Romero’s back-to-back homers came on consecutive pitches.
The win was Tacoma’s second in a row, and the team moved back within five games of the .500 mark at 41-46. Fresno is 43-46.
Saturday’s game starts at 7:05 PM – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Gillheeney (3-6, 5.58) against Fresno LHP Jose De Paula (1-3, 4.86).
We had roster moves yesterday: the Mariners activated Justin Smoak from the disabled list, and optioned him to Tacoma. Smoak takes the roster spot of relief pitcher Chance Ruffin, who surprisingly retired.
Apparently Ruffin was considering retiring from playing for a while, and he decided that the July 3rd game would be his last. The Mariners placed him on the “Voluntarily Retired List,” which means they will retain his rights should Chance decide he wants to play again.
I did not get the opportunity to talk to Ruffin about this, but I know he had his first child during the off-season and I suspect that all of the travel and being away from his family factored heavily in his decision.
- The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has details on Montero’s big night and the retirement of Chance Ruffin.
- The Mariners activated Corey Hart from the disabled list and Cole Gillespie was designated for assignment. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed Gillespie.
- The Mariners lost to Chris Sale and the White Sox last night, 7-1.
- The Angels and Diamondbacks made a small trade with PCL undertones: Salt Lake outfielder Zach Borenstein goes to Arizona (Reno), and Tony Campana goes to the Angels (Salt Lake or maybe MLB).
- Andy Parrino hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Sacramento rolled on to a 6-4 win at Reno. Sacramento now leads the Pac-North by 3.5 games over second-place Reno.
- Ex-Rainiers slugger Alex Liddi drew a walk-off walk and Albuquerque beat Las Vegas, 7-6.
- El Paso starter Matt Wisler was dealing as the Chihuahuas beat Salt Lake, 5-1.
- Brian Burres pitched Colorado Springs to a 6-1 win at Omaha.
- Memphis lefty Tim Cooney tossed a gem and beat New Orleans, 3-2.
- A near-record crowd saw Round Rock get shut out by Michael Blazek and Nashville, 4-0.
- Oklahoma City rallied late to beat Iowa, 4-3. Jonathan Villar had the go-ahead hit.
Let’s see if the Rainiers can make it three straight wins tonight.