Tacoma hit three home runs – accounting for seven runs total – and beat Las Vegas in the opening game of the homestand on Monday night, 11-8.
It was a back-and-forth game which saw Tacoma take an early 3-1 lead, then Las Vegas pull ahead 6-3, followed by a five-run Tacoma inning to make it 8-6 Rainiers, then a game-tying homer by Danny Muno to even it up at 8-8, and finally a three-run Tacoma rally in the bottom of the seventh put it away at 11-8.
Todd Coffey stopped the scoring, pitching perfect baseball in the eighth and ninth innings to close it out. He even struck out the side in the ninth for a little extra flair.
Jesus Montero continued his hot hitting, blasting a two-run homer and a double. Ty Kelly ripped a game-tying three-run homer in the sixth, and his sac fly brought in the winning run in the seventh.
Catcher Humberto Quintero added a two-run homer and extended his hitting streak to ten straight games. The home run was his 400th career PCL hit.
The Rainiers did use a lot of bullpen last night: Stephen Kohlscheen, Logan Kensing, and Coffey combined to cover 6.1 innings. This could become an issue going into tonight’s doubleheader.
That’s right, a doubleheader. Tacoma and Vegas play two seven-inning games tonight, which is a make-up for a rainout on May 4 (want to get confused? The May 4 game that was rained out was the second game of a doubleheader, which was a make-up of the rainout on May 3. Dang, it rained a lot back then).
On the roster front, last night the Mariners optioned first baseman Justin Smoak to Tacoma, and they will call up Erasmo Ramirez to start tonight against the Mets. Go get ’em, Erasmo.
Look for lots of roster juggling in the big leagues for the remainder of the season. With the Mariners trying to hang on to a wild card spot, they will be making all kinds of minor roster adjustments to get the best possible match-ups from game to game. The Rainiers roster will both benefit and be victimized by this for the next six weeks. It should be an interesting ride.
Tuesday’s action starts at 6:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Paxton (0-0, 6.00) against Las Vegas RHP Noah Syndergaard (7-5, 5.74) in the first game, and it will be RHP Forrest Snow (0-1, 0.89) against RHP Giancarlo Alvarado (3-4, 7.66) in game two.
- The Rainiers game story has quotes from Jesus Montero and manager Roy Howell.
- The Mariners handled the Mets last night, 5-2. My opinion: this is a good series for the M’s to log some home wins against a struggling NL team. But, they face tough rookie Jacob deGrom tonight.
- The Mariners notebook from The News Tribune has some good HoJo stuff.
- Larry Stone writes that the Mariners should feel free to trade prospects.
- Mariners 2014 first round draft pick Alex Jackson got hit in the face by a line drive in the Arizona Rookie League last night. Ryan Divish has an update on his status. Too soon for a “no face masks in the outfield” joke?
- El Paso didn’t help the Rainiers cause last night. First-place Sacramento beat the Chihuahuas 6-1 in a cats vs dogs battle.
- C.J. Cron returned to Salt Lake and had a couple of hits in the Bees 7-6 win over Reno.
- Since getting sent to Triple-A, Carlos Triunfel keeps getting game-winning hits for the Albuquerque Isotopes. He had the go-ahead RBI double in a 5-4 win over Fresno last night. Fresno added Dan Uggla to the roster.
- The Iowa Cubs moved Javier Baez to second base, and then lost to New Orleans 5-4.
- Ryan Rua and Round Rock out-slugged Oklahoma City, 11-9. Austin Wates continued his hot hitting with a grand slam for the RedHawks.
- Colorado Springs received a strong start from Chris Capuano and defeated Nashville, 5-2.
- Omaha held off Memphis 4-1, pulling within a half-game of first place.
- The home run race is featured in Baseball America’s minor league round-up.
That’s it for today – gotta buckle down for a long night of baseball tonight at Cheney Stadium.