Tacoma held on to a slim lead in the late innings and beat Las Vegas on Wednesday night, 6-4.
The Rainiers have won three out of four in this series so far, with the final game tonight at 7:05. Tacoma continued its long stretch of good play, and is now 25-14 over the last 39 games.
Last night the Rainiers scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-3 lead, with third baseman Gabriel Noriega contributing the key go-ahead two-run double.
After taking the lead, Tacoma pitchers had to overcome something new: a tiny strike zone.
Relievers Lucas Luetge, Logan Kensing, Todd Coffey, and Carson Smith issued seven walks over the last four innings, and were constantly in trouble, yet managed to maintain the lead and secure the win.
For the most part, these pitchers weren’t particularly wild. A lot of pitches that seem to normally be called strikes were balls on this particular night.
It made for four stressful innings down the stretch, but the relievers were able to get the key outs when they needed to and Tacoma held on for the win.
Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (6-6, 3.96) against Las Vegas RHP Logan Verrett (8-2, 4.58).
The Mariners made a trade today, sending Tacoma reliever Stephen Pryor to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for DH Kendrys Morales.
Recovering from shoulder surgery, Pryor appeared in 24 games for Tacoma, going 2-1 with a 4.65 ERA. He had 27 strikeouts and 18 walks in 31.0 innings.
The big thing for Pryor has been getting healthy, and his velocity has improved over the course of the season where recently he was hitting 94 mph (note: PCL scoreboard radar guns, so accuracy is questionable). Now, he was upper-90s before the surgery, and we don’t know if that will ever come all the way back for him, but it’s a gamble the Twins are taking.
Morales has been simply awful for the Twins, posting a .584 OPS. We all know he’s better than that, though – and he had no spring training, after sitting out the first two months. Clearly the Mariners are hoping he can show his 2013 form in a return to the team.
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners lost to Bartolo Colon and the Mets, 3-2.
- Speaking of Bartolo, if you have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy (like I do), this is a fun post about a memorable headline. (The grammatical error in the headline of a blog post about a headline only adds to my enjoyment).
- John McGrath was at the Mariners game yesterday, and he filed this column on Taijuan Walker.
- All the tidbits you need are in Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
- The Rainiers picked up a game on first-place Sacramento. The River Cats got eaten alive by the Chihuahuas, 16-7. The El Paso Times has a photo gallery of the carnage.
- Salt Lake lost Chris Cron, but that didn’t stop them from pounding out a season-high 18 hits in a 12-3 win over Reno.
- Dan Uggla joined the Fresno Grizzlies and went 1-for-4 in an 8-7 loss at Albuquerque.
- Iowa whacked New Orleans, 13-4. Just what they needed: Iowa adds yet another top prospect, in outfielder Jorge Soler.
- Oklahoma City had three big innings and picked up a 12-8 win over Round Rock. RedHawks manager Tony D made a friend.
- Nashville maintained possession of first place in the American-South by defeating Colorado Springs, 5-2.
- Memphis lefty Tyler Lyons shut down Omaha, 5-3.
- We’ll wrap up with Baseball America’s minor league round-up.
Today is the final game of the year between Tacoma and Las Vegas. The Rainiers need a win to finish with an 8-8 season series split.