Tacoma won its fourth in a row last night, shutting out Sacramento 7-0 to pull within seven games of the first place River Cats.
Matt Palmer tossed six scoreless innings of two-hit ball, and Blake Beavan and Logan Kensing polished ’em off.
Offensively, Tacoma opened the bottom of the first inning with five consecutive singles. I’m not sure I’ve seen a team open the first with five singles in a row before. That ended up netting three runs.
Tacoma tacked on more runs in the early innings and won with relative ease. Sacramento even used catcher Luis Exposito to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning, in an effort to save pitching for today’s doubleheader.
Now 53-53 on the year, the Rainiers have reached the .500 mark for the first time since the team was 18-18 on May 13th. Tacoma was once 13 games under, but the team has gone 27-14 over the last 41 games to get back to even.
Today’s doubleheader is a make-up for a rain out from when Sacramento visited Tacoma in April. This is the final make-up doubleheader on the schedule for Tacoma: we’ll be all caught up from the incredible eight home rain outs in April and May after tonight’s games.
Saturday’s action starts at 6:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Gillheeney (3-7, 5.75) against Sacramento RHP Zach Neal (3-5, 4.49) in the first game; Tacoma RHP Forrest Snow (1-1, 1.07) starts game two against Sacramento RHP Philip Humber (4-4, 3.91).
- The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has reaction from Matt Palmer and manager Roy Howell.
- Felix Hernandez tossed another gem and whittled his ERA down to 1.99, but the Mariners lost in ten innings to Baltimore last night.
- There are tidbits galore in Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
- The Las Vegas 51s had some fun in the airport on their recent trip to Tacoma.
- Cats are bad baseball fans.
- Reno did not take advantage of the loss by Sacramento, getting hammered at home by Albuquerque 16-7. Reno remains 4.5 games behind the River Cats… and Tacoma is now just 2.5 games out of second place.
- Fresno built a 9-1 lead in El Paso, and then barely held on for a 9-7 victory. Fresno starter Chris Heston pitched well and earned the win – he’s now 3-0 against El Paso, and some jokester in the Fresno front office dubbed him “The Chihuahua Whisperer.” Thumbs up from this blog.
- This is a good fit: they are bringing the Mexican Baseball Fiesta to El Paso this winter. Article includes an excellent minor league baseball anecdote about passing the hat on fireworks night.
- Las Vegas hit four homers in an 11-6 win over Salt Lake.
- Taylor Jungmann and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as Nashville beat Oklahoma City, 2-0.
- Omaha’s bullpen tossed five shutout innings and Matt Fields hit his 20th home run in a 4-3 win at New Orleans.
- Mike Olt is back with Iowa, and his Cubs lost to Memphis last night 3-2.
- Round Rock banged out 16 hits in a 12-4 win at Colorado Springs.
- Puyallup’s Quinn Wolcott is now a full-time major league umpire.
Let’s play two!