Tacoma walked-off Sacramento for the second day in a row, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday afternoon to emerge with a 4-3 victory.
Ji-Man Choi singled home the tying run, and Justin Smoak hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring in Nick Franklin with the winning run in the last of the ninth.
The victory gave Tacoma a 3-2 series win over Sacramento, pulling Tacoma within seven games of the first-place River Cats. Tacoma earned a split of the season series , 8-8.
The Rainiers have won six of the last eight games, and the team is 29-16 over ts last 45 games.
Tacoma is seven games back with 34 to play. That is not an insurmountable deficit. But the Rainiers are done playing Sacramento head-to-head, so they’re going to need to keep winning at a good clip while getting some help down the stretch from Sacramento’s opponents.
The Rainiers won’t be getting any walk-off wins for a while. The team embarks on an eight-game road trip today, starting with four games in Salt Lake City followed by four in Albuquerque.
Tuesday’s game 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 RHP Taijuan Walker (4-1, 3.76) against Salt Lake LHP Randy Wolf (first game for Salt Lake).
Programming note: Thursday’s game at Salt Lake is the Minor League Baseball Game of the Week and will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Prepare yourself accordingly!
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners had an off-day yesterday, so Todd Dybas has a feature on Fernando Rodney. The Mariners open a series in Cleveland today, and in recent years bad things have happened to the M’s in Cleveland. Time to change that.
- In case you aren’t aggravated enough just watching it, you can read Larry Stone’s article about how frustrating the Mariners offense is.
- On that same subject, Ryan Divish spent part of his off-day writing this post.
- We have our first casualty from the big Albuquerque-Reno brawl: Aces reliever Kameron Loe broke his hand in the fight (last note at bottom). Five Isotopes were suspended – the list is here.
- Reno got shutout pitching from Charles Brewer and beat Albuquerque in the final game of the series, 6-0. Apparently six Reno players were suspended as well, but I can’t find a list. The Reno Gazette-Journal is doing a truly awful job of covering the brawl: they have not had any follow-up, or a single quote from anybody – not a player, manager, or league or club executive – and it happened in Reno.
- Las Vegas hung on for a 5-3 win over Salt Lake last night. The Bees went 1-3 at Las Vegas, and have lost four of their last five games.
- Fresno won in El Paso, 9-4.
- Omaha held off New Orleans, 7-6, as Joe Saunders earned his first PCL win since 2007. The Omaha paper has a nice story on the power surge of catcher Francisco Pena.
- Starting pitcher Ariel Pena – who threw hard but was wilder than a Wayne Coyne – Miley Cyrus party when the Rainiers faced him in June – is on a roll for Nashville. He shut down Oklahoma City last night for a 3-1 win.
- Rehabilitating Justin Morneau played well, but the rest of the Sky Sox struggled in an 11-4 home loss to Round Rock.
- We’ll finish off with Baseball America’s minor league round-up.
It’s raining here in Salt Lake City as I’m about to post this blog. Hopefully it will stop before game time – the last thing in the world we need is another doubleheader.