Back On The Plus Side

Despite being down to 22 active players – and only ten non-pitchers – the Tacoma Rainiers defeated Salt Lake on Thursday night, 4-1.

The win pushed Tacoma’s record over the .500 mark, to 57-56. It’s the first time Tacoma has been over the .500 mark since May 12, when the club was 18-17.

Xavier Avery got things off to a good start, launching the first pitch of the game onto the right field berm for a 1-0 lead. Avery has eight home runs this season – and six of them have come in his last 89 at-bats.

Julio Morban added an RBI triple in the seventh inning, and Ty Kelly ripped his career-high 15th homer with a man on base in the eighth.

The Rainiers nearly pitched a shutout. The Bees scored with two outs in the ninth, ending Tacoma’s bid for its first nine-inning shutout at Salt Lake since the franchise rejoined the league in 1994.

The Rainiers go for a series win today. It’s the final meeting of the year between the two teams, and Tacoma leads the season series 8-7.

As for the roster, I was told not to expect any new players today. The Mariners are going to make some moves at the big league level, and that will dictate what happens with the Rainiers roster.

Friday’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 LHP James Gillheeney (3-8, 6.10) against Salt Lake LHP Wade LeBlanc (7-2, 4.19).

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It’s the last day in Salt Lake City, as the road trip moves on to Albuquerque tomorrow.

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