In 2013, Stefen Romero became the first player in Tacoma’s long franchise history to hit three grand slams in one season.
This year he has spent most of the season in the big leagues, but about a week ago he was optioned to Tacoma and he is starting to get the feel for the grand salami again.
Batting with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday night, Romero launched a walk-off grand slam to give the Rainiers a 13-10 victory. Romero swung at the first pitch he saw from hard-throwing Erik Cordier, launching it deep to left field to end the game.
The blast provided an exciting conclusion to a long and not very aesthetically pleasing game that mostly featured walks, errors, and trips to the mound. In fact, it was by far the longest nine-inning game of the year for the Rainiers, clocking in at 4 hours, 18 minutes.
The Rainiers connected for 17 hits in the game. Romero was one of three Tacoma players to collect three hits in the game, joining Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak.
Tacoma moves three games over .500 to 62-59, and the team looks for its third straight win today.
Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 5.44) against Fresno RHP Chris Heston (10-6, 3.53).
Check out this list – maybe you saw one in person?
RECENT WALK-OFF GRAND SLAMS HIT BY TACOMA RAINIERS
- August 9, 2014 – Stefen Romero vs Fresno RHP Erik Cordier, for a 13-10 win (one out)
- August 17, 2013 – Carlos Peguero vs Col Springs RHP Logan Kensing, for a 5-3 win (one out)
- May 2, 2007 – Wladimir Balentien vs Col Springs LHP Mike Gallo, for a 6-3 win (two outs)
- August 20, 2004 – AJ Zapp vs Fresno RHP David Aardsma, for a 11-7 win (one out)
Right as I publish this post, word is coming (via Twitter) from Double-A Jackson that shortstop Ketel Marte is on his way to Tacoma. Coincidentally, I wrote about him in the TNT notebook today (link below). No word yet on the roster moves, but outfielder Julio Morban left last night’s game with an apparent right leg injury so that could be the corresponding move.
- The News Tribune has a recap of the Rainiers game, but it ended too late to get quotes.
- My Sunday minor league notebook for the paper looks at the season Mariners Double-A shortstop Ketel Marte has put together, and has a note on a local player in the PCL.
- The Mariners lost in ten innings to the White Sox, 2-1.
- They did, however, induct Lou Piniella into the Mariners Hall of Fame. John McGrath has a column on the ceremony, and Jerry Brewer was there as well.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook has the latest tidbits on the team.
- Ryan Divish takes a look at the Mariners competition for the final wild card spot.
- When it comes to beer, the Mariners are the best in baseball.
- Believe it or not, Romero didn’t hit the only walk-off grand slam in the PCL last night. Oklahoma City’s Joe Sclafini did the same thing in a 9-6 win over Iowa. It was Sclafini’s first career Triple-A homer and it came in his 116th at-bat for the RedHawks.
- After a 2 hour, 25 minute pregame rain delay, Sacramento’s Matt Buschmann and three relievers combined to shut out Reno, 2-0. The game ended at 12:30 AM and Reno is now three games behind first-place Sacramento.
- Infielder Taylor Lindsey returned to Salt Lake as a visiting player, helping El Paso to an 11-7 win over the Bees on Saturday. El Paso has won the first three games of that series.
- Las Vegas picked up an 8-3 win over Albuquerque. I can’t find a game story on the normally reliable webpage of the Las Vegas Review-Journal – but since it’s Vegas, here’s a story about a “comic juggler.”
- Oklahoma City has a uniquely over-qualified bullpen catcher – Jeff Murphy is a “catcher whisperer.”
- Omaha held on for a 6-5 win at Colorado Springs as Carlos Peguero hit his 20th homer. Interesting newspaper story on new Sky Sox pitcher James Houser, who overcame open-heart surgery to continue his baseball career.
- Memphis got into the football spirit with a 21-3 win over New Orleans. Tommy Pham was the leader in the box score, going 4-for-5 with four runs and four RBI.
- Round Rock and Nashville got rained out.
- Kelso’s own Trevor May was wild in his major league debut for the Twins last night.
Day game today, day game tomorrow – let’s catch some sunshine!