On To New Orleans

Fresno won the final game of the five-game series at Cheney Stadium on Monday afternoon, and now the Rainiers start an eight-game road trip to New Orleans and Round Rock.

Fresno won in 11 innings on Monday, 4-3. They scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th on a two-out wild pitch with a runner at third base.

The final out of the game was thrilling, but not quite what we wanted. Tacoma had runners at second and third with one out, and Humberto Quintero hit a fly ball to left. Tyler Colvin caught it, Stefen Romero tagged at third and tried to score the tying run – and Colvin threw a one-hop strike to home plate, nailing Romero to end the game.

Tacoma won the five-game series, 3-2. There were two thrilling finishes and both of them involved Romero at home plate – the walk-off grand slam on Saturday, and the sliding tag play on Monday.

Today the Rainiers do the longest possible travel you can do in the Pacific Coast League: they fly from SeaTac to Louis Armstrong International. Guys will be waking up at 3 AM to go to the airport, landing in New Orleans at 2:00 PM if everything is on time. There will be just enough time to check in to the hotel, eat something, start caffeinating extensively, and head to the ballpark.

New Orleans is the Miami Marlins Triple-A club, and they play at Zephyr Field – one of the PCL’s best pitcher’s parks. They currently have the Marlins No. 1 prospect on the roster in left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, and he’s scheduled to start the series opener today.

Top hitters on the Zephyrs are corner infielder Mark Canha (.314-16-68 and he’s a Cal Bear) and slugging corner outfielder Kyle Jensen (.268-24-79). First baseman Justin Bour has split his season between Triple-A and MLB; he’s in AAA right now and he has a .909 OPS in the PCL.

New Orleans just lost four of five in a road series at Memphis. It ended in very rough fashion, with three straight losses in which the Zephyrs were out-scored 39-6.

Tuesday’s game starts at 5:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 4:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (6-5, 5.54) against New Orleans LHP Andrew Heaney (4-4, 4.35).

Links:

  • Here is your Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. I should note that 20-year-old shortstop Ketel Marte went 2-for-5 and handled everything hit his way in a very solid Triple-A debut.
  • The Mariners creamed the Blue Jays yesterday, 11-1. Felix Hernandez did Felix things.
  • No link, but Reno got some sweet revenge after dropping three straight to Sacramento by annihilating the River Cats last night, 17-4. Standings: Sacramento in first, Reno is three games back, Tacoma six back, 21 games remain.
  • If you like really weird baseball stuff, this is for you: there was a wacky suspended-game combination no-hitter in the International League last night, in which Keslo’s Trevor May learned that he pitched a no-hitter via text message.

That’s all of the links for today due to the travel – I promise a full blog for you on Wednesday and hopefully I’ll get to type it while enjoying fine coffee and beignets (and not sweating profusely).

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