There was some sort of strange voodoo going on in New Orleans on Thursday night.
Tacoma picked up a 9-8 win in 12 innings. It was a slow-moving contest that clocked in at 4 hours, 48 minutes.
The game had exciting moments. John Hicks hit a bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning, tying the game for the Rainiers.
Each team hit a homer in the ninth inning: Stefen Romero a go-ahead shot off hard-throwing Archimedes Caminero in the top of the inning, and KiKe’ Hernandez hit a gravity-defying game-tying liner in the bottom of the ninth.
A scorching-hot hitter stayed that way: New Orleans first baseman Justin Bour homered in his first two at-bats and went 4-for-4 in the game. He’s homered in three straight games against Tacoma and is 7-for-12 with 4 HRs in the series.
There were injuries: Jesus Montero strained his left oblique swinging the bat in the seventh inning, and he’s going to be out for a while. Julio Morban crashed into the outfield fence during the same inning, leaving the game – I’ll get more information on his status tonight at the ballpark.
There were arguments: In the bottom of the seventh inning, New Orleans manager Andy Haines argued for a long time, trying to get an interference call on a double play turn overruled. Had he won his argument, the tying run would have scored. He didn’t win it.
There was an ejection: Tacoma reliever Todd Coffey argued a play at first base when he was covering the bag on a grounder, and then was immediately called for a balk by the same umpire on the next pitch (Coffey had not balked since 2008). At the end of the inning, Coffey was ejected, and some folding chairs from the Rainiers dugout somehow flew onto the field.
The Rainiers won it in the 12th, scoring two runs.Justin Smoak doubled in the go-ahead run, and Hicks singled him home. Tacoma needed both runs, as New Orleans got one and had the tying runner in scoring position before Matt Palmer recorded the final out.
The Rainiers keep on winning – they are 5-2 over the last week, 16-8 over the last 24, and 39-22 in the last 61.
Friday’s game starts at 5:00 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 4:45 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Taijuan Walker (5-3, 4.91) against New Orleans RHP Elih Villanueva (10-8, 3.99).
- I had to scramble to get the Rainiers game story in to The News Tribune on deadline.
- The Mariners resume play in Detroit tonight, and Bob Dutton has a story on returning outfielder Austin Jackson.
- Baseball has a new commissioner, and its is Rob Manfred. John McGrath has some suggestions for him.
- Jonah Keri has a piece on Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, and the MVP awards.
- Taijuan Walker makes an appearance – in a good way! – on this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- Sacramento maintained a three game lead over Reno by beating Colorado Springs in 12 innings, 5-4. Alden Carrithers had the game-winning RBI. Tacoma is still six games back with 18 to play.
- Reno kept pace with the Cats by coasting to a 6-1 win at Round Rock.
- The Fresno Grizzlies “went stale on Taco Night” and lost to Oklahoma City, 7-3.
- The Iowa Cubs had a Kris Bryant t-shirt giveaway night, and Bryant hit a walk-off homer to beat Las Vegas in the 12th inning.
- Bryant’s homer was felt in Omaha. The Storm Chasers lost in the ninth to Salt Lake, 11-8.
- Jeff Francoeur returned to El Paso and the Chihuahuas lot to Nashville, 4-2.
- Albuquerque got hammered by Memphis, 17-7, but Joc Pederson got closer to the exclusive 30-30 club.
The Rainiers go for the series win tonight, then we move on to Round Rock on Saturday.