Tacoma went to a Texas home run festival on Saturday night, and the Rainiers emerged with an 8-7 victory over the Round Rock Express.
With a hot wind blowing out to left field, Tacoma and Round Rock combined to hit eight home runs in the game.
The Rainiers hit four of the first five homers, grabbing an 8-3 lead in the process. Round Rock hit the final three homers, putting a big scare into the Rainiers before Todd Coffey recorded the final out in the ninth.
Stefen Romero continued his tear, going 3-for-3 with two homers, a double, four runs scored, and three RBI. Romero is hitting .411 with seven homers and 18 RBI in 13 games since being optioned to Tacoma.
Ji-Man Choi and Nate Tenbrink also homered for the Rainiers, and for each it was his second homer of the season. Choi had not homered since April 11, and Tenbrink was playing in just his 18th game due to the back injury which cost him nearly four months.
Lost among the dingers was another strong start from Erasmo Ramirez. He went seven innings and gave up three runs, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Erasmo allowed just one home run on a night in which the ball was jumpin’.
Tacoma picked up a game in the standings and trails Sacramento by five games with 16 to play. The Rainiers are three games behind second place Reno.
The win was the Rainiers fourth in a row, and Tacoma has assured itself of at least a .500 record on this eight-game road trip. The team is 4-1 on the trip so far – this has a chance to become a terrific road trip.
Sunday’s game starts at 4:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 3:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Gillheeney (3-9, 6.30) against Round Rock RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (3-1, 4.32).
- Stefen Romero talked about his homers in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. The game story from the Austin Statesman focuses on the sudden struggles of the Express.
- My Sunday minor league notebook for the paper looks at the success of Forrest Snow, and updates the Mariners minor league shortstop shuffle.
- The Mariners lost in Detroit last night and it was a real streak-ender, Ryan Divish writes.
- Divish’s Sunday column for the Times is on the pressing situations for new Commissioner Rob Manfred to work on.
- There is some good stuff on Chris Taylor in Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
- In this Seattle Times blog post earlier today, Lloyd McClendon makes it sound like Michael Saunders could be rehabilitating with the Rainiers for a while. Waiting until September 1 to activate him eliminates a potential problem with Endy Chavez.
- After a month-long drought, John McGrath’s MLB rankings appeared on The News Tribune’s website today. Yay!
- Astute readers will note that I listed the same expected starting pitcher for Round Rock two days in a row. That’s because the Texas Ranger pitching situation is an absolute mess, which was noted in Ryan Divish’s power rankings today.
- Straight outta the Virgin Islands, we have an update on suspended outfielder Jabari Blash who should return to action on Monday. The question is: where?
- Nineteen-year-old Clinton outfielder Tyler O’Neill is on absolute fire.
- In the PCL,Oklahoma City scored five runs in the ninth to beat Sacramento, 7-2. Nick Buss has a 22-game hitting streak for the River Kitties.
- Mike Bolsinger tossed a gem and Reno pulled within two games of Sacramento with a 6-3 win at New Orleans.
- Colorado Springs annihilated Fresno, 10-0.
- Nashville is hot. The Sounds beat Albuquerque 8-3 to remain tied in first place in the American-South. The Albuquerque paper focused on catcher Tim Federowicz.
- Memphis is tied with Nashville after rallying for a 2-1 win at El Paso. Excellent game story from the El Paso Times.
- Omaha topped Las Vegas 3-2 on Brian Bocock‘s two-run homer in the eighth inning.
- Disaster struck in Iowa, where the Cubs not only lost the game to Salt Lake but also lost slugger Kris Bryant to a toe injury. Bryant’s status for the series in Tacoma this weekend is currently unknown.
- This PCL notebook is fun.
Time to head to the ballpark and see if the Rainiers can work on these numbers: four straight wins, 7-2 last nine games, 18-8 last 26 games, 41-22 last 63 games…