Third place Tacoma continued to pressure the division leaders with a 7-3 win over Omaha on Thursday night.
With first place Sacramento losing, Tacoma is now four games back in the standings with 11 to play. Reno sits in second place, two games out of first.
Erasmo Ramirez was terrific last night, needing just 100 pitches to make it through eight innings. He allowed just five hits and three runs (two earned). Ramirez issued no walks and struck out six.
Ty Kelly led the offense with three hits and two runs batted in. Gabriel Noriega hit an opposite-field two-run homer, Ketel Marte also went deep, and Leury Bonilla had two hits including a go-ahead RBI double.
I received a lot of questions about why two guys didn’t play. Michael Saunders is battling some sort of virus and was sent home by the team doctor. Stefen Romero banged his shoulder into the outfield fence the other day and manager Roy Howell wanted to give him a day or two to recuperate – Romero might return to action tonight.
Here are your updated Tacoma win trends: the team has won two in a row, seven of the last nine, 21-of-31, and is 44-24 over the last 68 games.
Friday’s game starts at 7:05 PM – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Gillheeney (3-9, 5.98) against Omaha RHP Liam Hendricks (3-1, 3.67).
- Erasmo Ramirez talked about his performance in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Taijuan Walker appears on this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- Bob Dutton took a look at the Mariners postseason chances.
- John McGrath writes that tonight’s game – and the Red Sox series as a whole – is a big one for the Mariners.
- Ryan Divish has a piece on the calmness of Robinson Cano.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo wrote this fine item on Felix Hernandez.
- Las Vegas is the first PCL team to clinch a playoff spot. The 51s locked up the Pacific-South with a 14-5 win over New Orleans.
- Tacoma moved closer to first place because Memphis beat up Sacramento ace Drew Pomeranz and won 7-1.
- Reno also gained a game, and is two our of first, by defeating Iowa, 7-2. Scary moment: Reno starter Mike Bolsinger was hit in the face by a line drive.
- Oklahoma City puled within one game of Omaha in the American-North by beating El Paso, 9-5. It’s a homecoming for El Paso outfielder Rico Noel.
- Colorado Springs walked off Albuquerque, 9-8. This is pretty awesome: Albuquerque star Joc Pederson is giving away his car to a lucky fan at on of the Isotopes final home games.
- Round Rock edged Salt Lake in 11 innings, 9-8.
- Fresno and Nashville split a doubleheader at Greer Stadium.
The last Friday Night Fireworks of the season go off tonight – we’re expecting a packed house!