Tacoma Wins Marathon In 14th Inning

Tacoma scored two runs in the bottom of the 14th inning to beat Iowa on Sunday, 5-4, in the longest game of the season for both clubs.

The Rainiers had played 14 innings once earlier this year, but Sunday night’s game clocked in at season-high 5 hours, 31 minutes.

After giving up a run in the top of the 14th, the Rainiers rallied with two runs in the bottom of the 14th. Stefen Romero’s sacrifice fly to shallow center field scored Ketel Marte with the winning run.

The victory kept Tacoma on the fringe of the playoff chase. The Rainiers gained a game and now trail first-place Sacramento by four games with eight remaining. Second-place Reno is only one game behind Sacramento.

Here are some fun facts from last night’s epic battle:

  • Tacoma tied the game in the seventh inning when Corey Hart hit a two-run homer in the final at-bat of his scheduled rehab appearance. He tied the game and said “my work is done here” and let the teams play deep into the night.
  • Xavier Avery entered the game in the ninth inning and went 0-for-0 with three walks. Two of the walks were intentional – his first two IBB’s of the season. He’s only been intentionally walked one other time in his career, and it was in 2010.
  • Ty Kelly drove in the tying run with a bases loaded walk in the 14th. Kelly is a terror with the bases loaded: he’s 7-for-13 with a grand slam, and he has drawn six bases loaded walks. That’s more bases loaded walks than any other player in the league – in fact, three entire teams have fewer bases loaded walks than Kelly.
  • Stefen Romero‘s 13-game hitting streak ended with the game-winning sac fly. The rules say a hitting streak ends if a player is 0-for-0 with a sac fly, which I assume is because the batter is trying to get a hit and “settles” for a sac fly.
  • Tacoma’s bullpen pitched eight shutout innings before allowing a run in the top of the 14th inning.
  • Justin Smoak managed to go 4-for-6 with a walk – reaching base five times – and yet not score any runs. He only made it past first base one time.
  • Shortstop Ketel Marte was 1-for-6 – which looks innocuous in the box score, but he was in the middle of everything. He threw out two runners at home plate in extra innings – one after his own error put that runner at third base. He was also up in game-winning situations in ninth and 11th, and his lone hit came during the winning rally in the 14th.
  • Super-prospect Kris Bryant homered in his first-ever at-bat at Cheney Stadium, driving a two-run opposite field blast against Tacoma starter Forrest Snow in the top of the first for his 43rd homer of the year. However, the Rainiers were able to keep him in check for the next 13 innings.
  • The Cubs other huge prospect was more of a problem. Jorge Soler homered in the fourth inning, and he singled in the go-ahead run for Iowa in the top of the 14th. Soler was 3-for-5 with two walks.
  • The Rainiers are now 11-6 in extra inning games this season, and they are 2-0 in games lasting over five hours.

Monday’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 RHP Taijuan Walker (6-3, 4.57) against Iowa LHP Eric Jokisch (9-10, 3.63).

The All-PCL team was announced today – you might refer to it as the PCL Post-Season All-Star Team. The complete list is the second link down below, but I can tell you no Rainiers made it this year.

Chris Taylor was Tacoma’s best hope to make the team as the shortstop, but he was beaten out by Reno’s defensive wizard Nick Ahmed. It would have been nice for Taylor to receive the honor.

Links:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • The All-PCL Team was announced and here it is.
  • The Mariners beat the Red Sox 8-6 on Sunday and completed their first-ever sweep of three or more games at Fenway Park.
  • In Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook you can read manager Lloyd McClendon‘s thoughts on September call-ups.
  • While flying home from Boston, Ryan Divish posted a good blog on the reasons behind the Mariners success.
  • Sacramento was absolutely hammered by Nashville last night, 14-2. The Sounds hit four homers.
  • Reno walked-off Omaha on Danny Dorn‘s sac fly in the ninth. That win pulled Reno within one game of first place.
  • Memphis shut out Fresno 8-0, and the Redbirds and Nashville are tied in first place in the American-South.
  • New Orleans held on for an 8-6 win at Salt Lake.
  • Colorado Springs made four errors in a 9-7 loss to El Paso. Adam Moore hit his 12th home run for the Chihuahuas.
  • Oklahoma City is just one game behind Omaha in the American-North after a 6-3 win over Albuquerque.
  • Las Vegas earned a 6-5 win over Round Rock as Cory Vaughn hit a three-run homer. It looks like Las Vegas might keep the Mets, according to the Review-Journal.
  • Kris Bryant makes Baseball America’s minor league round-up.

According to Baseball America the Iowa-Tacoma series is the Series To Watch this week, so why don’t you do that? Only three home games remain – come out to the park!

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