Tacoma suffered one of the tougher loses you can get in baseball on Friday night, coming back from a huge deficit to tie the game, then missing out on a chance to take the lead before losing in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out walk-off hit.
Iowa scored seven runs in the second inning, grabbing a 7-3 lead. It was a 9-5 Iowa advantage after Javier Baez homered in the fourth.
But the Rainiers bullpen went into shutdown mode (particularly Logan Bawcom, who pitched three highly efficient shutout innings), and Tacoma tied the game in the seventh.
Leury Bonilla singled in the tying run, which also loaded the bases with one out in the 7th. Tacoma had a great chance to take the lead, but Iowa reliever Gonzalez Germen struck out Austin Jackson and James Jones to escape with the tie still intact.
Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth – after Bawcom and Mayckol Guaipe had combined to retire 13 straight batters – Iowa had three straight singles, including the game-winner by Rafael Lopez.
It was a tough one for Tacoma, but the Rainiers will try to bounce back today with Justin Germano on the mound. Germano ranks second in the PCL in earned run average.
Yesterday: Tacoma overcame Iowa’s seven-run second inning, tied the game 9-9, and then lost in the bottom of the ninth on three straight two-out singles. Rafael Lopez had the game-winning hit.
Today: Tacoma (18-24) at Iowa (20-20), 5:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Iowa is the Chicago Cubs affiliate.
Season Series: Tied, 1-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Justin Germano (3-1, 1.46) at RHP Dallas Beeler (0-3, 10.53)
Hot Rainiers: Ketel Marte had three hits and surged back into PCL lead with a .353 batting average; his 59 hits tops the circuit. Jesus Montero has two hits and four walks in the first two games of the Iowa series.
Look Out For: Iowa’s Taylor Davis didn’t hit any doubles yesterday, but he had three singles. He’s 11-for-15 with seven doubles during a four-game hitting streak. Javier Baez is batting .375 (15-for-40) with two homers in his last 11 games.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- Manager Pat Listach shook off the tough loss, calling it a typical PCL game in the Rainiers game story. The story from the Des Moines Register focuses on outfielder Matt Szczur.
- Felix Hernandez became baseball’s first seven-game winner as the Mariners topped Toronto on Friday night, 4-3.
- Excellent (albeit long) article by Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh on the development of Nelson Cruz, who went from Triple-A slugger to MLB superstar.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook includes updates on some former Rainiers players now with Toronto.
- In the PCL, Omaha launched five homers in a 10-8 win over Reno. Of note: Tacoma has not yet played any of its 16 games against Reno, but this Peter O’Brien fellow is putting up huge numbers for the Aces. He went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer yesterday, and is batting .342-10-41. He’s a Triple-A rookie.
- A rehabbing Ben Zobrist helped Nashville topple Fresno, 7-2. Sean Doolittle also appeared for Nashville – meaning the Oakland A’s are closer to getting healthy.
- Memphis scored three runs in the ninth inning to claim an 8-6 win at Sacramento.
- El Paso swept a doubleheader at New Orleans. Each game was 4-1, and the Zephyrs had a total of just five hits on the day.
- Former Salt Lake outfielder Matt Long helped his new team Colorado Springs beat the Bees, 7-2.
- Chris Heisey belted his tenth homer and Oklahoma City downed Las Vegas, 6-3.
- Albuquerque’s Drew Stubbs is in a familiar place as he tries to find his swing. His Isotopes edged Round Rock, 5-4.
There was a farmer’s market right outside of our hotel this morning. Because we are in Iowa, I was expecting the most extraordinary farmer’s market I had ever seen. I anticipated piles and piles of corn, live bovines, the whole thing. Instead, it was a total disappointment. Come on, Iowa – show me something!