Ninth Goes Awry

Tacoma seemed certain to win on Tuesday night.

The Rainiers had some timely hitting, with Justin Ruggiano having a big game and Patrick Kivlehan contributing a long go-ahead RBI triple. Jordan Pries delivered a strong start, and Tyler Olson struck out the side in the eighth inning.

Tacoma took a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning, and it sure felt like the game was going to be recorded as a win.

But the hot Salt Lake Bees scored three times in the top of the ninth inning, with Josh Rutledge‘s bases-loaded double the go-ahead hit.

Tacoma’s Jabari Blash drove a ball to the fence in the bottom of the ninth, but it was caught for the final out of the game and the Rainiers accepted defeat for the ninth time in the last ten games.

I don’t know what happened to Salt Lake over the all-star break, but the Bees have undergone a transformation. The team went into the break on a 2-11 slide, and had the worst record in the PCL. Since getting their three days of rest, Salt Lake has won six in a row and looks impressive.

On the plus side, Tacoma did pitch better on Tuesday and limited Salt Lake to nine hits. If only we could get a do-over on the ninth inning.


Yesterday: Salt Lake stunned the Rainiers, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth to pick up a 6-5 victory.

Today: Salt Lake (40-57) at Tacoma (45-52), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: Salt Lake leads, 7-3.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Drew Rucinski (5-4, 5.05) at LHP Roenis Elias (2-0, 7.12).

Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero went 2-for-5 yesterday and has eight hits in his last four games. Justin Ruggiano had three hits last night; he’s reached base via hit or walk in nine straight games.

Look Out For: Kaleb Cowart is 11-for-21 with 10 RBI in six games since the all-star break. Ryan Jackson has a seven-game hitting streak. Jett Bandy has nine RBIs in his last eight games. Josh Rutledge has a seven-game hitting streak and a 13-game on-base streak. Efren Navarro has reached via hit or walk in 34 straight PCL games. The Bees are red-hot right now.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 (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.


  • We start with the Rainiers game story from the News Tribune.
  • Salt Lake first baseman Efren Navarro is about to break the franchise record for games played. He’s 29-years-old and still has hopes for a long major league career.
  • The Mariners stunned the Detroit tigers on an eighth inning pinch-hit grand slam by Franklin Gutierrez, It’s great to see Guti have a moment like that.
  • Here is Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook.
  • In the PCL, Las Vegas starter Matt Bowman pitched a two-hit shutout against Fresno in a 4-0 win. As you’ve probably heard if you went online yesterday, the Fresno team is going to call itself the Fresno Tacos for one game next month.
  • El Paso rallied in the seventh inning to pick up a 6-3 win at Sacramento. Abraham Almonte had three hits and then got called up by the Padres.
  • Apparently the Reno Aces Front Office is really into playing super-late games instead of doubleheaders. After a long rain delay, Reno and Albuquerque started their game at 9:45 last night and finished at 12:31 AM. The Aces have chosen to start games this late at least three times this season. It was too late for a newspaper game story, but Albuquerque won 9-4 as Trevor Story homered twice. We do have a story on Reno manager Phil Nevin and his son Tyler, who were both first round draft picks.
  • Omaha catcher Micah Gibbs had his first two Triple-A hits and they were instrumental in a doubleheader sweep of Oklahoma City.
  • Nashville’s Jason Pridie hit another homer and the Sounds withstood a late rally for a 7-6 win at Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox are hoping for a strong finish to the season.
  • New Orleans continued to struggle, losing its ninth straight home game in a 9-0 wipeout by Memphis. Thomas Lee pitched seven scoreless innings and Jacob Wilson hit a grand slam.
  • Tsuyoshi Wada struggled in Iowa’s 6-5 home loss to Round Rock.

See you at the ballpark!


One Response to Ninth Goes Awry

  1. Mac says:

    Hope the season is going well. It turns out there is a whole world out there beyond baseball. It’s wonderful.

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