The Rainiers won what surely will go down as the weirdest game of the year on Monday, and sadly due to a brutal PCL travel day today I do not have time to do a proper post on it.
Here’s the short version:
Tacoma ripped the ball early and had an 8-3 lead after two innings. Then the pitching sharpened up and Tacoma took a 9-3 lead into the seventh inning.
Fresno stunned the Rainiers with a seven-run seventh inning. The inning opened with five straight hits in rapid succession, and later Tony Kemp‘s two-run triple past a diving Jabari Blash gave Fresno a 10-9 lead.
That was the score in the bottom of the eighth when Tacoma put runners at second and third with two outs and Justin Ruggiano at the plate. Fresno reliever James Hoyt uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Zach Shank with the tying run and moving Ketel Marte to third base.
Since the count was 3-0 on Ruggiano, Fresno decided to intentionally throw ball four and go after the next hitter instead. Except… Hoyt threw a wild intentional ball over the head of the catcher and to the backstop, allowing Marte to score the go-ahead run.
Things got even weirder in the ninth inning, when Tacoma brought in Tony Zych to close it out. Turns out he wasn’t listed on the lineup card exchanged at home plate before the game, and Fresno wanted him disallowed. The umpires huddled up, and eventually crew chief Adam Schwarz called the league president to get a ruling.
So we had a five minute break while Schwarz was on the phone, and eventually the league ruled that since Zych was on the official roster for the game, he could play. Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco announced he was playing the game under protest.
Zych pitched a scoreless ninth, the Rainiers won 11-10, and after the game the Fresno Grizzlies announced that they dropped the protest and it was all over.
So Tacoma took 3-of-4 from Fresno and carries a three-game winning streak into the road trip.
Yesterday: John Hicks hit a three run homer, Jabari Blash went deep for the third straight game, and the Rainiers survived when things got weird in an 11-10 win over Fresno at Cheney Stadium.
Roster Move: Tacoma made a change in the bullpen, signing reliever J.C. Ramirez who had been with Reno, and sending Andrew Kittredge to Double-A Jackson. Ramirez was 0-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 23 games for Reno; he also pitched in 12 games for Arizona in May and early June, going 1-1, 4.11. Ramirez was originally signed by the Mariners out of Nicaragua and then traded when he was in A-ball as part of the package to acquire Cliff Lee.
Today: Tacoma (48-54) at El Paso (54-48), 6:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.
Season Series: El Paso leads, 7-5.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 7.20) at RHP Daniel McCutchen (6-5, 4.01).
Hot Rainiers: Jabari Blash has homered in three straight games; he’s hitting .289-5-13 in 12 games since being promoted from Jackson. Jesus Montero is 11-for-27 with five walks since returning from Seattle. Ketel Marte went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a triple on Monday.
Look Out For: The Chihuahuas as a whole. El Paso has won seven straight games and is 9-3 since the all-star break, and get this: they did that on a 12-game road trip. Tonight is their first home game since before the break.
As for hot hitters, Alex Dickerson went 4-for-5 yesterday and is 11-for-21 in his last five games, Jason Hagerty has a nine-game hitting streak, and Tommy Medica is batting .325 in July after a rough first three months of the season.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 (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.
- TJ Cotterill has the Rainiers game story, and he covers all of the wild things that happened yesterday.
- A Seattle native drove in the winning run for Arizona in a 4-3 win over the Mariners on Monday night.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook has a bunch of news in it. Tipping pitches?
It was a long travel day today, and I don’t have time for the PCL links. But, want to note quickly that Sacramento swept a doubleheader at Albuquerque 10-0 and 10-1 yesterday, with PCL home run leader Adam Duvall going deep in both contests to raise his total to 25 on the year.