Adrian Sampson pitched a terrific game, and Daniel Robertson launched a game-breaking grand slam as Tacoma topped Fresno on Thursday night, 9-5.
The score was 4-2 going to the ninth, when Tacoma pushed a run across and loaded the bases for Robertson. Robertson pulled a deep drive down the left field line for his first grand slam since April 15, 2011 when he was in Double-A with the Padres.
Sampson allowed only two hits over eight innings, and two runs (one earned). He threw just 92 pitches and probably could have finished things off himself – a little later in the season, and they probably would have let him.
The Rainiers are 4-3 on this road trip, and have a chance to win the series against Fresno and post a winning record on this eight-game journey. One more tonight, and then the team comes home on Saturday.
Yesterday: Tacoma broke open a close game with five runs in the top of the ninth inning, taking a 9-2 lead before beating Fresno on Thursday night, 9-5. The Rainiers tallied 16 hits, with Mike Baxter going 4-for-5 while Chris Taylor and Mike Zunino each had three hits.
Today: Tacoma (20-14) at Fresno (14-19), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Donn Roach (2-2, 8.28) at RHP Joe Musgrove (-).
Musgrove is making his Triple-A debut after starting the season at Double-A Corpus Christi, where he went 2-1, 0.34. He allowed one earned run in 26.1 innings pitched.
Hot Rainiers: Daniel Robertson has homered in back-to-back games, he’s gone deep three times in his last five games, and he’s hitting .333 (14-for-42) over his last 11 games… Dario Pizzano has hit safely in six straight games, going 9-for-21… Tyler Smith is 7-for-15 over his last four games… Chris Taylor has reached base via hit or walk in 29 of the 32 games he has played in.
Look Out For: 2015 PCL MVP Matt Duffy is warming up; he’s 8-for-19 over his last five games… third baseman Colin Moran – younger brother of former Rainiers pitcher Brian Moran – has a six-game hitting streak, and he hit a two-run homer last night.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 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.
- The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune focuses on the unlikely power surge by Daniel Robertson.
- The Mariners were off yesterday, and Ryan Divish has an article on how the team recovered from that early season five-game losing streak.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook includes an item on something called a “swelmet.”
- John McGrath writes that the 2016 Mariners are an interesting group.
- The smartest guy in the room weighed in on several M’s topics, including the conversion of top pitching prospect Edwin Diaz to the bullpen.
- No Mariners made it, but a few PCL players appear on Baseball America’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet.
PCL Game Reports:
- Salt Lake is hot, winning its sixth straight game by taking down Albuquerque on Thursday, 7-3. There was no save opportunity for Al Alburquerque.
- The new Mets pitching phenom in the minor leagues is Las Vegas starter Gabriel Ynoa, who lasted eight innings in a 7-2 home win against El Paso. He’s 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA.
- Reno’s Peter O’Brien had four hits including his league-leading 11th home run in an 8-2 win at Sacramento. The game was interrupted by a (river?) cat on the field.
- Brett Eibner went bonkers for Omaha in a 15-5 win against Memphis. He homered twice in the same inning – a 10-run fifth – and went deep three times total, driving in six runs.
- Nashville’s Renato Nunez hit an inside-the-park grand slam (video) in a 7-2 win at Iowa. Shane Victorino is having fun playing for the I-Cubs.
- Yu Darvish showed a nice curveball and reportedly sat in the mid-90s during his four-inning rehabilitation start for Round Rock last night. The Express lost to Oklahoma City, 5-4.
- Colorado Springs took down New Orleans in twelve innings, 4-2.
Hey, it’s Throwback Weekend at Cheney Stadium – check out the details!