Defense Earns Rainiers A Road Win

Tacoma played terrific defense on Monday night in Salt Lake City, the key to a 3-1 win over the Bees.

It started right away: bottom of the first inning, Salt Lake’s leadoff man hits a single. Andrelton Simmons bats next, and he scorches a grounder down the third base line – but Tacoma’s Luis Sardinas casually backhands the ball, making a tough play look easy, and starts an around-the-horn double play.

The defensive gems continued through the game – a tough catch by Stefen Romero on a deep drive to right field, a diving stop on the outfield grass by second baseman Tyler Smith, and an after-the-pitch pickoff of a runner by catcher Mike Zunino.

We got to the seventh inning, and Tacoma had a 3-1 lead. Salt Lake had runners at second and third with two outs, and once again Simmons was at the plate.

Simmons rips a sinking liner to left field, where Daniel Robertson charges in, lays out in a full dive, and makes a game-saving catch.

Gold gloves all around! Rainiers win, 3-1.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma made a number of great defensive plays to defeat Salt Lake, 3-1. Adrian Sampson delivered six scoreless innings, and the Rainiers used four relievers to cover the final three innings. Blake Parker struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 11th save.

Today: Tacoma (36-27-1) at Salt Lake (30-32), 6:05 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 8-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Donn Roach (4-4, 4.63) at RHP Blayne Weller (-).

Weller is up from Double-A Arkansas, where he went 2-7, 4.58. He had some Triple-A time last year with Reno.

Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor had the key hit last night, a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth inning. Taylor has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, and he has reached base with a hit or a walk in 52 of his 57 games this season… after hitting safely in his first eight games since returning to the Rainiers, Patrick Kivlehan was hitless last night… Boog Powell has hit .393 (13-for-33) over his last nine games.

Look Out For: catcher Juan Graterol is 7-for-17 over his last six games… the Bees had two rehabilitating major leaguers in the lineup last night, in Andrelton Simmons and Daniel Nava. Last night may have been Simmons last rehab game; Nava will probably be here for most or all of this series.

Ex-Rainiers: Former Rainiers Ji-Man Choi and Lucas Luetge play for Salt Lake. The Bees have a pair of Washington guys, in pitchers Kyle Kendrick(Mount Vernon) and Tim Lincecum (Issaquah).

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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.

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