Zunino Powers Rainiers

Mike Zunino had a game to remember as the Rainiers beat Sacramento on Saturday night, 5-3.

In the top of the first inning, Zunino hit Chris Stratton‘s fifth pitch of the game for a long, long three-run homer to left field to give Tacoma a 3-0 lead.

The Rainiers didn’t score again until there were two outs in the ninth.

With the game tied 3-3, Guillermo Heredia hit a two-out double to bring up Zunino. And Zunino did it again, a two-run homer to left field off Jean Machi to give Tacoma a 5-3 lead.

And that was that. Tacoma won the game, 5-3, as Blake Parker earned his 15th save.

The win was crucial for Tacoma. It assured the club it would be alone in first place at the all-star break regardless of what happens today. It ended a three-game losing streak, and earned fill-in manager Andy McKay his first win at the professional level.

Now we’ll see if the Rainiers can salvage a split of the series by winning the final game today.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Mike Zunino was pretty good and Tacoma won, 5-3. Kudos to the Rainiers pitching staff which allowed just one hit over the final six innings.

Today: Tacoma (48-40-1) at Sacramento (38-52), 1:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.

Season Series: Sacramento leads, 6-5.

Sacramento has been one of the worst teams in the PCL all season long, except for some reason the Rainiers struggle to beat them.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jordan Pries (1-1, 4.26) at RHP Joan Gregorio (2-4, 5.07).

Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has a ten-game hitting streak, and he has gone 23-for-60 over his last 14 games… Luis Sardinas has a five-game hitting streak, going 7-for-20… Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in 11 of 14 games since joining the Rainiers.

Look Out For: Gorkys Hernandez has been Sacramento’s best position player. He’s reached base in 13 straight games and is coming off a huge June in which he batted .366 with a .440 OBP… infielder Rando Moreno is 18-for-51 over his last 15 games; he’s one of six position players who have been promoted from Double-A Richmond within the last month.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 12:50 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.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Fresno swept a doubleheader from Reno and moved past the Aces into second place in the division. This was predicted by commenter Mark Bushnell a few weeks ago – credit where credit is due, Mark. Never rule out a team managed by Tony D.
  • Albuquerque’s Tom Murphy homered twice in an 8-5 win at Las Vegas.
  • I bet Steve Klauke sure was happy he was calling Major League Baseball instead of Saturday’s game in Salt Lake City, in which his beloved Bees got exterminated by El Paso, 12-1.
  • Memphis won a rain-shortened game against Round Rock, 4-1, and goes for a four-game sweep today.
  • Oklahoma City’s Rob Segedin is one of three PCL players in the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday, but he may have gotten the date wrong. Segedin hit three homers in the Dodgers doubleheader sweep of Omaha last night. Meanwhile, Julio Urias is back with Oklahoma City but no one seems to know what the plan is for the 19-year-old phenom.
  • A big inning led New Orleans to an 8-6 win at Nashville last night.
  • Iowa scored late to win at Colorado Springs, 8-5. A pinch-hit two-run homer by Tim Federowicz in the eighth inning gave Iowa the lead.

As soon as today’s game ends the all-star break is here. I’m taking Monday and Tuesday off, but I’ll post something prior to the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. It starts at 4:00 (Pacific) on Wednesday and will air on the MLB Network and on 850 AM in Tacoma – our regular internet radio stream will probably be working, too.

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