No. 8 Was A Thrill

The Rainiers won their eighth straight game last night, taking down Oklahoma City 5-4 in dramatic fashion.

Guillermo Heredia hit a walk-off two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Rainiers a stunning win. It was the second day in a row in which Tacoma scored two runs in its final at-bat to overcome a one-run deficit.

Heredia has been on a tear, hitting safely in nine straight games while going 17-for-38 in the process. The 25-year-old Cuban came up from Double-A Jackson when Boog Powell hit the suspended list, and he’s actually improved the Rainiers production from center field.

As hot as Heredia has been, the homer was a surprise. He’s not a power hitter, he slaps a lot of singles on the ground and sometimes lines one into the outfield. But this time, he got a pitch in his wheelhouse:

(If the highlight doesn’t play in this window, click on it and it should open in a new window)

The eight-game winning streak is Tacoma’s longest since the club won ten straight starting on April 23, 2013.

If the Rainiers are going to keep this streak going, they are going to do it with a new-look lineup. Mike Zunino and Nori Aoki are gone.

Today the Mariners called up Zunino and Aoki, and also activated Felix Hernandez from the disabled list. Optioned to Tacoma are Daniel Robertson, Jesus Sucre, and David Rollins.

Zunino is the big loss – and he probably isn’t coming back this time. He leads the Rainiers with 17 home runs, has been a force in the middle of the lineup, and has handled the pitching staff all season. Sucre will provide strong defense, but he doesn’t have the run-producing bat of Zunino.

Aoki played really well for the Rainiers, and earned his recall. But Robertson should slide right back into his prior role with Tacoma.

The Rainiers bullpen gets a lift with the addition of Rollins, who has been terrific when in Tacoma this year. He’ll start getting meaningful innings late in games, right away.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers made it eight straight wins when Guillermo Heredia hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rainiers a 5-4 victory over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

Roster Moves: The Mariners made wholesale changes after last night’s game: the activated Felix Hernandez from the disabled list, and called up both Mike Zunino and Nori Aoki. Three players were optioned to Tacoma: outfielder Daniel Robertson, catcher Jesus Sucre, and pitcher David Rollins.

Today: Oklahoma City (53-42) at Tacoma (55-40-1), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jose De Leon (2-0, 3.06) at RHP Cody Martin (8-5, 3.63).

De Leon is touted as a top prospect in the Dodgers organization. This will be his first time facing Tacoma.

 

Hot Rainiers: Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in nine straight games, and 18 of 21 games since joining the Rainiers… D.J. Peterson had his six-game hitting streak end last night… Nori Aoki went 10-for-18 in his last four games, but he’s gone now… Rob Brantly is 8-for-18 with two home runs in his last five games.

Look Out For: Austin Barnes carries a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… Rob Segedin went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer last night; he was Oklahoma City’s all-star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby… top prospect Julio Urias was announced as Thursday’s starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, so we’re not going to get to see him pitch.

Ex-Rainiers: Welcome back, Logan Bawcom. Bawcom pitched three seasons for Tacoma, 2013-2015, and was a big part of the Rainiers community outreach by participating in many volunteer events.

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.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Fresno’s Joe Musgrove tossed a gem and beat Round Rock, 1-0. Fresno is still 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • Shelby Miller struck out ten and helped Reno beat Colorado Springs, 9-6. The Aces are also 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • Sacramento and New Orleans shut each other out in a split doubleheader, while Dee Gordon rehabbed with the Zephyrs.
  • Albuquerque swept a doubleheader from Nashville and has won nine straight games – tying the modern franchise record.
  • New addition Taylor Lindsey hit for the cycle in El Paso’s 9-2 win over Memphis.
  • Raul Mondesi came a single away from cycling in Omaha’s 13-6 wipeout of Las Vegas.
  • Salt Lake at Iowa got rained out – they are trying to play two today.

Last night the Rainiers got magic number eight. Now let’s go niners whoops that probably won’t go over very well here… how about nine minutes of No. 9?

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