The Rainiers won their eighth straight home game on Saturday night, hitting three early homers before withstanding rainy conditions to hang on for a 7-4 win.
Tyler Smith began the proceedings in the first inning, ripping a solo homer to left-center. Four batters later it was Dario Pizzano pulling a long three-run blast to right field.
Mike Freeman got into the act in the second inning, lining a two-run, opposite-field shot to left. The Rainiers had a 6-0 lead.
Sacramento fought back, eventually making it 6-4 and even putting the tying runners on base in the seventh inning. But the Rainiers bullpen took care of business, and the team added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.
The rain started in the second inning, and by the eighth it was really coming down hard and the infield was pretty muddy. The umpires huddled up with both managers in the middle of the eighth inning and decided to play through, giving Sacramento a fair chance in the ninth (it was a 6-4 game at the time of the decision).
Rainiers reliever Emilio Pagan was terrific in the final two innings, pitching in a steady rain. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out four, to earn his first save of the season.
Yesterday: Tacoma hit three home runs, building a 6-0 lead in the second inning, and then held on for a 7-4 win despite a muddy track on Saturday evening.
Today: Sacramento (7-15) at Tacoma (13-8), 1:35.
Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 4-3.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Tyler Beede (1-0, 4.29) at RHP Chris Heston (1-0, 3.18).
Hot Rainiers: Tyler Smith has reached base in ten straight games, and he has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .340 (16-for-47) during the stretch… Tuffy Gosewish has reached base in seven straight games… Mike Freeman has a five-game hitting streak in the PCL (he spent a couple of weeks in the majors in the middle of it).
Look Out For: Jae-Gyun Hwang has hit safely in five of his last six games, going 9-for-23 with seven RBI during that span… Orlando Calixte was a one-man wrecking crew last night, hitting two solo homers and adding an RBI single.
Ex-Rainiers: Sacramento has former Tacoma reliever Kraig Sitton. The River Cats are managed by Dave Brundage, who was the Rainiers manager in 2006. Sacramento pitching coach Dwight Bernard had the same role for Tacoma for seven years.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here. It’s a Sunday home game, and that means that Bob Robertson joins me in the booth and will call the middle innings.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners lost to Cleveland on Saturday, 4-3. Al of the runs scored in the first innings. Three takeaways from the game.
- Boog Powell made his MLB debut yesterday – without actually playing. This was fun to recount on the air during last night’s broadcast, and I’m glad the AP documented the occasion.
- The M’s are starting rookie Chase De Jong today, and it’s a dream come true.
- In his Sunday column, Ryan Divish notes how several MLB teams are already dealing with serious injury problems. He wrote this before the Nats lost Adam Eaton for the season.
- John McGrath is hoping that the Mariners will blossom in May. Here are his weekly MLB Power Rankings.
PCL Game Reports:
- El Paso edged Salt Lake, 8-7. The teams are playing a doubleheader today to make up Friday’s rain out.
- Las Vegas picked up a 5-4 win over Albuquerque. Heralded prospect Amed Rosario hit his first Triple-A home run in this game, and he’s batting .407 with seven stolen bases. The columnist for the Vegas newspaper spoke with Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill about his legendary rooftop home run at Wrigley (video included).
- Jon Kemmer went 5-for-5 as Fresno won at Reno, 6-2.
- Nashville flattened the Baby Cakes, 10-2.
- Memphis won a rain-shortened game against Round Rock in five innings, 3-1.
- Rain wiped out two games in the midwest: Oklahoma City at Omaha, and Colorado Springs at Iowa.
Don’t forget this is a wrap-around weekend series: the Rainiers play one more home game against Sacramento on Monday night before hitting the road.