The Rainiers stole a win on the road Saturday night in Des Moines, conjuring a ninth inning rally out of thin air to beat Iowa, 7-5.
Trailing 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth, and with nobody on base, the Rainiers were down to their last strike.
But Leonys Martin was able to bloop a double down the left field line against Iowa closer Justin Grimm, giving the team hope.
The next hitter was Seth Mejias-Brean and he quickly fell behind in the count, 0-2. Once again the Rainiers were down to their last strike. But he was able to extend the plate appearance and coax a walk, keeping things going.
Dario Pizzano followed with a line drive single to center, scoring Martin to tie the game, 4-4.
That brought up Mike Zunino, and Grimm got him to swing and miss at two breaking balls. After a fastball missed for ball one, Grimm went back to the breaker – and Zunino launched it two right-center for a three-run homer, and a 7-4 lead.
The rally seemed to come out of nowhere, and Tacoma avoided its first three-game losing streak of the year. The team remains in first place in the Pacific-North division, with a half-game lead over Reno.
Yesterday: The Rainiers had a stunning comeback with two outs in the ninth inning and won in Iowa, 7-5. Tacoma is 3-3 so far on the eight-game road trip.
Roster Moves: We’ll have roster moves today. Chris Heston is being called up to start for Seattle, and the Rainiers are bringing back Nathan Bannister from Modesto to start today’s game. Additional moves are in the works.
Today: Tacoma (26-15) at Iowa (19-22), 11:05 AM (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Chicago Cubs.
Season Series: Tied, 1-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Nathan Bannister (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Aaron Brooks (3-3, 7.24).
Bannister is back. The 2016 draft pick tossed 6.2 shutout innings for Tacoma against New Orleans on May 6. In two starts for Modesto since then, he allowed 14 runs in 9.2 innings. Triple-A is easy!
Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 11-for-24 with two homers… D.J. Peterson and Mike Zunino each have three-game hitting streaks, and each homered yesterday.
Look Out For: Veteran third baseman Chris Dominguez has hit safely in nine of his last ten games… Ozzie Martinez has hit safely in four straight games, going 6-for-13.
Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: After an offseason of being claimed off waivers repeatedly, ex-Tacoma lefty reliever David Rollins landed in Iowa.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:50 AM 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.
- Here’s a recap of the Rainiers win.
- It’s probably for the best if you don’t read about yesterday’s Mariners game. Three takeaways, if you must.
- In what must have taken an eternity to write, Ryan Divish took a deep dive into the Mariners disabled list.
- Bob Dutton has an item on how Danny Valencia‘s hand injury could trigger a series of roster moves.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno hit a couple of homers and won in Omaha, 7-3, to remain a half-game behind Tacoma. The teams play a doubleheader today.
- Lefty Marco Gonzalez tossed a gem as Memphis picked up a 4-2 road win over Fresno.
- Salt Lake scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to beat Round Rock, 8-4.
- Las Vegas scored early in New Orleans and it was nap time for the Baby Cakes, 8-2.
- Albuquerque’s bullpen shined in a 5-3 win over Colorado Springs. Matt Carasiti picked up his PCL-leading 11th save.
- Oklahoma City’s O’Koyea Dickson homered twice and drove in four runs in a 7-3 win at El Paso.
- Ryder Jones launched a grand slam to help Sacramento take down Nashville, 8-5.