Rainiers Drop Opener In Fresno, 12-9

Coming out of a day off on Wednesday, you would think that Tacoma and Fresno would play a good, clean game on Thursday night at Chukchansi Park. Instead, we saw quite the opposite.

The Rainiers played their worst game of the season, making numerous mistakes. Fresno also played ugly baseball in the early innings, though the Grizzlies were able to clean it up and win the game, 12-9.

Tacoma had a 7-1 lead in the middle of the third inning, putting together good at-bats against Fresno starter Francis Martes and knocking him out early. A dropped fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs helped enormously, giving Tacoma three unexpected runs.

But the Rainiers proceeded to cough up the lead with a series of errors and wild pitches, and then Fresno’s bats came alive with their own six-run inning to take the lead in the fifth.

Tacoma was charged with three errors, leading to four unearned runs, and there were additional plays which weren’t ruled errors but should have resulted in outs. Rainiers hurlers were charged with two wild pitches and one hit batter.

It was exactly the type of game the Rainiers have been avoiding this year. Tacoma has ranked first or second in the league all season in fewest errors. The team has not been making physical and mental mistakes with any sort of frequency.

Let’s write this one off as a bad day, and move on.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma played a rare ugly game, blowing a 7-1 lead and losing in Fresno, 12-9. Fresno’s two red-hot hitters Derek Fisher and Juan Centeno accounted for much of the damage. The Grizzlies have won four in a row, and six of their last seven games.

Roster Moves: We’re waiting to see what happens with the big league club later today, hoping that the injuries Nelson Cruz and Jean Segura left yesterday’s game with aren’t serious.

Today: Tacoma (31-21) at Fresno (24-30), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.

Season Series: Fresno leads, 3-2.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Chase De Jong (2-2, 5.06) at RHP Casey Coleman (2-3, 6.67).

Hot Rainiers: D.J. Peterson has a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-25 with 8 RBI… Leonys Martin hit the Rainiers first leadoff homer of the year yesterday, and he reached base three times, stole a bag, scored twice, and drove in two… Zach Shank is 13-for-36 over his last nine games… Danny Muno has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games.

Look Out For: Outfield prospect Derek Fisher is on a tear. He’s homered in four straight games, has 14 hits during a seven-game hitting streak, and has reached base in 14 straight games… catcher Juan Centeno has returned from the major leagues and picked up a 20-game PCL hitting streak… Preston Tucker has hit four homers over his past seven games.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Casey Coleman was a productive reliever for Tacoma last year; he’s in Fresno’s starting rotation right now… reliever Aaron West was drafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, he’s a product of Snohomish High School.

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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Just like both Tacoma and Fresno, Reno had a six-run inning last night. Unlike those two teams, Reno didn’t allow a six-run inning and won easily against Las Vegas, 9-2.
  • Albuquerque outlasted Sacramento in 13 innings, 6-5. Matt Flemer – a starting pitcher – was used as a pinch-hitter and he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning.
  • Salt Lake jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the third inning at El Paso, but the Bees needed to score one more run to eventually hold off the Chihuahuas, 11-10. C.J. Cron homered twice and drove in seven runs.
  • Talk about drama: trailing 2-1 with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Nashville’s Franklin Barreto launched a grand slam and the Sounds held on to beat Iowa, 5-2. The Des Moines Register has a feature on Iowa’s Chesny Young.
  • Brock Stewart made it through two innings in a rehabilitation appearance for Oklahoma City, but he gave up one of Lewis Brinson‘s two homers in a 6-3 Colorado Springs victory over the Dodgers.
  • Round Rock’s Drew Robinson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Express nibbled the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 3-2. Olympia’s Adam Conley had a strong start for the Cakes, allowing one run in six innings.
  • Omaha hit two solo home runs and it was enough to win at Memphis, 2-1.
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