Tacoma salvaged the final game of the four-game series against first place Reno on Thursday night, picking up a 1-0 win in 11 innings.
The Rainiers won it when rehabilitating Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the only run of the game.
Now a walk-off-walk may not sound that exciting, but the way it happened was impressive.
Reno reliever Matt Stites was on the mound, and he had just struck out Mr. Clutch Zach Shank with the bases loaded for the first out of the inning.
Stites got ahead of Haniger very quickly, no balls and two strikes. That’s when Haniger went to work: he fouled off the close pitches, took some offspeed pitches down low, and eventually got to a full count.
On the 11th pitch of the at-bat, Haniger took Ball Four and the Rainiers had the win.
It was a plate appearance which highlighted Haniger’s skills in the batter’s box. We’ll probably have him for one more game today, and if all goes well I suspect the Mariners will activate him from the disabled list on Saturday.
Yesterday: The Rainiers pitched their ninth shutout of the year, holding Reno scoreless for 11 innings in a 1-0 win on Thursday night. Tacoma avoided being swept and pulled within four games of first place Reno.
Today: Las Vegas (24-37) at Tacoma (33-26), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Ricky Knapp (2-6, 5.24) at RHP Andrew Moore (2-0, 3.19).
Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games… Tyler O’Neill has a six-game hitting streak… D.J. Peterson is 6-for-13 over his last three games, and he has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games.
Look Out For: Las Vegas has two 21-year-old prospects to watch this weekend. Shortstop Amed Rosario is rated as one of the top five prospects in all of minor league baseball, and he has reached base in 25 straight games coming into the series… first baseman Dominic Smith is the other 21-year-old, and he has a five-game hitting streak going 10-for-21 during it.
Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Las Vegas has one former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher: Blake Beavan, who pitched for Tacoma and Seattle from 2010 to 2014.
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.
- The News Tribune has a look at today’s Rainiers starting pitcher Andrew Moore.
- The Mariners five-game winning streak came to an end with a 2-1 loss to the Twins on Thursday night. Three takeaways from the game.
- In today’s column Larry Stone credits Mariners manager Scott Servais for keeping things together.
- Injured pitcher Drew Smyly is making progress in his recovery.
- No surprise that Reno’s Ildemaro Vargas makes an appearance on this week’s edition of Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet.
PCL Game Reports:
- Las Vegas lost in the 11th inning at Salt Lake yesterday, 4-3. Rey Navarro had the game-winning RBI single. Salt Lake has had six walk-off wins this year and is taking charge in the Pacific-South division.
- Down to its last strike, El Paso scored twice in the top of the ninth inning and beat Albuquerque, 5-4. The paper has a behind-the-scenes look at getaway days in the PCL.
- Fresno blasted Sacramento, 9-2, as Derek Fisher hit his 16th home run.
- The Iowa Cubs ran into Wilmer Font and lost to Oklahoma City, 6-1. The paper has a look at Iowa reliever Pierce Johnson.
- Luke Farrell had a great start to help Omaha beat Nashville, 4-2.
- New Orleans starter Stephen Fife had a perfect game broken up in the seventh inning, and then the Baby Cakes lost to Memphis in the eighth.
- Round Rock outscored Colorado Springs, 14-10.