Leonys Martin’s Mad Dash

The Rainiers won in the tenth inning last night, and the only reason they were there to begin with was because of a wild display of speed by Leonys Martin in the bottom of the ninth.

Trailing by one run, Martin hit a one-out single. He leads the league in stolen bases and everyone on both teams knew he was going to try to swipe second and put himself in scoring position.

After Boog Powell lined out for the second out, Tacoma had Dan Vogelbach at the plate.

Martin took off on a pitch, and catcher Tim Federowicz fired down to shortstop Orlando Calixte covering second. The throw was into the runner a bit, but it was still going to be close, and Calixte gloved the ball and tried to make a sweeping tag behind his body. The ball went flying out of his glove and rolled out into shallow left field.

Since Calixte was the shortstop, there was no one in the area to pick up the loose ball. Martin took off full speed for third, never slowed while stepping on the bag, and set out for the plate.

Sacramento left fielder Mac Williamson – playing deep with Vogelbach batting – had to run a long way in to pick up the ball in shallow left. He made a throw home, but Martin slid in safely with the tying run.

This was a high-risk play with two outs in the ninth, but it paid off for the Rainiers. Martin scored, we went to extra innings, and Tacoma won it in the tenth.

As hinted at in yesterday’s post, the Mariners traded the Rainiers veteran relievers to the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations.

Both Jean Machi and Mark Lowe will initially report to Triple-A Charlotte, but they each have a chance to get called up this season.

The Mariners essentially did a favor to these players. Neither was in Seattle’s major league plans for the remainder of 2017, so they found a team that could use them. The White Sox are going through a rebuild and it is possible they could need some veteran relief arms to help carry them through this season.

Both players are team leaders. Each has pitched in the World Series and been through everything in baseball, and they provided peer-to-peer leadership with their younger Tacoma teammates. Despite being the oldest players on the team at 34 years old, they showed extremely strong work ethics the younger players could follow.

Today the Rainiers are expecting to add speedy outfielder Ian Miller from Double-A Arkansas, replacing Tyler O’Neill’s spot on the roster.

Miller leads the Texas League in both batting average (.326) and stolen bases (30, with just four times being caught).

Always known as a burner on the bases, the is the first season he has hit well. Hopefully it translates to the Triple-A level – Tacoma could feature quite the speed game with Miller, Leonys, and Boog.

It will be a couple of days before all three speedsters play together. Martin will miss the next two games by league order, for making contact with an umpire after his ejection on Thursday in Albuquerque (despite inconclusive video evidence that any contact was made).

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers won a thriller at home on Friday night, beating Sacramento 4-3 in the tenth inning. Tacoma tied it on Leonys Martin‘s mad dash in the ninth, and won it in the tenth when Gordon Beckham hit a leadoff double, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Smith, and scored on Zach Shank‘s sacrifice fly.

Roster Moves: Yesterday the Mariners traded Tacoma relievers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi to the Chicago White Sox for future considerations. Today Tacoma expects to add outfielder Ian Miller from Double-A Arkansas.

Today: Sacramento (40-58) at Tacoma (49-50), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 8-6.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Andrew Suarez (3-3, 4.98) at RHP Christian Bergman (7-1, 3.59).

Hot RainiersLeonys Martin has an eight-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has a six-game hitting streak… Tyler Smith has played 40 straight errorless games at shortstop, dating back two months to May 18. That doesn’t include ten error-free games in the majors with Seattle.

Look Out ForJuniel Querecuto has a six-game hitting streak… Ali Castillo has gone 9-for-20 during a six-game hitting streak… rehabilitating Jarrett Parker has a six-game hitting streak.

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.

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