The Rainiers rode the bats of their three hot hitters and jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning last night, and then held on for their dear lives and won in Salt Lake City, 7-6.
The win avoided a series sweep at the hand of the Bees, who are surging right now as they try to win the Pac-South division title.
This game was similar to so many the Rainiers have played in Salt Lake City over the years. Build a big early lead, with the lineup crushing extra base hits, and then see the Bees bullpen come in and quiet things down. Tacoma holds a big lead in the middle innings, and then here come the Bees… I don’t think we’ve ever had an easy ninth inning in Salt Lake City. The Bees are relentless in their own park.
Last night it was Dan Altavilla entering the game with one out in the eighth, and the tying runners on base. He got out of that, but then allowed a run and loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before striking out Sherman Johnson to end it.
So we avoided the sweep! Now it is four games at home against defending PCL champion El Paso, which is chasing Salt Lake in the Pac-South standings.
Yesterday: Tacoma jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning, led by the hot bats of Taylor Motter, Dan Vogelbach, and Gordon Beckham, and held on for a 7-6 win in Salt Lake City on Friday night. Dan Altavilla had to deal with some serious issues in the eighth and ninth innings and nailed down a very difficult save. Tacoma avoided being swept in the series, and opens a four-game homestand tonight.
Roster Moves: Yesterday the Rainiers sent reliever Ryne Harper to Double-A Arkansas. Apparently this is because they were short and needed a guy – not a merit-based demotion.
Today: El Paso (62-64) at Tacoma (62-64), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.
Season Series: El Paso leads, 7-5.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Dillon Overton (5-5, 7.44) at RHP Max Povse (1-2, 9.77).
DFA’d by the Mariners earlier this season, I think that Overton might be fired up for this start.
Hot Rainiers: Shawn O’Malley had his nine-game hitting streak end yesterday… Gordon Beckham has back-to-back games with four RBI… Taylor Motter has gone 14-for-21 with two homers and six RBI over his last five games… Dan Vogelbach has hit .343 with six homers and a .994 OPS since the all-star break.
Look Out For: Chase d’Arnaud has a seven-game hitting streak… outfielder Franchy Cordero leads the PCL with 15 triples, and he’s hit three more in the big leagues this year… ex-Rainier Jabari Blash is here, and as you know he hits bombs. Don’t let him get his arms extended!
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.
- Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson was respectful of the Rainiers in defeat, as you can read in the Salt Lake Tribune’s game story.
- Erasmo Ramirez was dealing against his former team and the Mariners coasted to a win at Tampa Bay. Nice start to a 12-game road trip! Three takeaways from the game.
PCL Game Reports:
- Defending PCL champion El Paso is very optimistic about winning the Pac-South after beating Albuquerque last night, 8-1.
- And we are tied again atop the Pac-North. Reno lost to Sacramento, 7-3, as Mac Williamson went 4-for-4 and drove in a pair.
- Fresno pulled into a tie with Reno by walking off Las Vegas, 3-2. Tony “you’re blocking me, Jose Altuve” Kemp had the game-winning hit.
- Colorado Springs got back on track with a 7-3 win at Iowa. The game was tied 2-2 until the top of the eighth when the Sky Sox scored four runs.
- Oklahoma City fell seven games behind the Springs in the American-North when they got smoked at Omaha, 10-1.
- Round Rock’s Nick Martinez snuffed out the Baby Cakes, 3-0 in New Orleans.
- Renato Nunez hit his PCL-leading 32nd home run in Nashville’s 8-7 win at Memphis.