Rainiers Close Cheney With Walk-Off

Tacoma ended the home portion of the 2017 schedule with a flashback to the first two months of the season: a come-form-behind 3-2 walk-off victory over Salt Lake.

The team finished the year with a 41-30 record at home. That’s a good home record, but not quite what we expected after the Rainiers were nearly unbeatable at Cheney during the first two months of the season. At one point in late May, Tacoma was 18-4 in home games.

Back at the start of the year the Rainiers had several comeback wins at home, and we saw one last night for old time’s sake.

Tacoma had good pitching, but went to the bottom of the eighth inning trailing 2-0. An error allowed leadoff man Joey Wong to reach base, and eventually Gordon Beckham lined a two-out RBI single to tie the game, 2-2.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Mike Marjama coaxed a walk at the end of a long plate appearance, bringing up Andrew Aplin. Aplin pulled a ball deep into the right field corner, scoring Marjama with a game-ending RBI triple.

It was a great finish to a successful home season.

While it’s not a playoff year for the Rainiers, we had a great All-Star experience, and you guys supported the team all year. Final attendance checked in (unofficially) at 374,951 which is the third-highest total in franchise history. If not for two rain outs we would’ve easily had the highest ever, but as you know rain outs are part of the game here in the early season.

Now it’s on to Las Vegas for the final four games of the season. Vegas has lost eight straight games and has a young lineup filled with recently promoted players who are finding their way in Triple-A for the first time.

Today the league announced that Reno first baseman Christian Walker has been voted the PCL’s Most Valuable Player for 2017.

Walker is hitting .309 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI for the playoff-bound Aces. He leads all of Minor League Baseball in runs batted in, and he is tied for second in home runs.

He has also scored 103 runs, and joins Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt as the only players in pro baseball to have 30+ home runs, 100+ runs, and 100+ RBI.

Albuquerque outfielder Mike Tauchman was the runner-up.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma gave the hometown fans a thrill in the final game at Cheney Stadium, beating Salt Lake 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning on Andrew Aplin‘s game-winning RBI triple. Tacoma finished the year 41-30 at home.

Roster Moves: During last night’s game Seattle traded outfielder Leonys Martin to the Cubs for a player to be named later – hopefully he’ll get a chance to help the NL Central leaders down the stretch. The Mariners called up four Tacoma players after last night’s game – I have to wait for Seattle to announce them. Reliever Ryne Harper returns to the club today from Double-A Arkansas. Tacoma will add pitcher Chris Castellanos and outfielder Austin Grebeck from short-season Everett, and is expected to activate bullpen catcher Alexander Capriata. And upon landing in Vegas we received word that Sam Gaviglio was claimed off waivers by Kansas City.

Today: Tacoma (66-72) at Las Vegas (52-86), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 8-3.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Cody Martin (0-2, 4.18) at RHP Wilfredo Boscan (4-13, 5.72).

Hot RainiersIan Miller has had at least one hit in 31 of his 38 Triple-A games… Andrew Aplin is 4-for-8 over his last two games.

Look Out For: Phillip Evans is hot. He had four hits last night, including a homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to (briefly) tie the game, and he is 8-for-15 during a four-game hitting streak… Jeff McNeil has hit safely in eight of his last nine games… Mill Creek’s Travis Snider was recently acquired from Round Rock; he’s always dangerous in the PCL.

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.

Links:

  • Here’s the Rainiers recap from the team website.
  • Here’s the story on Leonys Martin getting traded to the Cubs. I enjoyed having him on the team: he played really hard, and he was fun in the clubhouse.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Congratulations to the Reno Aces, who clinched the Pacific-North division title last night. Reno has been an excellent team all year, but they backed into the title by losing at Albuquerque last night, 3-0. They got shut out by Yency Almonte and the ‘Topes bullpen.
  • The reason Reno clinched is because Fresno lost at El Paso, 5-1. The Chihuahuas are now tied with Salt Lake for first place in the Pac-South, with four games to play. El Paso owns the tiebreaker.
  • Sacramento beat Las Vegas in the bottom of the ninth inning, 8-7, on Juan Ciriaco‘s game-winning hit. Vegas has lost eight in a row and is close to a franchise record for losses.
  • Taylor Jungmann and Colorado Springs shut out Round Rock, 4-0, in a playoff tune-up for the ‘Springs.
  • Wilmer Font won Pitcher of the Year, Alex Verdugo is getting called up, and the Oklahoma City Dodgers lost to a team called the Baby Cakes, 3-2.
  • Harvey hit Tennessee. Both Iowa at Memphis and Omaha at Nashville were cancelled due to rain.
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