Shed Long introduced himself to the Tacoma Rainiers die-hard fans on Wednesday night, and I think they like him.
On a cold, damp night at the ballpark, Long sent everybody home with a massive walk-off home run, culminating a 4-for-4 night. The Rainiers beat El Paso, 7-5, and are going for a three-game series sweep tonight.
Long’s moon shot came off left-handed reliever Sammy Solis, who has spent big chunks of the last three seasons in the Washington Nationals bullpen. Long is a left-handed hitter, but he has been stroking PCL lefties so far this season to the tune of a .429 average (6-for-14 with one homer).
The ball went soaring over the scoreboard in right-center. Here’s the highlight, in case you missed it:
Tacoma has played two home games this season, and has had two walk-off victories. The 2018 Tacoma Rainiers had only two walk-off wins all season!
Another early season trend: the Rainiers have won three games, and they have trailed at some point in all three of them.
Of Tacoma’s seven games, four have been decided in either the ninth or extra innings.
Now let’s see if the Rainiers can finish off these little doggies.
YESTERDAY: Shed Long‘s first Triple-A home run was a bomb over the scoreboard in right-center, a two-run walk-off job that gave Tacoma a 7-5 win on Wednesday night. Long finished the game 4-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Hitting right in front of Long in the lineup, Jose Lobaton went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. The duo accounted for eight of Tacoma’s 12 hits in the game.
TODAY: El Paso (1-6) at Tacoma (3-4), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Edwin Rodriguez.
SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Cal Quantrill (0-1, 18.00) at RHP Tyler Danish (0-1, 38.57)
Each starter is looking to bounce back from a tough first outing of the season.
HOT HITTERS: Braden Bishop had his first hitless game last night… Kristopher Negron, Austin Nola, and J.P. Crawford each have a five-game hitting streak… Jose Lobaton has a four-game hitting streak, including a four-hit performance last night.
OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso lost four-of-five at home to the Las Vegas Aviators and brings a five-game losing streak into tonight’s contest… Josh Naylor has hit safely in the season’s first seven games. The 21-year-old Naylor was the 12th pick in the first round of the 2015 draft.
FAMILIAR FACES: Seth Mejias-Brean – the Rainiers third baseman for the last season-and-a-half – is now with El Paso after signing with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason. They also have former Rainiers outfielder Boog Powell on the injured list.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 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.
- We have a Rainiers game story with reaction from Shed Long.
- Apparently the Mariners have signed veteran pitcher Neftali Feliz to a minor league deal. He pitched for Reno last year; he can work as either a starter or a reliever.
- Mitch Haniger homered in the ninth inning to put the Mariners ten games over .500.
- The Mariners are playing “bash ball.”
In the PCL:
- Albuquerque’s Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle – with an extra homer, why not – in a the Isotopes 13-2 win at Reno. Cuevas and the ‘Topes arrive in Tacoma tomorrow for a five-game series.
- Salt Lake was supposed to play a doubleheader against Fresno because they were rained out on Tuesday. They got one game in – a 2-0 Fresno win behind Kyle McGowin – but the second game was suspended in the third inning with Fresno leading 8-1. We have a feature on Salt Lake Bees GM Marc Amicone.
- Game Two at the new ballpark in Las Vegas brought the Aviators a 5-1 win in front of over 9,000 fans. There still hasn’t been a homer at the new ballyard.
- Like Tacoma, the San Antonio Missions are doing the walk-off thing. Mauricio Dubon hit a walk-off RBI single for the second game in a row to beat Memphis, 6-5.
- Speaking of walk-offs, Round Rock’s Nick Tanielu – a Washington State product – hit a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Express a 9-5 win over Nashville.
- Oklahoma City escaped Omaha with an eight-inning 7-5 win over the Storm Chasers. The game was called early due to lightning.
- New Orleans and Iowa got rained out in Des Moines.