We witnessed a truly rare event on Saturday night: an inside-the-park grand slam.
Shed Long blasted a drive off the fence in deep left-center at Cheney Stadium, under the video board where the shorter left field fence meets the giant wall in center, and the ball bounced away from two outfielders allowing Long and everyone else to scamper around the bases for the inside-the-parker. There was no play at home plate.
This is truly a rarity. An inside-the-park home run itself only happens once or twice an entire season. Hitting one of those with the bases loaded is rare air.
We’re trying to find the last Tacoma player to do this, and it may have been decades ago. For comparison, the Salt Lake franchise has kept meticulous records since re-joining the PCL in 1994, and they have had only one inside-the-park grand slam in 25 years (that’s for or against them). It happened to come against Tacoma (July 24, 2011, hit by Jeremy Moore in Salt Lake City on a fly ball lost in the sun by Rainiers left fielder Carlos Peguero).
I’m still researching some past games. For example, I need to check Wladimir Balentien‘s time with Tacoma, he had a knack for performing rare tricks like this. Someone vaguely recalled Luis Ugueto may have done it; I checked his homers and found an inside-the-parker but it wasn’t a slam.
If any readers think they recall seeing an inside-the-park grand slam hit by a Rainiers player, please message me or leave a comment and I’ll try to check it out.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma was clinging to a 3-2 lead going to the bottom of the eighth inning when the Rainiers erupted for their biggest rally of the season, a nine-run inning, and beat Salt Lake 12-3. Shed Long‘s inside-the-park grand slam capped the rally, which saw 14 batters come to the plate. Kristopher Negron went 5-for-5 in the game, including his third home run in the past four days.
ROSTER MOVES: Prior to yesterday’s game, infielder Ryan Court and reliever Aaron Northcraft were activated from the Injured List, and catcher Brennon Kaleiwahea was transferred to extended spring training.
TODAY: Salt Lake (35-46) at Tacoma (40-42), 1:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 6-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Matt Ball (0-1, 4.05) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-7, 7.23)
HOT HITTERS: John Andreoli has reached base in 13 straight and 21 of his last 23 games, and he is 16-for-46 with four homers and 15 walks over the last 13 games… Ian Miller has a seven-game hitting streak, and he is tied for second in the PCL with 24 doubles… Kristopher Negron has a seven-game hitting streak, and he has reached base via hit or walk in 11 straight games… Shed Long has a five-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just got swept at home in a four-game series by Reno, and they have lost eight of the last nine games… Brennan Lund saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end yesterday… Jarrett Parker broke the Salt Lake franchise record by homering in six straight games last week. He’s hit safely in ten of his last 12 games… Roberto Pena has hit in 12 of his last 13 games.
FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers with Salt Lake include pitcher J.C. Ramirez, infielder Ty Kelly, and catcher Ryan Scott.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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.
- Shed Long told The News Tribune that the inside-the-park grand slam was “one of the dopest moments of my career.” The paper also posted a pregame Rainiers Notebook.
- The Mariners lost another one-run game in Houston.
- Matt Calkins wrote about Ketel Marte, the former Rainiers infielder who is having a huge season for Arizona.
- At Double-A Arkansas, Justus Sheffield carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning last night. He’s had impressive results since joining the Travelers.
In the PCL:
- Fresno’s Andrew Stevenson had three hits and drove in two runs to help the Grizzlies take down El Paso, 9-4.
- Sacramento starter Yoanys Quiala tossed seven shutout innings as the River Cats coasted to a 6-1 win over Albuquerque.
- Reno tied the non-asterisked* PCL record by belting nine homers in a 20-9 win at Las Vegas. Domingo Leyba had five hits with two homers, and J.R. Murphy also hit a pair of homers.
- Ex-Rainiers outfielder Cameron Perkins homered and drove in four runs in the Dodgers 10-7 win at Nashville.
- Iowa blasted San Antonio, 12-2, as James Adduci, Taylor Davis, and Trent Giambrone each had three hits.
- Bubba Starling drove in all of Omaha’s runs in a 3-2 win at Round Rock.
- New Orleans starter Hector Noesi pitched into the eighth inning and the Cakes held off Memphis, 6-3.
* Will all of the 2019 home run records be asterisked after the season? They might be, or else most of the PCL’s home run records will be set in 2019.