It’s here, the biggest day of the year for the Tacoma Rainiers: the annual July 3rd Fireworks game.
Cheney Stadium is going to be full, the Rainiers will be decked out in specialty jerseys, we’ll have pregame festivities, and the fireworks show will be spectacular. There may be a few tickets left – act quickly if you need ’em, and know that they’ll probably be standing room only.
On the field, the Rainiers could use a win. After winning the opening game of this five-game series against Salt Lake, Tacoma has dropped three in a row. The team would like to put on a good show for the big crowd and end the homestand with a win.
While it went against the Rainiers last night, we did see the type of amazing moment that makes sports great. It was unfortunate for Tacoma, but it’s worth recapping.
Tacoma had a 5-3 lead in the second game of the doubleheader, we were in the final inning, and Salt Lake had a runner at first base.
There were two outs, and the batter was Jose Rojas. The count was no balls, two strikes. The Rainiers were one strike away from winning the game.
Rojas was having a rough day. He had struck out in six consecutive at-bats, and there he was with an 0-2 count and the game on the line. Another strikeout seemed imminent, and we were getting ready to go home.
But Rojas connected on the next pitch, driving a long game-tying home run to right field, ultimately sending the game to extra innings. What a moment for Salt Lake’s designated hitter.
We ended up playing three more innings before Salt Lake finally won. Rojas had one more plate appearance during that time. He struck out.
YESTERDAY: Salt Lake pulled off the rare doubleheader sweep last night, breaking open a close first game for a 9-1 win, then taking the second game in ten innings, 7-6. There was over seven hours of baseball at Cheney Stadium last night, with the second game finally ending at 12:28 AM. Nick Tropeano pitched six scoreless innings in the opener to earn the win for the Bees. Kaleb Cowart had the game-winning hit in the top of the tenth for Salt Lake in the nightcap.
TODAY: Salt Lake (38-46) at Tacoma (40-45), 7:20.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 6-6.
PITCHERS: LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-4, 7.05) at LHP Jon Niese (4-2, 4.55)
HOT HITTERS: Kristopher Negron has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has reached base via hit or walk in 13 straight games… John Andreoli has reached base 34 times over his last 15 games… Ian Miller has reached base in ten straight games, and he is tied with Tim Lopes for the PCL lead in stolen bases with 21… Jaycob Brugman has homered four times over his last seven games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Kaleb Cowart is 7-for-17 during this series… Jarrett Parker broke the Salt Lake franchise record by homering in six straight games last week… Roberto Pena has hit in 13 of his last 14 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 7:05 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.
- Coincidentally, there happens to be a feature on Jose Rojas in one of the Salt Lake City papers today.
- The Mariners won in the late innings of the opening game of an interleague series against St. Louis.
In the PCL:
- All-star Fresno outfielder Yadiel Hernandez went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI to help the Grizzlies to an 11-9 win at El Paso. Hernandez is batting .351 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI.
- Sacramento starter Andrew Suarez pitched a brilliant game, going eight innings allowing one hit and no runs during the River Cats’ 11-2 win over Albuquerque.
- Las Vegas held off Reno, 8-7, despite two more homers from Kevin Cron (that’s 29 now for the league leader). Vegas infielder Corban Joseph homered, he’s hitting .391. It would be fun to see a run at .400, which we have not seen in the PCL for quite some time.
- Matt Davidson homered and drove in three runs, leading Nashville to a 6-4 win over Oklahoma City.
- San Antonio starter Burch Smith allowed one run over six innings in a 2-1 win over Iowa. Jake Hager hit a go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.
- Omaha and Round Rock were tied 4-4 after nine, the Storm Chasers scored two in the top of the tenth, and then Taylor Jones whacked a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the tenth for a 7-6 win.
- New Orleans and Memphis split a doubleheader, with each team winning 4-3. Baby Cakes all-star Isan Diaz homered in both games, giving him 20 on the year. Memphis won the second game on a game-ending two-run blast by Adolis Garcia.