Extra Innings Strategy Works Out For Rainiers

Tacoma returned to the field with a 3-2 win over Omaha on Tuesday night. The game was won in the tenth inning, on a walk-off wild pitch.

With each team getting an automatic runner placed at second base to start the tenth inning, minor league extra-innings strategies were on display.

Omaha did not play for one run in the top of the tenth, swinging away against Rainiers reliever Matt Carasiti. Carasiti did a terrific job of escaping the automatic jam, ultimately stranding runners at first and third. That meant the Rainiers needed only one run to win it in the bottom of the tenth.

With Kelby Tomlinson placed at second base as the automatic runner, Daren Brown had John Andreoli swing away… and he ultimately walked, which plays to Omaha’s advantage setting up a force out at three bases and a double play possibility.

Brown had new addition Daniel Castro sacrifice bunt, which he promptly did, moving the runners to second and third (after the game Brown said it was only the third time this season he has put on a sacrifice bunt sign).

Now it was Omaha’s turn to respond. They elected to intentionally walk Jake Fraley, loading the bases to set up a force at home plate and a double play possibility. The next hitter was Jose Lobaton.

Lobaton checked his swing on an 0-1 pitch, and the ball got away from catcher Nick Dini. Dini looked around and couldn’t find the ball, Tomlinson took off for the plate, and he slid in with the winning run.

The automatic runner rule in extra innings is a very Minor League Baseball rule, and I’m still not really a fan of it, but it does bring a lot of strategic small-ball elements into play.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma beat Omaha in ten innings, 3-2, when Kelby Tomlinson raced home and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. Rainiers starter Anthony Misiewicz had a great game, lasting six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) with just one walk while striking out eight.

TODAY: Omaha (48-60) at Tacoma (50-58), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Kansas City Royals.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Brian Poldberg.

SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Arnaldo Hernandez (3-7, 7.17) at LHP Sean Nolin (3-1, 3.80)

HOT HITTERS:  Jordan Pacheco has a ten-game hitting streak, and he went 7-for-11 during the three-game series at Sacramento… Jaycob Brugman is 11-for-32 with five homers over his last nine games… Ian Miller leads the PCL in stolen bases with 26, and he is tied for third on the Tacoma all-time list with 72 career steals. Miller also has a five-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Omaha has lost four straight games… most of Omaha’s hitters have much better stats in home games than away games… Kevin Gutierrez has a five-game hitting streak… outfielder Nick Heath was just promoted from Double-A where he has fifty (50) stolen bases this season, which leads all of minor league baseball.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only ex-Rainiers player on the Omaha roster is infielder Erick Mejia, who appeared in four games for Tacoma in 2015 as a fill-in player up from Everett.

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.

Links:

In the PCL:

  • San Antonio leadoff man Trent Grisham went 5-for-5 with a cycle and two home runs to lead the Missions to an 8-4 win over Sacramento. The 22-year-old Grisham is batting .381 with 13 homers in his first 34 Triple-A games.
  • Framber Valdez and Round Rock shut out Fresno, 5-0. Valdez struck out 11 over seven innings of four-hit ball.
  • Light-hitting Reno infielder Juniel Querecuto homered twice and drove in five runs as the Aces blasted Iowa, 13-7. Reno has won seven straight games – here come the Aces?
  • El Paso scored twice in the top of the tenth inning and beat Nashville, 6-4. El Paso’s lead in the Pac-South grew to two games, because…
  • Las Vegas lost at home to New Orleans, 8-7. Baby Cakes third baseman Eddy Alvarez went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBI.
  • Edmundo Sosa‘s three-run homer highlighted a six-run 5th inning for Memphis in a 6-3 win over Albuquerque.
  • Oklahoma City won at Salt Lake, 9-3, as third baseman Edwin Rios had a fun line in the box score: 1-4-1-3. The Bees walked him four times, and the one time they didn’t walk him Rios hit a three-run homer.

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