The Tacoma Rainiers closed out the longest homestand of the season in style, picking up a 9-8 victory over Albuquerque on a bases loaded drive by Drew Ellis that brought home Erick Mejia with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Tacoma ended up splitting the six-game series with Albuquerque, but lost the opening series of the homestand to Las Vegas and completed the 13-game stand with a 6-7 record.
Sunday’s finale was a fun back-and-forth game with a lot of action. Tacoma trailed 3-0 early, tied it 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth on Forrest Wall’s two-run single, fell behind two more times including 7-5 in the sixth, took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the sixth on Abraham Toro’s two-run homer, blew the lead in the ninth on a dramatic two-out RBI double by Michael Toglia, and rallied in the bottom of the ninth to win on Ellis’s hit. Phew!
After a day of rest (and a little air travel), the Rainiers are now in Salt Lake City to play a six-game series against the Bees. This is the Rainiers fourth and final trip to Salt Lake City this season – the unbalanced schedule is real, and it can be trying. Four trips to Salt Lake City in one summer?
Salt Lake has made two trips to Cheney as well, and these teams are going to play a whopping 30 games against one another. It’s been close so far, with Salt Lake leading the season series 13-11 including a 7-5 mark in games played at Smith’s Ballpark.
Only two games separate the two teams in the standings, giving Tacoma an opportunity to move into third place if they can get hot in this series. The Bees have been scuffling recently, going 8-13 over the last 21 games after a late July hot streak had pulled them to two just two games under .500 and the fringe of the pennant race.
The Bees have added some familiar names to the lineup since Tacoma last saw them one month ago. Salt Lake now has first baseman Mike Ford, who opened the season with Tacoma before going on a seven-city tour of Triple-A and MLB teams via everyone’s favorite form of transport, the waiver wire. The Bees have picked up former Sacramento outfielder Steven Duggar, and they still have the ex-Rainier Dillon Thomas as well as certified Excellent Triple-A Hitter Michael Stefanic.
All of the games this week will start at 5:35 pm Pacific time, until Sunday which is a day game at noon. We’ll have the streaming broadcast available starting ten minutes prior to first pitch, as usual.
YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Sunday the Rainiers beat Albuquerque, 9-8, on a walk-off bases loaded RBI single by Drew Ellis with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The Rainiers collected 16 hits, with everyone in the lineup getting at least one and five players getting multiples. Forrest Wall reached base four times with three singles and a walk, Abraham Toro homered and drove in three runs, and Luis Torrens had three hits including a key double in the ninth inning.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (53-64) at Salt Lake Bees (55-62), 5:35 (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 13-11.
PITCHERS: RHP Darren McCaughan (7-6, 4.77) at RHP Davis Daniel (4-5, 5.72)
ROSTER MOVES: None today as of posting time.
HOT HITTERS: Erick Mejia has a 12-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in 17 straight games… Jarred Kelenic has a seven-game hitting streak… Drew Ellis has hit four home runs over his last ten games… Mason McCoy has a five-game hitting streak, going 9-for-16 with three homers during the five games, and he has homered six times over his last 12 games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake is returning home from Reno, where the Bees lost four of six games including the last three in a row… Jake Palomaki has an eight-game hitting streak, going 12-for-28 during the streak, and he has reached base safely in 12 straight games… Matt Thaiss has a five-game hitting streak, and he has reached base in 15 straight games… Salt Lake has former Rainiers Dillon Thomas, Mike Ford, Jonathan Aro, and Brian Moran… Federal Way native Janson Junk is still with the Bees.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- The News Tribune’s weekly Rainiers Report has a lengthy section on the recovery and return of first baseman Evan White.
- With the Mariners off yesterday, Seattle Times sportswriter Ryan Divish posted a Mariners Mailbag answering several interesting questions and one dumb one.
- Sam Haggerty is dealing with some shoulder issues, but he still helped the Mariners with his legs.
- A couple of lower-level Mariners prospects appear in this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.