The Rainiers won the opening game of the Sacramento series on Thursday night, and it was not easy.
It seemed like it was going to be easy. Ryan Weber was terrific for the first seven innings, matching Sacramento’s Sammy Long in a pitcher’s duel. Long left after five innings, and the Rainiers took advantage of a wild rehabilitating Reyes Moronta to score three runs in the seventh and grab a 5-2 lead. Marcus Wilson connected for a key two-run double during that rally.
It was still 5-2 going to the bottom of the ninth when Sacramento tied the game on a solo homer, a walk, two infield singles, and a two-out blooper by Jason Krizan. Off to extra innings we went.
With the automatic runner placed at second base to start the inning, each team scored twice in the tenth. The 11th inning was the opposite, with each team failing to score their automatic runner. Darin Gillies pitched the bottom of the 11th with the game on the line and was able to escape the automatic jam.
In the 12th Sacramento reliever Yunior Marte struck out the first two hitters he faced, and it appeared that the Rainiers were going to strand their automatic runner again. But Sacramento elected to intentionally walk Donovan Walton in order to pitch to Jantzen Witte, who was having a rough one (0-for-5 with four K’s). The strategy backfired: Witte reached on an infield single to load the bases, Taylor Trammell walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run, Brian O’Keefe took four straight balls to bring in another, and Jose Marmolejos singled to make it 10-7.
That took care of it. The Rainiers matched the longest game of the season – opening day also went 12 innings, back on May 6 – and ended their three-game losing streak.
Reno was rained out in Salt Lake City last night and is hoping to play a doubleheader today, so for the moment the Rainiers are 1.5 games out of first place.
YESTERDAY: The third time was the charm as the Rainiers outlasted Sacramento in 12 innings on Thursday night, 9-7. A 5-2 lead in the ninth disappeared, as did a 7-5 lead in the tenth, but the two runs in the top of the 12th were enough for the win. Jose Marmolejos hit an early two-run homer and singled in a run in extra innings. Darin Gillies pitched clutch relief, escaping the automatic-runner-at-second jam in both the 11th and 12th innings. Ryan Weber had another strong start for Tacoma, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs, leaving with a 5-2 lead.
TODAY: Tacoma (52-39) at Sacramento (38-52), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 9-4.
PITCHERS: LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 27.00) at RHP Logan Ondrusek (0-0, 3.12)
This will be the second rehabilitation start for Sheffield. In his first game he had good stuff, but his control was obviously rusty. Ondrusek, a very tall 36-year-old veteran, was recently signed out of the Mexican League.
ROSTER MOVES: Outfielder Luis Liberato has been placed on the injured list with a concussion he suffered while attempting a diving catch in Sunday’s game.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has a 11-game hitting streak, and he has gone 51-for-138 (.370) over his last 35 games… Sam Travis has gone 26-for-82 (.317) over his last 20 games… Jack Reinheimer has reached base in 15 straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has lost five straight, but prior to that they won seven of nine… the Giants have loaded the Sacramento roster with MLB veterans for the stretch run, to provide insurance as the big club attempts to win the National League West… former Rainiers and Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop has hit safely in six straight games, with two home runs… Bryce Johnson has reached base in ten straight games… highly ranked prospect Heliot Ramos hit his first Triple-A home run on Saturday at Salt Lake… catching prospect Joey Bart has been out with a quad injury.
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.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Seattle finished the road sweep of the Texas Rangers with an extra-innings win that was eerily similar to the Rainiers win last night.
- Mariners skipper Scott Servais got emotional after the win.
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About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.