The Tacoma Rainiers return home today, and just in time for the start of a heat wave we have a 12:05 first pitch for the series opener against the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Tacoma played three close games in Salt Lake City over the weekend, but they lost two including a 12-inning thriller on Sunday night. That game saw the Rainiers take a 4-3 lead in the top of the 12th inning, only to have Salt Lake walk it off on Kean Wong’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning.
It took a miracle for the Rainiers to even get to the 12th inning – more specifically, it took a miraculous play by right fielder Marcus Wilson.
With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Salt Lake had runners at second and third with one out. Bees batter Jake Palomaki hit a low line drive to shallow right field, and it appeared as if it was going to fall in as the game winning hit. But Marcus Wilson charged in and made a diving catch, and then threw home to catcher Joe Odom who tagged Jack Mayfield at the plate for a (temporarily) game-saving double play.
Check out the video – the first base camera angle doesn’t do it justice, but still:
Wow Marcus Wilson makes the diving catch & throws the winning run out at the plate! pic.twitter.com/71uMELxus2
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 25, 2022
It was unfortunate that the Rainiers lost the next inning and didn’t get to truly celebrate that awesome play afterwards.
Now the San Diego Padres affiliate El Paso arrives in town, and Tacoma has not played them yet this season. El Paso has been one of the league’s better teams this year, currently 11 games over .500 and just two games out of first place in the East division.
You will notice that the Chihuahuas hitters have high batting averages, as well as big home run and RBI totals. The Chihuahuas play at a great hitter’s ballpark, and they have really high-scoring games at their home field (their pitchers have high ERAs, too).
We’ll have a battle of rehabilitating major leaguers, with Mitch Haniger expected to play for Tacoma and Wil Myers continuing a rehab assignment for El Paso. Reportedly, we could see Taylor Trammell return later in the homestand.
And finally, I must apologize in advance to the broadcast listeners for the upcoming Eguy Rosario jokes. He’s an El Paso infielder, and Triple-A rookie, and he’s having a really good season. And his first name is pronounced “eggy.” Move over Seth Beer, we have a new name to have fun with.
YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Sunday the Rainiers lost at Salt Lake in the 12th inning, 5-4, in one of the most entertaining but ultimately unsatisfying games of the season so far. The Rainiers had an outstanding start from Darren McCaughan and took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, only to see Jake Gatewood tied the game with a two-run homer. Even with an automatic runner placed at second base neither team could score in the tenth and 11th innings, with the Rainiers making several great defensive plays to momentarily save the game. Mason McCoy doubled home a run in the top of the 12th, but Salt Lake loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th and Kean Wong ripped the game-winning hit.
TODAY: El Paso Chihuahuas (52-41) at Tacoma Rainiers (39-53), 12:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Jared Sandberg.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Luke Westphal (2-1, 4.64) at LHP Austin Warner (2-2, 5.79)
Warner is making another spot-start today, as scheduled starter Konner Wade is being pushed back a couple days due to illness (not Covid, just sick).
ROSTER MOVES: Rehabilitating Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger joins the Rainiers today. Seattle is going to have to make a roster move today to activate listed starting pitcher George Kirby, who is currently on the Tacoma roster.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy has a seven-game hitting streak… Brian O’Keefe and Forrest Wall have four-game hitting streaks.
OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso comes in to town on a four-game losing streak, but is only two games out of first place in the East… Luis Liberato is on a tear just in time to face his former team, hitting six homers in 15 games this month and carrying a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s contest… C.J. Hinojosa has a nine-game hitting streak… Taylor Kohlwey leads the PCL with a .338 batting average… El Paso has former Rainiers Ray Kerr and Aaron Northcraft in its bullpen… manager Jared Sandberg is a former Seattle Mariners coach and is from Olympia.
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 has its almost weekly edition of Tacoma Rainiers notes.
- A three-game losing streak ended for the Mariners with a 4-3 win over Texas last night.
- This notebook from the Times has information on upcoming rehabilitation assignments for Mitch Haniger, Taylor Trammell, and Evan White.
- The Mariners have a couple of outfielders who are day-to-day with minor injuries, not severe enough to require reinforcements.
- Former Rainiers catcher Mike Zunino, an all-star for Tampa last year who has been injured for much of this season, is done for the year.
- Got an extra ten million lying around? The finest known copy of Mickey Mantle‘s rookie card is up for auction.