Tacoma won last night, 4-0 over the Sacramento River Cats, in one of the best-pitched games by the Rainiers as a team this year. But many fans will remember this game for a single play.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and Tacoma clinging to a 1-0 lead, Dillon Thomas hit a sinking line drive to center field. Sacramento’s Heliot Ramos charged the ball and tried to make a diving catch, but he missed and the ball skipped past him into the deep expanse of grass in center at Cheney Stadium.
When that happens in our park, it’s at least a triple for the batter and often an inside-the-park home run. That’s what Thomas was going for, a fast runner who was going full tilt around the bases. He circled them easily, an apparent homer, and a 2-0 lead for the Rainiers.
But wait, we’re not done.
Sacramento third baseman Arismendy Alcantara immediately started waving his arms, saying that Thomas missed third base. He wanted to make an appeal. The River Cats pitcher did so properly, with the next batter up, stepping off the rubber and throwing to Alcantara who touched the base. Home plate umpire Tyler Olson immediately called Thomas out for missing the bag.
The MiLB TV broadcast had two different views of the play available for replay, and both were inconclusive (at least to me, although I don’t have an HD monitor in my booth). You could see Thomas cut the inside of the bag with his left foot, which was on the dirt, so the question was did he hit the base with the side of his foot? The umpire thought no.
A crescendo of boos descended on the umpires for the next few minutes – the loudest booing I’ve heard at Cheney since The Inspector last showed up, and that doesn’t really count (if you know, you know).
Thomas was credited with a double, so at least he got that. And Tacoma scored three runs the next inning to make the lost run a moot point.
This was the second game with the trial run of the new larger bases. Triple-A West is using 18×18 bases instead of 15×15 bases for the second half, one of the rule changes that Major League Baseball is testing in the minors this year. The larger bases were put in place on Thursday.
Apparently we needed a 19×19 base.
YESTERDAY: Six Tacoma pitchers combined to toss a three-hit shutout as the Rainiers beat Sacramento on Friday night, 4-0. Tacoma pitchers did not allow a Sacramento baserunner to get past first. It was the second shutout pitched by Tacoma this year, with both occurring in the past two weeks. Sam Travis had a big game at the plate, hitting two doubles and driving in three runs.
TODAY: Sacramento (28-39) at Tacoma (36-31), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 5-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Sam Wolff (0-1, 2.89) at RHP Robert Dugger (0-3, 10.80)
Wolff is a pure reliever so this is a bullpen game for Sacramento. It’s Wolff’s first start since 2016, and he has never faced the Rainiers.
ROSTER MOVES: All was quiet on the roster front yesterday and, so far, today.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has gone 28-for-77 (.364) over his last 22 games… Jose Marmolejos is batting .381 in July, and he has hit seven home runs over his last 12 games… Jake Hager has had 11 of his last 15 hits go for extra bases (seven doubles and four homers)… Brian O’Keefe has a five-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento just lost five-of-six in a home series against Round Rock… former Rainiers outfielder Braden Bishop had a 16-game hitting streak and a streak of 25 straight games reaching base end last night… Arismendy Alcantara homered in five of six games during a series at Salt Lake, July 8-13… Sacramento manager Dave Brundage was the manager of the Rainiers in 2006… catcher Joey Bart is considered one of the top prospects in the league… SF Giants 2017 first round pick Heliot Ramos made his Triple-A debut on Thursday.
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:
- The Mariners got even with Oakland, taking a 4-3 decision last night and pulling back to 3.5 games out in the Wild Card chase.
- Seattle designated reliever Rafael Montero for assignment. He’ll probably get claimed by another team in the next few days.
- In the Triple-A West, Oklahoma City Dodgers catcher Keibert Ruiz hit three home runs in a 14-5 win over Sugar Land last night.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
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.
Find more information and purchase single game tickets here. Questions regarding season tickets can be directed to Tickets@WeRTacoma.com.
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.