The other acronym for PCL has been on full display this week at Cheney Stadium. We’re not talking about the Pacific Coast League PCL. This has been the Potential Comeback League PCL.
The Rainiers, as we discussed in yesterday’s post, had back-to-back ninth inning comebacks and won in extra innings on both Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday night we nearly had another.
Once against Salt Lake was leading the game all night. Jo Adell launched a three-run homer in the top of the first inning, and once again the Bees starting pitcher was tough. We eventually reached the bottom of the ninth inning, and Salt Lake was leading the game 4-2.
Understandably, Salt Lake manager Lou Marson tried his third different closer in as many days, this time turning to Jose Marte. Scott Heineman led off with a single to left. After an out, Jarred Kelenic roped a double to the right field corner. Heineman scored all the way from first base to make it 4-3, and Kelenic represented the tying run out at second base with one out. It certainly felt like it was happening again for the Rainiers.
Even after Alex Blandino grounded out for the second out, the comeback still felt like it was happening. Erick Mejia was the batter, the guy who had driven in the winning run in extra innings on both Wednesday and Thursday. But this time the Bees got Mejia out with the game on the line, as Marte struck him out to seal the victory for Salt Lake.
The six-game series is now tied, 2-2. Game five tonight starts at 7:05 – I’m noting that because all of our Saturday home games up to this point have started at 5:05, but we move them back to 7:05 during the summer months of July and August. Don’t mistakenly show up way too early!
YESTERDAY: Salt Lake slugger Jo Adell hit a three-run homer in the top of the first inning and the Bees led the entire game, holding on for a 4-3 win over Tacoma on Friday night. Alex Blandino, Scott Heineman, and Jarred Kelenic each had two hits for Tacoma, and the Rainiers bullpen pitched three scoreless innings to keep comeback hopes alive.
TODAY: Salt Lake Bees (36-40) at Tacoma Rainiers (30-45), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 11-8.
PITCHERS: RHP Cesar Valdez (5-3, 3.36) at RHP Darren McCaughan (5-4, 5.09)
This could be a pitcher’s duel. Both starters are capable of pitching deep into games.
ROSTER MOVES: The Rainiers didn’t have any moves yesterday and may not have any today.
HOT HITTERS: Jarred Kelenic has an eight-game hitting streak, going 16-for-40 with two homers during it… Alex Blandino has reached base safely in 12 straight games, and 18 of his last 19… Erick Mejia drove in the winning run in extra innings in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday… Forrest Wall has reached base safely in 14 straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake entered the series having won two straight games, prior to that they had lost 11 of 12 including a six-game sweep in Albuquerque… infielder Kean Wong has an eight-game hitting streak, with 14 hits and seven RBI… Magneuris Sierra hit .326 in the month of June, and he has a six-game hitting streak… the Bees have three former Rainiers in their bullpen: Jonathan Aro, Brian Moran, and Zack Weiss. Former Rainiers outfielder Dillon Thomas rejoined Salt Lake on Wednesday.
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.