One of the many great results of the return of the Pacific Coast League name is that it brings back our favorite alternate PCL definition: the Potential Comeback League.
The alternate PCL was out in force on Tuesday night in Albuquerque, as the Rainiers spoiled the Isotopes home opener by coming back from an 8-1 deficit to win in ten innings, 10-9.
On a freezing cold, extremely windy night in Albuquerque the Isotopes were rolling early. PCL veteran Scott Schebler lifted a grand slam down the right field line in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving the Isotopes an 8-1 lead.
The Rainiers showed some fight right away, responding with four runs in the top of the fifth inning to make it 8-5. The rally included five hits, and it was the Rainiers biggest inning of the season so far.
Albuquerque added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Tim Lopes solo homer, but the Rainiers got that one back in the top of the sixth with an RBI single from Mike Ford to make it 9-6. Incredibly, that would be the Rainiers last hit of the game – which they won, 10-9.
It was still 9-6 when we got to the ninth. Tacoma scored three runs without a hit, drawing five walks and reaching once on a fielder’s choice. Two wild pitches contributed to the rally.
The key at-bat went to Donovan Walton, when he came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, Albuquerque leading 9-8. Facing reliever Nate Griep, Walton worked a full count, fouled off three pitches, and then took ball four to force in the tying run.
Penn Murfee pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth, and we went to extra innings for the first time this season. Each team had the automatic runner placed at second base to start the inning.
Marcus Wilson was the Rainiers automatic runner, and he made a big play by stealing third base with one out. That allowed him to score the go-ahead run on Zach Green’s sacrifice fly.
Murfee was able to work a scoreless bottom of the tenth, getting a huge strikeout when runners were at second and third with one out.
Former Rainier and Mariners first round draft pick D.J. Peterson flew out to end the game, putting a bit of a downer on what otherwise was a good night: in his first affiliated game since 2019, Peterson went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer.
All told it was a surprising and satisfying win for the Rainiers, and their first big comeback of the 2022 season.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers came back from an 8-1 deficit to stun the Albuquerque Isotopes on Tuesday night, 10-9 in ten innings. Zach Green led the way with three doubles and two RBI, and Donovan Walton reached base five times (two hits and three walks). Penn Murfee was the star from the ‘pen, pitching scoreless ball in the ninth and tenth innings.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (3-4) at Albuquerque Isotopes (1-6), 5:35 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Warren Schaeffer.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (0-1, 4.50) at LHP Dillon Overton (0-1, 9.00)
ROSTER MOVES: No moves yet at blog posting time – we may have a transaction-free day!
HOT HITTERS: Zach Green has hit safely in five of his six games played… he’s only played in two games, but Donovan Walton is 4-for-8.
OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque had a rough opening series, dropping five of six games at Oklahoma City… third baseman Elehuris Montero is considered the top prospect on the ‘Topes roster… former Rainiers infielder and Mariners 2013 first round draft pick D.J. Peterson is on the Albuquerque roster, but he has not appeared in a game… former Rainiers now with the ‘Topes include Tim Lopes, Zach Lee, Dillon Overton, and their hitting coach Jordan Pacheco.
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.
- Here’s the game report from the Albuquerque Journal.
- The Santa Fe newspaper has a story on the Rainiers-Isotopes game, which also covers some big picture items about future plans for Albuquerque baseball.
- D.J. Peterson is fired up to be playing for Albuquerque.
- Matt Brash looked good in his MLB debut, but the Mariners offense isn’t clicking yet and they lost to the White Sox, 3-2.
- Elsewhere in the PCL, there were home openers in El Paso, Reno, and Sugar Land. Salt Lake’s opener against Las Vegas was rained out and they hope to play a doubleheader today.