The Rainiers have won eerily similar games against Salt Lake the last two nights, to take a two-to-one series lead.
In each game, Salt Lake had terrific starting pitching and led the game until the bottom of the ninth inning.
On Wednesday night the Rainiers were down 2-1, and Zach Green homered to send the game into extra innings. The Rainiers then won in the 12th inning on Erick Mejia’s sacrifice fly.
Last night the Rainiers were down 4-2 going to the bottom of the ninth inning, when Erick Mejia and Brian O’Keefe hit back-to-back home runs to send the game into extra innings. The Rainiers won in the tenth, when Mejia hit a bases loaded bouncer back to the mound that was misplayed and allowed the winning run to score.
So, obviously, here’s what’s going to happen tonight: Salt Lake’s starting pitcher (in this case, Federal Way native Janson Junk) is going to deal, and the Rainiers will be losing all night and enter the ninth inning trailing by three runs. Then they’ll hit three solo homers to tie the game – that’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m really looking forward to it. Then the Rainiers will win the game in extra innings with Erick Mejia driving in the final run.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers stole victory from the jaws of defeat last night, getting back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning from Erick Mejia and Brian O’Keefe to tie the game, before beating Salt Lake in the tenth inning, 5-4. Mejia walked it off for the second game in a row, this time with a bases loaded bouncer back to the mound that was misplayed, allowing Mason McCoy to score the winning run. The Rainiers won on a bullpen day, with Matt Koch earning the win after he escaped the automatic jam in the top of the tenth inning.
TODAY: Salt Lake Bees (35-40) at Tacoma Rainiers (30-44), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 10-8.
PITCHERS: RHP Janson Junk (0-2, 5.08) at RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (4-6, 7.23)
Junk is the Federal Way native (Decatur High School, Seattle University) who was Salt Lake’s opening night starter at Cheney Stadium back on April 5. Junk hasn’t pitched in a while; he was recently called up by the Angels and spent a week in the big leagues without appearing in a game.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday reliever Kyle Bird was activated from the injured list, and reliever Riley O’Brien was placed on the developmental list. Infielder Cesar Izturis Jr. rejoined the Rainiers from the Arizona Complex League.
HOT HITTERS: Jarred Kelenic has a seven-game hitting streak… Alex Blandino has reached base safely in 11 straight games, and 17 of his last 18… Erick Mejia has gone 13-for-29 at the plate over his last seven games, and he has driven in the winning run in extra innings in back-to-back games… Forrest Wall has reached base safely in 13 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 a seven-game hitting streak, with 13 hits and seven RBI… Magneuris Sierra hit .326 in the month of June… 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.
- Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times came down to Tacoma and caught up with Jarred Kelenic – good story here.
- Julio Rodriguez went deep and Cal Raleigh continued his hot hitting as the Mariners beat Oakland last night, 8-6.
- Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford has his suspension trimmed by a game and began serving it last night.
- Robinson Cano is enjoying his time with the El Paso Chihuahuas. In the story he talks about the pitch clock and robot umpires.
- First place Las Vegas lost one of its top hitters when Vimael Machin got called up by Oakland.
- The big news in the Pac-12/10 yesterday impacts college baseball too – Baseball America has a story on that.