Tacoma designated hitter Mike Ford had a monstrous performance on Friday night, launching three homers and driving in eight runs as the Tacoma Rainiers beat El Paso, 10-2.
Ford connected right away in the first inning, lifting a Julio Teheran curveball high into the sky, down the right field line, over the fence and into a tree for a two-run shot.
The very next inning he came to the plate with the bases loaded, again facing Teheran. This time he got a 90 mph fastball over the plate and pulled another high fly to right field, this one straight over the right fielder’s head for a grand slam. It was Tacoma’s first grand slam of the season, and it gave the Rainiers a 7-0 lead.
Ford made outs in his next two at-bats before coming to the plate a final time in the eighth inning. Now facing veteran reliever Aaron Brooks with a man on, Ford rocketed an offspeed pitch to right field for his third and final homer of the game.
The eight RBI in one game is a career-high for Ford. However, the three home runs are not! Playing at Low-A Charleston in 2014, Ford hit four home runs in one game for the Yankees affiliate – a truly rare feat. In that game he had five RBI. Fun fact about that game: Ford out-homered his teammate Aaron Judge, four to one.
Last night’s game marked the first three-homer performance by a Tacoma Rainiers hitter since Zach Green hit a trio of dingers on the Fourth of July last season at Reno. Bombs bursting in air, indeed.
Let’s see what Ford has in store for us as a follow-up tonight. Two games are left on this homestand, and he sure seems to enjoy hitting here at Cheney Stadium.
YESTERDAY: Mike Ford launched three home runs and had a career-high eight RBI as the Rainiers beat El Paso, 10-2. Ford hit a pair of two-run homers and a grand slam. Jose Rodriguez pitched six innings of one-run baseball to earn the win. Tacoma pitchers did not walk an opposing batter for the first time this season.
TODAY: El Paso Chihuahuas (7-12) at Tacoma Rainiers (10-8), 6:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Phillip Wellman.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 3-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Matt Waldron (0-2, 11.93) at RHP Darren McCaughan (1-0, 5.40)
Waldron throws a knuckleball with nearly half of his pitches. McCaughan is making his first appearance since returning from a stint with Seattle.
ROSTER MOVES: Reliever A.J. Puckett was transferred back to Double-A Arkansas to make room for Tommy Milone on the roster.
HOT HITTERS: Mike Ford had a decent game last night… Zach DeLoach has reached base safely in 15 of his 16 games played… Cesar Hernandez has reached base safely in 14 of his 15 games, and in this series he is 1-for-7 with nine walks… Cade Marlowe has a four-game hitting streak… Brian O’Keefe is sitting on 99 career minor league home runs.
OPPONENT NEWS: Despite having Fernando Tatis Jr. in the lineup, the Chihuahuas just lost four of six home games to Albuquerque… Tim Lopes homered in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday, and he is 10-for-17 in this series… the Chee-Wahs are loaded with ex-Rainiers. Domingo Tapia, Tim Lopes, Jantzen Witte, and Luis Liberato have all played for Tacoma, and their trainer Josh Diloreto was also once with Tacoma.
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 Mariners got back on track with a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. George Kirby pitched well and A.J. Pollock had the big hit.
- Dylan Moore‘s rehabilitation assignment with Everett did not go well. Ryan Divish has the update.
- The Las Vegas newspaper has an article that addresses the future of the Aviators, and it sounds like they are staying.
- Frequent travelers want to know: is the Oakland Airport still going to open it’s Oakland A’s Clubhouse Restaurant with the team moving to Las Vegas? Yes it is. On a trip to Berkeley last fall I was stunned when I saw this was under construction. Palm, meet face.
- In the PCL, Albuquerque’s Brenton Doyle hit a walk-off homer to beat Oklahoma City, 4-3.