After missing in the first two tries, the Tacoma Rainiers got their first extra-innings win of the season in the road trip opener at Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
It looked like we were going to have a real slugfest on our hands when the Rainiers sent ten men to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs and knocking out Las Vegas starting pitcher Colin Peluse. That was before Las Vegas immediately got two runs back in the bottom of the first.
But things settled down, with the Rainiers eventually building a 6-2 lead as Brian O’Keefe hit a couple of home runs. The homers were O’Keefe’s 100th and 101st of his minor league career – and No. 100 landed in the swimming pool behind the right-center fence at Las Vegas Ballpark.
Las Vegas fought back, tying the game 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh inning, and threatened to take the lead. The Aviators had runners at first and third with no outs, and Tacoma manager John Russell went to the bullpen for left-hander Rob Kaminsky. Kaminsky came through with some clutch relief pitching, escaping the jam and preserving the tie.
It remained 7-7 until the tenth. Tacoma appeared to be in danger of not scoring the automatic runner before Cooper Hummel connected on a two-out, two-run triple to the right field corner. It was the fifth time reaching base in the game for Hummel, who had three hits and two walks.
Matt Festa got three straight ground ball outs in the bottom of the tenth to secure the save, and the Rainiers had their first overtime win of the season.
All three of the Rainiers extra-inning games have come on the road so far this year, and it was great to see the team win one in the opener of a long road trip.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers won in ten innings at Las Vegas, 9-8. Tied 7-7 after nine, Cooper Hummel hit a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the tenth that stood up as the game winner. Brian O’Keefe homered twice early in the game, raising his team-leading total to eight. Tacoma received excellent relief from Rob Kaminsky, Riley O’Brien, Ryder Ryan, and Matt Festa over the final four innings.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (13-8) at Las Vegas Aviators (9-13), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Konner Wade (0-0, 4.50) at LHP Hogan Harris (0-1, 4.32)
I sure hope Mariners Class-A farmhand Hogan Windish reaches Triple-A while Hogan Harris is still in the league, so we can have a righteous hoagie battle.
ROSTER MOVES: None as of posting time.
HOT HITTERS: Mike Ford has 12 RBI over the past four games… Zach DeLoach has reached base safely in 16 of his 17 games played… Cesar Hernandez has gone 6-for-8 during a four-game hitting streak, he has reached base safely in 17 of his 18 games, and in the El Paso series he was 4-for-11 with 12 walks… Taylor Trammell has a six-game hitting streak… Kean Wong has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: After opening the season 2-10, Las Vegas has started playing better recently. They just won four-of-six on the road at Sugar Land… J.J. Belday has reached base in ten straight games, and he has homered in his last two… Tyler Soderstrom is the top prospect on the team, he was the A’s first round pick in 2020 and is just 21-years-old. His father Steve pitched in the PCL for Fresno in 1998 and 1999… the Aviators have one former Rainiers player, and it’s a blast from the past: pitcher Joe Wieland, the last Tacoma pitcher to win 14 games when he went 14-6 for the 2016 Rainiers.
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 won the road trip opener at Philadelphia last night, 5-3.
- Seattle shook up the order of the starting rotation.
- For subscribers to The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal has an in-depth look at Jarred Kelenic‘s offseason and the changes he implemented to make himself better.
- The Las Vegas newspaper polled some fans at last night’s game and learned that people are excited about MLB coming to town, but they are not excited that it will be the A’s.