For the time being, two Tacoma pitchers are heading in different directions.
One is Erasmo Ramirez, a Nicaragua native who started out in the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen in April but has been stretched out in recent weeks as a starter for the Rainiers.
Ramirez was brilliant Friday, pitching seven-plus no-hit innings against Salt Lake.
But he did give up a two-run home run to Drew Heid with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Bees won, 2-0, at Cheney Stadium.
Forrest Snow is the other pitcher in this scenario. He is from up the road in Mercer Island, and after 11 rocky and largely unsuccessful starts to begin the season, he has been put in the bullpen indefinitely.
He made his first relief appearance Thursday, giving up an unearned run in two innings against the Bees.
Ramirez was sent down by Seattle on May 5 to enter the rotation. After his performance Friday – arguably the best of his professional career – he has put together three consecutive quality starts – at least six innings, giving up three runs or fewer.
Tacoma manager Daren Brown said Ramirez is no longer on a pitch or innings count, and is ready for a call-up, if the Mariners have an opening in their rotation.
“We all like his stuff,” Brown said. “If there is a need, … he might be the guy ready to go.”
In the eighth inning, Ramirez’s fastball touched 94 mph to Matt Long, 95 mph to Cory Aldridge, and after giving up the home run to Heid over the right-field fence, 96 mph to Andrew Romine, the next batter and Ramirez’s final out.
He made a season-high 107 pitches – 73 for strikes.
As for Snow, he has pitched in relief for the Rainiers before – seven games last season. And a few months ago, he led the Arizona Fall League in earned-run average (1.67) primarily as a reliever.
But in his 11 starts this season, he is 1-4 with an 8.22 ERA – and a team-high 37 walks. In fact, he approached Rainiers pitching coach Dwight Bernard about a possible move.
“Last year when I came out of the (bullpen), I felt a lot more comfortable,” Snow said. “Now, I don’t know whether it is the five-day routine where I am sitting around waiting, knowing when I am going to pitch … but it has been tough.”
The Rainiers, losers of five games in a row, were shut out for the fifth time this season. The last time they were blanked in back-to-back games was in May 2006 against Albuquerque. … Until Luis Rodriguez’s two-out single in the sixth inning, the Rainiers had gone 11 innings without a hit, dating to Guillermo Quiroz’s double in the fourth inning Thursday. … Catcher Adam Moore (knee) was activated from the disabled list Friday, and immediately inserted into the Tacoma lineup. Brown said Moore will not catch today, but will Sunday. Moore had been out since April 17 with a medial meniscus tear in his right knee.
Tacoma right-hander Andrew Carraway (2-1, 3.16 ERA) goes against Bees right-hander Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 5.30) at 7:05 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8442