Jiminez’s early, late heroics save Rainiers
Luis Jimenez was a major reason the game went long. But after 12 innings, he made sure it didn’t go another inning more.
Jimenez delivered a sharp single through the left side with the bases loaded to score pinch-runner Mike Wilson and give the Rainiers a 4-3 win over the Fresno Grizzlies on Monday at Cheney Stadium.
The 12-inning, 3-hour, 58 minute game was the longest of the season for Tacoma.
Bobby LaFromboise picked up the win in relief. Tacoma used four pitchers. Fresno reliever Wilmin Rodriguez took the loss.
It was Jimenez’s glove that helped send the game into extra innings to prevent a Tacoma loss
Not known for his fielding skills at first base, Jimenez came up with some huge outs late in the game for the Rainiers.
After reliever Chance Ruffin gave up a leadoff double to Brett Pill in the eighth inning, Jimenez made a tough over-the-shoulder catch on Charlie Culberson’s foul pop behind first base. Moments later, Jimenez nabbed another foul pop over the railing of the visitors’ dugout to end the inning and the threat.
In the ninth inning, after the Grizzlies loaded the bases with one out, Jimenez made a nice pickup on Connor Gillaspie’s hard ground ball. Jimenez fired home to get the lead runner and then caught Brandon Bantz’s return throw for the inning-ending 3-2-3 double play.
The Rainiers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning as the streaky Carlos Peguero continued his recent home run barrage. He launched his fourth home run in three games, crushing a a fastball off former Rainiers pitcher Yusmeiro Petit.
Rainiers starter Blake Beavan was effective if not overpowering, working seven innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He gave up a solo homer to Pill in the sixth inning, while another run scored on an error by shortstop Nick Franklin that allowed Fresno to take a 3-2 lead.
Tacoma tied it up immediately in the bottom of the sixth. Franklin hit a laser of a triple to left-center and then scored on a Petit balk.
FIREWORKS ON THE 3RD
With the team playing in Salt Lake City on the Fourth of July, the Rainiers will hold their annual holiday fireworks extravaganza tonight. The fireworks show will be significantly longer than the usual Friday night fireworks that the Rainiers have during the regular season.
According to the Rainiers, only a few hundred tickets remain for the game.
Left-hander Danny Hultzen (0-1, 7.71 ERA) will be making his third start of the season for the Rainiers. Fresno will start fellow left-hander Jason Stevenson (2-1, 5.01). First pitch today is set for 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM and www.tacomarainiers.com