SALT LAKE CITY – Tacoma manager Daren Brown called the seventh inning “poorly executed.” Baseball fans might simply call it “weird.”
After the Rainiers failed to score despite getting four hits in the top of the seventh, Salt Lake scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch that came during an intentional walk in the bottom of the inning. The Bees went on to win the game, 7-4.
After a strong start by Steve Garrison and some fortunate run-scoring soft hits from Guillermo Quiroz and Darren Ford, Tacoma took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning.
Mike Wilson and Vinnie Catricala opened the frame with singles against reliever Bobby Cassevah, but Wilson was picked off second base after a pitch to Quiroz.
Quiroz would strike out, but Carlos Triunfel and Ford followed with singles, loading the bases before Luis Rodriguez flied out to end the inning. Four hits, no runs.
Salt Lake tied the game in the bottom of the inning against reliever Brian Moran, and the Bees had runners at second and third with one out. Moran struck out PCL All-Star Kole Calhoun for the second out, and Brown decided to walk Luis Jimenez intentionally to load the bases for Hank Conger.
That situation never materialized. On intentional ball four, Moran threw a wild pitch that hit the backstop on the fly, and Doug Deeds trotted home with the go-ahead run.
Conger followed with a three-run homer to left off a visibly flustered Moran, giving Salt Lake a 7-3 lead.
“Jimenez is hitting .350 off of lefties, and Conger is hitting .220,” said Brown. “I’d like to see what would have happened if we had just walked the guy and loaded the bases, but after the damage was done and the lead has been taken, the situation is not the same.”
Tacoma threatened in the eighth, scoring one run and loading the bases with two outs for Triunfel. Bees reliever Steven Geltz got Triunfel to ground out to third base – although the play was very close at first base, and the Rainiers argued that Triunfel was safe. Brown and third baseman Alex Liddi were both ejected for arguing by first base umpire Matt Schaufert.
Los Angeles Angels starter Jerome Williams looked sharp in a rehabilitation outing. He lasted six innings, giving up five hits and three runs (two earned).
Rehabilitating Mariners outfielder Mike Carp is expected to test his ailing shoulder with a throwing program starting today. … Ford extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Tacoma sends Blake Beavan (2-0, 2.52 ERA) to the mound in the fourth game of the series tonight at 6:05 (PDT). Salt Lake is scheduled to pitch Trevor Bell (1-4, 7.56).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.