Maybe more than any other Tacoma Rainier, Luis Jimenez was thrilled to see July come to and end last week.
The slugger went the entire month without crushing one home run and batted a paltry .232.
Fast-forward to August, and Jimenez has been as hot as the unseasonably scorching weather blistering Western Washington.
Jimenez hit a home run and a walk-off RBI double Sunday, leading the Rainiers to a 3-2 win over New Orleans at Cheney Stadium.
“It was good to see him hit that home run that tied the game and then come through in the ninth,” Tacoma manager Daren Brown said.
Two pitches before drilling the double to center field that scored Carlos Peguero from first base, Jimenez fouled a pitch off his face. The ball bounced in the dirt and hit him in the chin. After taking a couple minutes to regain his composure he stepped back into the batter’s box.
The 29-year-old designated hitter went 4-for-4, raising his season batting average to .307. He tied the score at 2 in the seventh when he hit a solo home run.
Catcher Guillermo Quiroz gave Tacoma a 1-0 lead when he homered to lead off the third inning.
Tacoma starter D.J. Mitchell lasted five innings. The 25-year-old right-hander gave up two earned runs on five hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
“I thought he pitched all right,” Brown said. “He got deep into the count a few too many times, but he made pitches when he had to.”
Mitchell (0-1) has made three starts since being assigned to Tacoma – he was part of the trade that sent Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees – but has yet to win a game, despite allowing just three runs in 17 innings.
Reliever Danny Farquhar (2-2), the other pitcher acquired in the Ichiro trade, pitched three scoreless innings in relief – he gave up two hits and struck out two – and picked up the victory.
RAMIREZ ACTIVATED, RETURNS IN TACOMA
Seattle activated pitcher Erasmo Ramirez off the disabled list and optioned the 22-year-old right-hander to Tacoma. Ramirez (4-2) made three rehab starts with the Rainiers since being placed on the DL.
Tacoma continues its four-game homestand against New Orleans when Rainiers left-hander Steve Garrison (1-3, 4.89 ERA) starts against right-hander Omar Poveda (2-1, 3.52) at 7:05 tonight.253-365-2975 firstname.lastname@example.org @DougPaceyTNT