MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Tacoma Rainiers are going to make absolutely sure that Luis Jimenez is on the team bus to Nashville after Tacoma’s 6-4 win at Memphis on Monday night.
Jimenez may not want to leave Autozone Park – ever.
The big designated hitter blasted two more home runs – each a two-run shot – giving him four homers in the last three games in Memphis.
“Obviously he likes Memphis,” said Tacoma manager Daren Brown. “I’m hoping it’s all of Tennessee – we’ll see in Nashville.”
Jimenez cracked his first homer to left-center field in the second inning off Redbirds starter Scott Gorgen, giving Tacoma a 2-0 lead.
He connected again in the sixth, snapping a 3-all tie with a two-run shot to straightaway center off left-handed reliever John Gaub.
He finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBI, and he went 7-for-12 with four homers and nine RBI in the series.
“He’s getting some pitches up in the zone, and he’s getting the barrel to them,” Brown said.
Tacoma starting pitcher Hector Noesi ended a personal 12-game losing streak by lasting six innings for the win. He gave up four runs – but three of them came in the third inning. He looked sharp the rest of the way.
“It was a solid outing from him,” Brown said. “They got to him in the third inning with four hits, but he shut them down after that.”
Noesi had not won since beating the Minnesota Twins as a member of the Seattle Mariners on May 6 at Safeco Field. He lost his final eight decisions for Seattle, and his first four in Tacoma.
The Rainiers’ bullpen kept the slim lead safe. Brian Moran pitched a scoreless two innings, and Danny Farquhar withstood a rare Luis Rodriguez error to nail down his first save for the Rainiers.
First baseman Justin Smoak was 2-for-3 with two hard-hit balls – one a double – before being leaving for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. Smoak is 5-for-10 in the past three games.
Mariners top pitching prospect Danny Hultzen returns to the starting rotation today and will be working on a pitch limit. Hultzen missed two starts so the Mariners could slow down his innings total; he is in his first professional season after being the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2011. … Double-A Jackson hitting coach Cory Snyder attended the game; his Generals had the day off.
The trip continues with a four-game series opening in Nashville at 5:05 p.m. (PDT) today. Hultzen (1-2, 5.23 ERA) makes his first start since July 28 for Tacoma; he’ll be opposed by Nashville right-hander Hiram Burgos (0-1, 4.96).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.