One glance at the 11-6 final score of the Tacoma Rainiers loss against the Fresno Grizzlies on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium doesn’t say enough.
It doesn’t tell of a game that lasted 11 innings, featured the Rainiers rallying from multiple deficits and lasted 4 hours, 42 minutes.
The Grizzlies scored five runs in the top of a rainy 11th inning to end the Rainiers’ misery in a game that seemed to take days to complete.
The game featured a little of everything: Good pitching and not so good. Clutch plays and stranded opportunities. Plenty of hits, plenty of walks and more than enough time to absorb it all.
The Rainiers rallied from a 4-0 hole through three innings to take a 5-4 lead on Nick Franklin’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth – his second homer in as many nights.
The Rainiers took that lead into the ninth and sent Lucas Luetge out to collect the save. Instead, he allowed two runs to score, leaving the Rainiers in need of another rally.
They got it.
Mike Zunino and Carlos Truinfel both reached base for Mike Dunigan, who was hit in the face by a pitch from Fresno’s Dan Runzler. Four Rainiers batters were hit in the game to go with another eight walks (Zunino was hit once and walked three times). But the pitch to Dunigan’s face would force him to leave the game.
Scott Savastano followed with a tying sacrifice fly to score Zunino before Runzler hit Eric Thames to load the bases for Franklin.
Franklin’s fly to center stranded the runners and forced extra innings.
Eric Thames extended his on-base streak to 15 games with a single in the eighth. He is the only Pacific Coast League player to have reached base in all 15 games this season. … Zunino has yet to record a hit at Cheney Stadium (0-for-15).
Danny Hultzen (2-1, 2.70 ERA) makes his second start for the Rainiers at Cheney Stadium this season at 7 tonight. He’ll duel against Fresno starter Yusmeiro Petit (1-1, 6.32 ERA). The game will broadcast on 850-AM.