Five weeks remain in the Pacific Coast League season, and 12 of the league’s 16 teams are preparing for the possibility of playoff games.
The league has a remarkable level of parity this season, with three-team races in all four divisions.
There are no wild cards or split seasons in the PCL — the only way to reach the playoffs is to win your division, with the best record after 144 games. Each division contains four teams.
Entering Saturday’s games, 11 of the 16 teams were within 21/2 games of first place. Only a recent losing spell pushed Colorado Springs 51/2 games back in the Pacific North Division.
The standings look particularly odd in the American Conference. All four teams in the North have losing records, while three of the four teams in the South are well over the .500 mark.
Entering Saturday, Iowa and Omaha were five games under .500 (51-56), yet were only one game behind first-place Memphis in the American North Division.
Surprisingly, the 2012 PCL champion Reno Aces are one of the four teams not in a pennant race. Reno has not been in first place since winning on opening day, and was 23 games under .500 entering Saturday.
Carlos Peguero went 6-for-7 on Friday night in Reno, becoming the second Rainiers player to collect six hits in a game this season.
Peguero needed 12 innings to reach six hits, picking up the final two in extra innings.
Abraham Almonte went 6-for-6 in Tacoma’s nine-inning, 25-6 win at Colorado Springs on May 29.
Peguero and Almonte have the only six-hit games in the PCL this season. Memphis catcher Bryan Anderson had the only one during the 2012 season.
The six-hit game has been rare in recent Tacoma history. Only two other players have done it since the turn of the century: Pat Borders in 2003 and Jerry Owens in 2009.
The Rainiers have the most five-hit games in the PCL, too. Nick Franklin, Carlos Triunfel and Dustin Ackley each had five-hit performances this season, giving Tacoma half of the league’s 10 five-plus-hit games so far this year.
This season marks the first time Tacoma has had two players record five or more hits in a game in the same season since 2007, when Adam Jones and Wladimir Balentien did it.Mike Curto is the Tacoma Rainiers’ radio broadcaster.