Taylor hits 2 homers in rain-shortened Rainiers' win

Staff writerApril 22, 2014 

Few will confuse Tacoma Rainiers shortstop Chris Taylor for a power hitter. He sure doesn’t.

“That’s not my game,” he said. “I just think about getting on base and let the big guys hit me in.”

That didn’t stop Taylor, the 2013 Mariners minor league player of the year, from hitting two home runs in two consecutive at bats — the first two of his Triple-A career — and a double on his fourth plate appearance Monday in an 8-5 rain-shortened win against the Sacramento River Cats at Cheney Stadium.

Taylor, 23, went 3-for-4 to up his batting average to .477 over his past 11 games — after batting .136 his first six games.

“I think I just needed to get comfortable,” Taylor said. “I would go in the cage and hit a little bit with coach (Cory) Snyder, but no big adjustments.”

Taylor’s first home run, a three-run shot to right field, gave the Rainiers the lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Center fielder James Jones needed one pitch to add to it, making it back-to-back homers with a shot over the right-field wall, extending the Rainiers’ lead to 5-2.

Sacramento catcher Ryan Ortiz dropped Jesus Sucre’s wind-blown pop fly with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, and the Rainiers led 8-5.

“You can never say you’ve seen it all in this game,” Howell deadpanned.

The game was delayed by rain at that point; umpires later decided to end it.

IWAKUMA START IN JEOPARDY

If the weather doesn’t improve, All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma won’t make a rehab start for the Rainiers on Tuesday.

Manager Roy Howell indicated that Iwakuma won’t pitch his first rehab game since injuring his middle finger in spring training if the weather is bad. According to AccuWeather, the high in Tacoma is expected to be 54 degrees and the low 43, but the bigger factor will be the 58 percent chance of precipitation.

“We can’t have him slipping or blowing out a groin muscle or pulling a hamstring because the field is wet fielding a bunt,” Howell said.

ON TAP

The Rainiers did not list a projected starter for Tuesday’s series finale. The River Cats will start Josh Lindblom (1-1, 7.79 ERA). The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.

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