The Tacoma Rainiers lost, 4-2, to the Omaha Storm Chasers on Sunday.
However, on the Cheney Stadium scoreboard it was the “Tacoma Tigers,” as the club marked a throwback promotion remembering the team that played there from 1981 to 1994.
The team wore uniforms honoring the old Tigers. And pulling on that jersey had special meaning for Rainiers hitting coach Scott Brosius, who played third base as a Tacoma Tiger during parts of the 1990-93 seasons.
“The green and gold was definitely familiar,” he said.
Brosius played 187 games in Tacoma, hitting .271 with 25 home runs and 103 RBI. He went on to play 1,146 major league games, and was a three-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees.
Like so many minor league players, his favorite memory as a Tiger was being told he was leaving.
“When you’re in triple-A, that’s the best moment you can get, is when the call comes,” Brosius said. “I remember being on the field for batting practice, and Jeff Newman, who was my manager for basically three years in the minor leagues … pulled me off the field, and I thought, ‘OK, what did I do now.’ …
“ (He said) ‘you’re going to the big leagues.’ ”
Tacoma had a .491 winning percentage over the 14 seasons played as the Tigers. They made the postseason in 1981, 1982, 1987 and 1990, but never won a PCL championship.
The team added another loss in their honor Sunday.
Tacoma fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, and that set the stage for a game in which the teams changed the score with a series of one-run innings. Three of Omaha’s came on home runs, including the winner by Whit Merrifield in the eighth, which broke a 2-2 tie.
“The pitching was good,” manager Pat Listach said. “(Brad) Mills was making his first start of the year. It was really good to see him get five. They hit three solo homers, and that was the outcome of the game. We battled.”
Mills made his first appearance after starting the season on the disabled list (shoulder). He was activated Sunday morning, allowed two runs and four hits over five innings and got no decision. The loss went to reliever Cody Martin (4-3).
Offensively, Tacoma left fielder Dario Pizzano extended his hitting streak to team-high nine games. Shortstop Luis Sardinas, optioned earlier in the day from Seattle, batted leadoff and went 0 for 5.
The Rainiers (21-16) and Storm Chasers (21-15) continue their series at 6:05 p.m. Monday. The probable pitching matchup is Tacoma left-hander James Paxton (4-2, 2.81) against left-hander John Lannan (3-2, 5.54).