The International League just put it away, 6-5.
Estaban German of Oklahoma City hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to pull the PCL close. But Eric Young of Colorado Springs struck out to end it.
German won the PCL's Top Star Award, going 3-for-4 with a single, double and the two-run homer. Indianapolis catcher Erik Kratz won it for the International League, going 2-for-2 with a home run, a double and two RBI.
Winning pitcher was Andrew Carpenter of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs -- not joking, I'm afraid. Loser was Yorman Bazardo of Round Rock.
LaHair's eighth: After walking in his first appearance, Tacoma's Bryan LaHair just struck out swinning on a 2-2 count in the bottom of the eighth.
The International League leads, 6-3, heading into the ninth.
LaHair's sixth: Tacoma's lone player representative, Bryan LaHair took over at first base in the top of the sixth inning. And he came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth, working a walk.
IL leads, 6-3.
Crowd of 16,637 is the largest Triple-A All-Star crowd since 1991 in Louisville and the third-largest since the game's inception.
Play ball: We've had our introductions, including all three Rainiers representatives present. PCL in their home whites, IL in their road grays and other colors.
The game is being shown on ESPN2, so I won't be blogging every move here (keeping a scorecard at an all-star game demands full concentration).
Gates open: My understanding is that this game is sold out. But it's sure not like a major league all-star game where the crowd arrives early to watch batting practice. The gates opened about 25 minutes ago, and there are probably just a few hundred folks in the park, there's no line at the gates to get in, and there are just small clusters around the dugouts watching now as the International League takes batting practice.
Lineups: The lineups are out, and lone Rainiers player Bryan LaHair will not be starting for the Pacific Coast League.
Here's the PCL lineup:
2b Eric Young Jr./Colorado Springs
ss Alcides Escobar/Nashville
dh Matt Murton/Colorado Springs
1b Randy Ruiz/Las Vegas
cf Terry Evans/Salt Lake
lf Matt Miller/Colorado Springs
c Chris Robinson/Iowa
rf Brendan Katin/Nashville
3b Esteban German/Oklahoma City
P Bud Norris/Round Rock
Batting practice: The sun is shining down on the artificial turf of PGE Park in Portland, and the clock/temperature board in centerfield shows 86 degress. That means it's a great evening for baseball for those of us typing in the shade.
Down on the diamond is Rainiers infielder Bryan LaHair and pitching coach Dwight Bernard. And somewhere down there also is Rainiers trainer Tom Newberg.
I spoke briefly to LaHair and Bernard:
LaHair on this honor vs. simply being promoted to the big team:
Obviously, the goal for all of us is to be in the big leagues. But we're not there right now, we're here. When we go back to our teams that's where we'll be. I'm just focusing on where I'm at and if I get to the big league's I'll worry about that then.
LaHair, on the assumption that lots of important eyes will be watching tonight: I would assume there are a lot of scouts and GMs here – representatives from each team, I think.
Bernard on if an all-star pitching coach actually coaches much pitching: Not a lot really. Basically you just try to talk to the guys about when they're going to pitch. With the guys that we've got here we've got six bullpen guys and four starters. The bullpen guys are going to play in their element and the starters are too. A starter won't come in in the middle of an inning. We've got two or three guys who can come in pretty quick, so if there happens to be a problem in between we're going to play the bullpen routine.