“That’s not one you see very often,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said after the game.
Brown chose not to bunt the automatic runner over to third base in the bottom of the 10th with the heart of the Tacoma order coming up. Both Kristopher Negron and Jordan Pacheco worked walks after falling behind the count to load the bases, giving Mariscal a chance to do something special.
“Those guys before me, Pacheco, Negron, had great at-bats before me, putting guys on, getting pitches out of them,” Mariscal said. “He just left one up, and I wasn’t trying to do too much.”
Mariscal said afterwards that it was his first walk-off home run ever, let alone walk-off grand slam.
Parker Markel earned the win for the Rainiers, allowing just one unearned run — El Paso’s automatic runner — in two innings and striking out two. He capped off his night by getting Mariscal with a Powerade shower at home plate.
The Chihuahuas got their free runner in the 10th inning to third base on a passed ball, then brought him home on a sacrifice fly.
Tacoma starter Sean Nolin allowed leadoff doubles in both the first and second innings, and both times the runner came around to score. Tacoma scratched across runs in the sixth and seventh to tie, before Ty France blasted a solo home run in the top of the seventh to give the Chihuahuas a 3-2 lead.
It was the fourth home run given up by the Tacoma bullpen in the seventh inning or later in the past three games.
The Rainiers pushed across another tying run in the bottom of the frame on a Jordan Pacheco sacrifice fly. None of Tacoma’s first three runs of the night came on hits.
Tacoma begins a four-game road swing in Alburquerque on Tuesday at 5:35 p.m., with Tyler Cloyd scheduled to start. The Rainiers will be back at Cheney Stadium on Saturday, opening a five-game series against Salt Lake.