Tacoma Rainiers

Ramon Flores keeps swinging hot bat despite loss by Tacoma Rainiers to Sacramento

In a game that was delayed for 30 minutes due to lightning and thunder, the Tacoma Rainiers were able to rack up nine hits but only two runs Wednesday and lost to the Sacramento River Cats, 6-2, for the second consecutive day at Cheney Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,417.

The losing streak isn’t what the Rainiers wanted, of course, but a positive sign has been the addition of outfielder Ramon Flores to lineup.

Flores, a 23-year old outfielder from Barinas, Venezuela, was traded to the Seattle Mariners organization on July 31 from the New York Yankees with Jose Ramirez for former Mariners second baseman and outfielder Dustin Ackley.

“At first it was a bit weird,” Flores said. “I had to meet everyone and didn’t know who everyone was.”

But now Flores feels comfortable, saying that everyone has treated him very well and that he’s making friends with his new teammates. That success has also spilled onto the field.

Flores continued to thrive at the plate going 2 for 5. Since arriving with the Rainiers he has hit for a .444 average (20 for 45). He has hit two home runs, walked 10 times and has an on-base percentage of .545.

Flores has batted leadoff in every game he has started and has reached base safely in all 12 of his games with the Rainiers.

Rainiers manager Pat Listach says that he’s been doing everything right at this point.

“He’s getting on base, not swinging at bad pitches. The strikes he’s getting he’s line-driving them all over the place and he’s playing solid defense,” Listach said. “He’s been a joy to watch.”

Flores, who was the 25th-ranked prospect for the Yankees according to MiLB.com, said that he’s been working hard to show his teammates that he belongs.

“I think my approach at the plate has been really good as of late,” Flores said. “I’ve been trying to stay aggressive and that has helped.”

That aggressive approach has led to his stellar statistics and that has Listach predicting success in Flores’ future.

“In my opinion, Flores will contend for a spot on the big league roster next year,” Listach said.

In the meantime, Flores is working on his craft and says that he is working towards being called up to the Mariners in September when the rosters expand.

“I just want to keep going forward while working hard,” Flores said. “I want to get to the Mariners eventually and have a long career there.”

SHORT HOPS

First baseman Daniel Paolini collected his first Triple-A hit after spending the majority of his career in Double A. … Chris Taylor has reached base safely in his past 17 games after going 3 for 4 at the plate. … Justin Ruggiano now has his longest hitting streak of the season at six games after going 1 for 4 on Tuesday.

ON TAP

The Rainiers will start lefty Roenis Elias (3-1, 8.03 ERA) and the River Cats will start right-hander Chris Stratton (2-4, 3.52). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. at Cheney Stadium and can be heard on 850-AM.

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