New Orleans is a unique place in America. A city with so many oddities that it sometimes feels like a foreign country.
It’s a fitting place for a Triple-A baseball game to end in a tie.
The Tacoma Rainiers and New Orleans Zephyrs were tied 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning Monday when thunder, lightning, and torrential rains poured down on Zephyr Field.
Despite an extremely quick tarp pull by the Zephyrs grounds crew, the field was deluged with water.
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Because the game went past the fifth inning, it was official, and because the two teams do not play each other again this season, there is no opportunity to suspend the game and resume it later.
It’s officially a tie game — the fourth in Tacoma franchise history, and the first since 1985. Other ties came in 1961 and 1965.
All statistics count from the game, and the Rainiers’ record becomes 30-20-1.
Mike Baxter homered to right field, giving Tacoma a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. But New Orleans responded with a two-run homer by Isaac Gallaway in the bottom half.
The Rainiers evened the score when Daniel Robertson tripled home Zach Shank in the top of the third. Robertson was at third base with one out, but the Rainiers could not bring him in.
A leadoff double by Mike Zunino and subsequent wild pitch in the fourth inning put a runner at third with no outs for the Rainiers, but Tacoma was unable to score again.
“I sure feel like we should have won that game,” said Rainiers manager Pat Listach. “Two runners at third with less than two outs and we couldn’t get them in.”
Baxter was batting with one out and a runner at first in the top of the sixth inning when the storm hit.
One downside of the tie is that the Rainiers missed a chance to gain a split of the road series. Tacoma dropped the series in New Orleans, two games to one not including the draw.
New Orleans starter Paul Clemens had the biggest statistical oddity: he’ll be credited with a complete game, while getting no decision.
Listach said that Patrick Kivlehan — reacquired by the Mariners on Sunday — will be joining the Rainiers in time for Tuesday’s game. Kivlehan will fill the open spot on Tacoma’s 25-man roster which was created when Stefen Romero was called up by Seattle.
The Rainiers return home and host Salt Lake in a 6:05 p.m. game Tuesday. Tacoma starts James Paxton (4-3, 3.97) against Salt Lake’s Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.45).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.