The Tacoma Rainiers keep on rallying to win games in the biggest little city on the planet. And of course my boy, the venerable Mike Curto provides all the details, even comparing the Rainiers to poker players. I know this much, if you sit down and Curto is sitting at the table. Get up, put your chips in your pocket and walk away, quickly.
Tacoma scored six runs in the ninth inning to rally for a 11-10 win. Mike Wilson and Matt Mangini provided the big hits. Wilson, who had been out with a sore shoulder after crashing into the outfield wall, has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .423 (11-for-16) with four double, a homer and 6 RBI over that period. Mangini has 11 hits in his last five games.
Double A Jackson won their third game in a row, beating Chattanooga 5-2. Kenn Kasperek pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing one run on four this, while striking out five and walking two. Left fielder Jake Shaffer extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a pair of doubles.
Shaffer made Mike Curto’s minor league notebook of who’s hot and who’s not in the organization. One player who isn’t hot? Dustin Ackley.
Dustin Ackley, Triple-A Tacoma: it hurts to list him here, but the fact is that Ackley has not hit as anticipated to open the season. Going into Saturday’s game, Ackley was batting .220 with two homers and seven RBI. It has been assumed that once Ackley’s defense improved at second base he would swiftly be promoted, but he needs to hit while in Triple-A. Encouraging signs are there – he leads the Pacific Coast League in walks with 16, and he always gives a good at-bat – but his .665 OPS is far below average in the PCL.
At Class A High Desert, lefty Jimmy Gilheeney struck out 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings, but High Desert still lost 8-3 as the bullpen imploded. Stephen Pryor, who was making his 2011 debut, gave up three runs without giving up a hit, thanks to three walks.
Class A Clinton picked up a 5-2 win over Wisconsin. George Mieses picked up his first win of the season.