Minor League Spotlight – The Rainiers Big Night

The Mariners Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers, accomplished something last night that not many teams have ever done. The Rainiers recorded 30 hits and scored 25 runs en route to a 25-6 win over Colorado Springs on Wednesday night. The 25 runs scored are the most since the Rainiers became affiliated with the Mariners in 1995. The previous high was 24 runs scored on June 6, 2011 at Tucson. The 30 hits is also a Rainiers-era franchise record, besting the previous hit of 25 on June 28, 2004 at Sacramento.  The Rainiers recorded at least 2 runs in each of the first 7.0 inning and 5-or-more runs in 3 different innings. Tacoma jumped out to an early lead with 6 runs in the first inning and capped off the evening with a 7-run 7th inning. With the win the Rainiers recorded their 33rd win of the season and moved 1.5 games ahead of Colorado Springs  in the Pacific League Northern  Division.  With the win last night, Tacoma moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since August 1, 2010.

The box score from last night's big win over Colorado Springs.

The box score from last night’s big win over Colorado Springs.

Since 2005, the Rainiers are the 5th minor league team to score at least 25 runs and record at least 30 hits in a game.  The Rainiers join the Visalia Rawhide in the California League (5/15/12 at  High Desert, 26 runs, 31 hits), Lake Elsinore in the California League (6/28/09 at High Desert, 33 runs, 32 hits), Vaqueros Laguna  in the Mexican League (7/5/08 at Pericos de Puebla, 30 runs, 30 hits) and Diablos Rojos del Mexico in the Mexican League (4/3/07 vs. Potros de Tijuana, 26 runs, 31 hits) as the only minor league teams to accomplish this feat in the last 8 seasons.

Four Rainiers recorded at least 4 hits, and all 9 players in the starting lineup turned in multi-hit outings. CF Abe Almonte (6×6, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), who was acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for RHP Shawn Kelley during Spring Training, recorded 6 singles and became the first Rainiers player to collect 6 hits in a single game since Jerry Owens on August 25, 2009 at Fresno. He is one of only 3 minor league players  to record at 6 hits in a game this season, joining Alan Sanchez of Oaxaca in the Mexican League (6×8, 5 R, 2 RBI, BB – 5/9/13 vs. Carmen)  and Moises Sierra with Buffalo in the International League (6×6, 5 R, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI – 4/18/13 at Syracuse). Almonte is batting .515 (17×33) with 9 runs scored, 2 doubles, 10 RBI, 5 walks and 3 stolen base in his first 12 games with Tacoma since being promoted from AA Jackson on May 13.

2B Dustin Ackley (5×6, 4 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB) reached base in 7 of 8 plate appearances, while LF/RF Eric Thames (4×7, R, 2B, 2 RBI) and 3B Nate Tenbrink (4×6, 4 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB) each recorded 4 hits and reached base safely 5 times. Thames joined SS Brad Miller (3×7, 3 R, 2B, HR, 6 RBI) driving in a team-high 6 runs. Miller hit his first Triple-A home run with a 3-run blast in the 6th inning.

Starter Andrew Carraway (6.0,6,2,2,3,4,HR) recorded his 6th win of the season, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits in 6.0 innings. Carraway is 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA (15 ER, 54.2 IP) with 18 walks and 44 strikeouts in his last 9 starts. He has recorded 7 quality starts this season, including one in 6 of his last 7 starts.

Rainiers starting lineup on 5/29 at Colorado Springs:

  1. Dustin Ackley – 2B (5×6, 4 R, HR, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB)
  2. Franklin Gutierrez –RF (2×6, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI, BB)
  3. Eric Thames – LF/RF (4×7, R, 2B, 6 RBI)
  4. Stefen Romero – DH (2×7, R, 2B, 2 RBI)
  5. Jesus Montero – C (2×5, 3 R, BB)
  6. Nate Tenbrink – 3B (4×6, 4 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB0
  7. Scott Savastano – 1B (2×6, 3 R, 2B, BB)
  8. Brad Miller – SS (3×7, 3 R, 2B, HR, 6 RBI)
  9. Abe Almonte – CF (6×6, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB)

The Rainiers are currently batting .273 (516×1890) with 323 runs scored, 103 doubles, 18 triples, 61 home runs and 302 RBI in 54 games this season. Tacoma currently leads the PCL in runs scored, home runs, RBI, while also ranking 3rd in the league in total bases (838) and 4th in walks (212) and in slugging percentage (.443).

The Rainiers 33 win this season are currently tied for the 4th-most in the minor leagues this season: 1.) Fort Myers (37-14), 2.)  Indianapolis (35-19), 3.) South Bend (34-16) and 4.) Tacoma (33-21), San Jose (33-19), Norfolk (33-20), Birmingham (33-19) and Durham (33-20).

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