The Tacoma Rainiers are making a habit out of falling behind early and rallying late for dramatic victories. Last night was no different, as Tacoma scrambled back from a three-run deficit in the eighth inning to force extra innings and went on to win 6-5 in 14. The Rainer pitchers held Las Vegas off the scoreboard from the fifth inning onward. Jorge Sosa, Jared Wells, and Randy Messenger combined to throw 8 1/3 scoreless innings to allow the comeback to happen. Jon Nelson's RBI single with one out in the 14th inning drove in Prentice Redman, who had led off with a double. The two teams combined to tie a PCL record with 26 combined walks. The Rainiers were beneficiaries of 16 of those walks by 51s pitchers. Victor Diaz was intentionally walked three times. Matt Tuiasosopo, who also hit a first-inning home run, walked three times.
Ryan Feierabend started for the Rainiers and threw only 53 pitches in 2 1/3 innings before being lifted. He had given up six hits but both runs he allowed were unearned. There was no indication that Feierabend was injured, but there has been speculation that he will be called up to Seattle to take R.A. Dickey's spot in the Seattle rotation (Dickey is being sent back to the bullpen). Perhaps Daren Brown was told to get him out of the game early.
West Tenn won a low-scoring battle with Carolina on Wednesday 2-1. Tracy Thorpe was brilliant once again in his conversion to starter, allowing only one hit in six shutout innings, walking three and striking out five. Thorpe earned his first win in AA, as this was the first time he pitched the required five innings. Thorpe has given up just four runs on seven hits in 17 1/3 innings since joining the Diamond Jaxx. He has struggled a bit with control (12 walks) but has struck out 17. Shawn Kelley worked the last two innings to pick up his eighth save and lower his season ERA to an even 1.00. Adam Moore had two of the Jaxx' five hits and drove in both runs.
High Desert wrapped up a sad home series with Lake Elsinore with another loss. The Storm swept the three-game series, holding the Mavs to just eight total runs. In Wednesday's 8-4 loss, the Mavs fell behind 6-4 after two innings and couldn't make a dent in the deficit. Carlos Triunfel's 3-for-4 night brought his average up over the .290 mark for the first time this season (.291), but committed his 26th error. Ronnie Prettyman hit a two-run homer and had three RBI on the night. Justin Souza gave up six runs in three innings to take the loss.
Edilio Colina's solo homer in the sixth inning gave Wisconsin just enough to hold off Peoria 3-2 on Wednesday. Jeff Dunbar came in to close the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead, but had to get four outs as his only strikeout victim reached base via a wild pitch. That runner came around to score, but Dunbar got a flyout with the tying run on second base to end the game. Juan Ramirez had a nice outing for the Rattlers, allowing just one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings. Ramirez improved to 5-9 with the win. Coming into the season, Ramirez was second only to Phillippe Aumont in terms of expectations for the Rattlers, but he has put up rather pedestrian numbers. He still has a great arm and good stuff, it just hasn't translated into big results yet.
Yakima got five runs in the first inning off of Everett's Kenn Kasparek and cruised to a 7-3 win over the AquaSox on Wednesday. Wellington Dotel had two hits for Everett, which has now lost three straight following a seven-game winning streak.
Pulaski beat Bluefield 6-2 last night. Gabriel Noriega had a career night, going 5-for-5 with a triple and three RBI. Noriega batted just .164 in 21 games in July, but is hitting .395 in 10 August games. Kyle Haas rebounded from some bad outings to pick up the win, striking out seven in five innings of work and allowing only two runs. Kyle Brown and Brandon Pullen threw the final four innings, giving up only two hits between them.
The following Major League notes are compiled by Scout.com
INSIDE PITCH The Mariners rotation continues to get redesigned.
Miguel Batista was taken out of a starting role last week, with his job handed over to lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith. On Wednesday, manager Jim Riggleman said that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would not be making his scheduled start this weekend in Minnesota.
Dickey instead will go back to the bullpen, where he has a 1.80 ERA for the season. His ERA as a starter is 6.03 to go with a 2-7 record.
The Mariners haven't said who will make the start Sunday, but signs point to left-hander Ryan Feierabend, who has a 7-1 record pitching for Class AAA Tacoma.
Things figure to remain in flux for the rest of the season, as the club wants to get right-hander Brandon Morrow, currently starting for Tacoma, back in the big leagues and in the rotation.
And the Mariners would like to see Erik Bedard, picked up in a February trade from Baltimore, start again after he gets his ailing left shoulder well enough that he can come off the disabled list next month.
MARINERS 10, ANGELS 7 (12 innings): Rookie DH Wladimir Balentien, who'd struck out four times earlier in the game, hit a three-run homer in the top of the 12th inning to end a four-game Seattle losing streak. Before that could happen, the Mariners had to rally from two runs down in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez, baseball's most successful reliever this season. Jeremy Reed doubled home two runs to tie the game after a wild pitch by Rodriguez, and Raul Ibanez followed with a go-ahead RBI single. However, struggling closer J.J. Putz gave up a leadoff homer to Mark Teixeira that tied the game at 7-7 and forced extra innings. It was Teixeira's second homer of the game.
NOTES, QUOTES --RHP Josh Fields, the Mariners' first pick in the draft out of Georgia, doesn't have the Aug. 15 signing deadline hanging over his head. Unlike most of the draftees, Fields was a senior in 2008. His agent, Scott Boras, and the Mariners continue to talk.
--LHP Erik Bedard (sore left shoulder) has improved enough that he could throw all three days this weekend on flat ground in Minneapolis, and he could start throwing off a bullpen mound sometime next week.
--RHP R.A. Dickey, who was has been successful most of the season in relief, will be back in that role probably for the rest of the season. Dickey had been scheduled to Sunday, but manager Jim Riggleman said that start will go to someone else. Dickey is 2-7 with a 6.03 ERA as a starter but is 1-0 and 1.80 in relief. "I think the best way for him to help the club is out of the bullpen," Riggleman said.
--RF Ichiro Suzuki's 17-game hitting streak ended after he went hitless in six at-bats in 12 innings against the Angels on Wednesday night.
--RHP J.J. Putz has made 11 appearances since coming off the disabled list last month. Four of those have resulted in blown saves, including Wednesday night, when he couldn't hold a one-run lead in the ninth against the Angels.
BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Consecutive days with games played for the Mariners through Aug. 10.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I would like to get to 100 wins before I get to 100 losses. I know I'm getting closer to the wins being the same as losses, and when I got here, it wasn't anywhere close." -- LHP Jarrod Washburn, who comes into the week 98-97 after three consecutive losing seasons with the Mariners.
INF/OF Willie Bloomquist (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10.
LHP Erik Bedard (sore left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He was unable to throw July 21, but an MRI the next day showed the same impingement he has had. He started throwing again in early August, but he might not be back with the Mariners before September.
RF Mike Morse (dislocated left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He had surgery April 22 and probably won't play again this season.