Rainiers Eliminated; Jaxx Ready For Playoffs

Tacoma won for the 20th time in August last night, but the Rainiers will come up short in their late-season playoff push. Meanwhile, West Tenn is rounding into playoff form, and the Pulaski M's have to wait one more day to begin their playoff series. Read on for the details of Wednesday's action in the minors, plus Mariner news and notes.

The Tacoma Rainiers are one of the hottest teams in all of baseball right now --- but in the end it was too little, too late. The Rainiers beat Sacramento 15-6 on Wednesday night but were eliminated from postseason contention when Salt Lake beat Portland. Tacoma is five games out of first place with five remaining. Wednesday's game was put out of reach early when the Rainiers posted a nine-run third inning. All nine Tacoma starters scored at least one run, and they cranked out eight doubles plus two solo home runs by Prentice Redman. Craig Wilson was 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. Shawn Garrett and Victor Diaz each had two hits and three runs scored. Oswaldo Navarro drove in three. Robert Rohrbaugh made his second start since rejoining the rotation and gave up two runs on three hits in four innings. Chris Jakubauskas returned from the DL to throw two innings and pick up the victory. Jakubauskas struck out five batters in those two innings.

In injury news, outfielder Michael Saunders is having shoulder surgery tomorrow. From what I've gathered, it is procedure that is just going to clean out the shoulder a bit --- there's not structural damage. This will, however, mean that Saunders will not get a cup of coffee with the Mariners in September. But it appears as if he'll be fine going into next season. Saunders hit two home runs and batted .286 during the Beijing Olympics as a member of the Canadian team.

Edward Paredes threw six scoreless innings in his second start at the AA level as West Tenn beat Montgomery 8-1 on Wednesday. Paredes allowed just three hits and struck out six to help erase the memory of his first start, when he allowed eight runs in three innings. Adam Moore was 2-for-3 with a double and his 14th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the third inning. The Jaxx had six doubles on the night from six different hitters.

In Diamond Jaxx news, Mike Wilson's 27th homer on August 23rd set a new team record. The 25-year-old was the second-round pick of the M's in the 2001 draft, but he's never advanced beyond the AA level. This has been his breakout season, as he's batting .282/.392/.563. His .956 OPS leads the team. He also leads the team in runs scored (75), RBI (83), and walks (61).

The High Desert Mavs got a much-needed victory on Wednesday night, and dealt a blow to Rancho Cucamonga's playoff hopes. The Mavs got the go-ahead run on a Gerardo Valentin double in the seventh inning as they went on to a 6-5 win. Travis Scott doubled twice and scored twice, and Chris Minaker picked up his 41st double of the year. Alfredo Venegas left after six innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Nick Hill got the win in relief, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

Wisconsin only mustered three hits in a 3-2 loss to Cedar Rapids last night. Joe Dunigan hit his team-leading 14th homer, but the rest of the Rattlers were dormant. Michael Pineda's strong effort on the mound was wasted. He gave up two earned runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts.

Everett fell to Vancouver 5-1 on Wednesday. Walter Suriel failed in his bid to get over .500 for the season, as he dropped to 4-5 with the loss. Suriel gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings. Jharmidy De Jesus, Tyson Gillies, and Anthony Phillips each had two hits for the AquaSox. The other six hitters in the lineup went 0-for-19.

The first game of the Appalachian League championship series was rained out last night. Pulaski will host Elizabethton in game one of the series tonight. The best-of-three series will move to Elizabethton tomorrow night for games two and three (game three being "if necessary").

The following Mariners notes are provided by Scout.com and are not written by the publisher of this site


Right-hander Brandon Morrow didn't start Tuesday's game for Class AAA Tacoma, but that doesn't mean the Mariners don't want him to be a starter.

They do, and the sooner the better.

Morrow is working on converting from short relief work to starting with Tacoma, but he got in 4 2/3 innings of relief work Tuesday. That's because he pitched the completion of a game that was suspended back in April.

Morrow gave up six runs, but Seattle says that after one more start with Tacoma, he'll be up to join the rotation the first weekend in September. Manager Jim Riggleman didn't seem overly alarmed at Morrow's numbers after talking things over with Tacoma pitching coach Dwight Bernard.

"He said (Morrow) just didn't have a good night," Riggleman said. "(Morrow) feels great. That's the main thing. He's feeling healthy and he's raring to go with his next start.

"As we knew it would be, it's going to be a little bit of a hot-and-cold process. The breaking ball wasn't as effective as it had been in his previous outing."

Morrow will start one of the three games in the Yankees series during the first weekend of September.

TWINS 6, MARINERS 5: Minnesota RF Denard Span, who started the game in center, threw a strike to the plate to cut down PR Tug Hulett in the bottom of the eighth, helping the Twins end a three-game Seattle winning streak.

Hulett had taken over for DH Jeff Clement, whose double had scored C Kenji Johjima to cut the Seattle deficit to 6-5.

The Mariners had taken a 4-3 lead on LF Raul Ibanez's solo homer with two out in the seventh, but RHP Sean Green's struggles continued as he gave up three runs in the eighth.


--LHP Ryan Feierabend's seven innings pitched against the Twins was his longest start in the big leagues this year and just one-third of an inning shy of his career best set last year against Texas. He only had one longer start this year at Class AAA Tacoma.

--RHP Sean Green is finding August 2008 every bit as troublesome as August 2007. Green took over in the eighth inning with Seattle holding a 4-3 lead over the Twins and gave up three runs in one-third of an inning, pushing this month's ERA to 10.29 after he'd been at 3.07 through July 31. His ERA last August was 5.51 after he'd had a 2.66 ERA through July 31 of the 2007 season.

--INF Tug Hulett came away from Wednesday's game mightily impressed by the arm of Twins RF Denard Span. Hulett tried to score the tying run from second on Miguel Cairo's single to right only to have Span make a throw to the plate to gun him down. "I thought I was going to score on that one," Hulett said. "I got a good jump, and I was really running. But he's got a great arm and he made the perfect throw. Tip your cap to him."

--LF Raul Ibanez's tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning was his sixth homer of the month and 21st of the season. It was also his 65th home run in Safeco Field, a club record.

--3B Adrian Beltre finished Seattle's eight-game homestand hitting .333 with four doubles, one homer and six runs.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 -- Consecutive games, through Aug. 24, in which Seattle pitchers had allowed at least one home run. That was the most by the Mariners staff since the 2004 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have great respect for umpires. The home run, that's the furthest thing away from the umpire. Everything else (they call) is close to them. But when it happens out there and it's bouncing off rails and poles, there's nothing wrong with getting technical help with that." -- Manager Jim Riggleman on why he supports the use of TV replay.

MEDICAL WATCH: 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 his throwing program was halted in late August when discomfort returned to his left shoulder. He started throwing again Aug. 22, but it's unlikely that he'll pitch again this season.

RHP Carlos Silva (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 17. He threw off flat ground without pain Aug. 21 and appears on track to be activated when he's eligible. He was scheduled to throw off flat ground at least two more times, then have two sessions off the bullpen mound.

INF/OF Willie Bloomquist (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10.

RF Mike Morse (dislocated left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He had surgery April 22 and won't play again this season. He was hitting and fielding in pregame drills in August, and he will go to the Mariners' fall Instructional League camp.

Seattle Clubhouse Top Stories