Minor League Report: Four Rainiers will represent Tacoma at Triple-A All-Star Game

Contributing writerJuly 12, 2014 

Tacoma infielders Chris Taylor, right, and Nick Franklin are among four Rainiers to earn a trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played Wednesday in Durham, North Carolina.

DREW PERINE — Staff photographer Buy Photo

The Tacoma Rainiers will be well represented in the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played Wednesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.

Rainiers infielders Chris Taylor (.322, 5 home runs, 36 RBIs), Gabriel Noriega (.317-2-27) and Nick Franklin (.298-9-41) were all selected to the team, with Taylor (shortstop) and Noriega (third base) named as starters. They will be joined by Rainiers reliever Logan Kensing (3-0, 2.17 ERA in 58 innings).

Tacoma and the Iowa Cubs are the only Pacific Coast League teams to have four players chosen.

“It means you did your job, and people around the league noticed,” Kensing said. “Any time that your peers take notice of what you do, it makes you feel good.”

Kensing, 32, will be the oldest PCL All-Star. Surprisingly, for a veteran of all or parts of seven major league seasons, this will be his first professional all-star game.

The game will be televised live on MLB Network, and 850-AM will carry the national radio broadcast.

Three Triple-A All-Stars are from Washington

Three players who grew up in Washington were named to the All-Star rosters.

Indianapolis first baseman Matt Hague was picked for the International League squad after hitting 13 homers with 59 RBI in the first half of the season. Hague graduated from Kentwood High School in 2004 and spent three years playing for the University of Washington before transferring to Oklahoma State.

Syracuse outfielder Steven Souza is leading the IL with a .371 batting average through Friday. Souza was a third-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in 2007 after his senior year at Cascade High School in Everett.

Salt Lake infielder Shawn O’Malley was added to the PCL roster because the Bees’ original selection, Brennan Boesch, is unable to play. A 2006 graduate of Southridge High School in Kennewick, O’Malley is batting .339 for Salt Lake.

HR Derby field set

The Triple-A All-Star festivities begin with the Home Run Derby on Monday night in Durham. Three players from each league will compete.

The PCL will be represented by Omaha catcher Francisco Pena (18 home runs entering Saturday), Reno first baseman Mike Jacobs (12) and Las Vegas designated hitter Allan Dykstra (12).

International League career home run leader Mike Hessman of Toledo will lead the opposing squad. Hessman had 15 home runs entering Saturday, including the 400th of his minor league career on May 20.

Jesus Aguilar (12) of Columbus will join Hessman. The league will name a replacement for third contestant Dan Johnson of Buffalo, who was called up by Toronto on Friday.

Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.

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