Daren Brown said he isn't superstitious.
That means the Tacoma Rainiers manager won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the current run of baseball being played his team.
On the warmest day at Cheney Stadium this season, the Rainiers got a solid outing from starting pitcher Ian Snell and the go-ahead home run from Chris Woodward to win their ninth game in a row, 5-4, over the Fresno Grizzlies.
But when asked about the longest winning streak in the Pacific Coast League this season, Brown was coy.
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“All I look at is that we won tonight, and we’ll try to win tomorrow,” Brown said. “It’s not superstition. I just don’t mess with it.”
Of course Brown doesn’t want to mess with the streak because runs like this don’t come around too often.
Why? So many things have to go right to win nine games in a row, and so much can go wrong during a game.
A bad hop or one misplaced pitch can change the complexion of a game.
The Rainiers were victims of both Thursday night and still found a way to win.
After cruising through six innings without allowing a run, Snell ran into trouble in the seventh, some of it not his fault.
Snell gave up a one-out triple to John Bowker on a deep fly ball to center that Greg Halman spun around and bobbled twice and then dropped as he fell.
“That would have been a tough catch, but he got to it,” Brown said. “He’d probably say he could catch it.”
Bowker scored on a grounder to short that Woodward mishandled for an error. Jesus Guzman then hit a high chopper to third that Matt Tuiasosopo couldn’t handle on the short hop.
“They scored it a hit, but that’s a ball he should have made a play on,” Brown said.
Instead of being out of the inning, Snell faced ex-Mariner Joe Borchard. Borchard, who was traded to Seattle from the White Sox in 2006 for reliever Matt Thornton, now an All-Star, hit a three-run homer.
“It was curveball that hung,” Snell said.
The Rainiers, who led 4-0 at the start of the inning, were in a 4-4 tie .
“He makes one mistake that turns into a three-run homer,” Brown said. “I still thought he pitched well.”
Brown lifted Snell after the Borchard homer for Mark Worrell, who got a pair of grounders to end the inning.
But the game didn’t stay tied for long, Woodward atoned for his error by pulling a Scott Nestor pitch to left that just got over the wall for a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Former Timberline star and current Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart threw out the first pitch. He was in town this week for his Old Spice Jonathan Stewart football camp that was held in Lacey.
Stewart brought several kids from the camp to the game, purchasing tickets for them.
Right-hander Michael Pine-da (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will start for the Rainiers in the 7 p.m. game today, while Fresno will go with right-hander Eric Hacker (9-5, 4.69 ERA).
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org