FRESNO, CALIF. – Chris Seddon can't catch a break. A Pacific Coast League All-Star last year who spent more than two months in the Mariners bullpen, Seddon opened the 2011 season in the Tacoma Rainiers' starting rotation.
Seddon threw seven shutout innings on Thursday night and left the game with a 2-0 lead. But the Rainiers couldn’t hold on as Fresno secured a 3-2 10-inning victory in the final game of the Rainiers’ season-opening road trip.
Seddon has now thrown 13 scoreless innings over two starts, yet his won-loss record is the same as it was on opening day: 0-0.
“That happens sometimes,” said Rainiers manager Daren Brown, a former pitcher. “If he keeps pitching like that those things will take care of themselves”
Seddon allowed just two hits and two walks over seven innings. He threw 84 pitches – exactly the Mariners’ organization limit for early-season work.
“A little later in the year he’ll be finishing that game,” said Brown. “They really didn’t do much with him - he did his job.”
Fresno scored one run in the bottom of the eighth against Rainiers reliever Denny Bautista on a two-out ground-ball single by Darren Ford.
The Grizzlies tied it in the ninth with Chris Smith on the mound. Brett Pill led off with a double, and scored on Conor Gillaspie’s one-out double to right-center.
Smith did a good job of preserving the tie for the remainder of the ninth, but he allowed a leadoff double to Ford in the tenth.
After a sacrifice bunt, Tacoma intentionally walked the bases loaded to set up a force out at the plate.
Lefty Royce Ring relieved Smith to face the left-handed Gillaspie, and he quickly got ahead in the count 1-2. But Gillaspie hit a low liner up the middle that bounced off Ring’s foot and caromed into foul territory, allowing Ford to trot home with the winning run.
Tacoma finished the trip with a 3-5 record, and now must prepare for tonight’s home opener.
“There were a couple of games here we could have won,” Brown said. “Going home for eight and opening up a new stadium – guys are excited about that.”
The Rainiers announced that Eddie Fisher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the home opener. Fisher threw the first pitch in the first game at Cheney Stadium on April 16, 1960. Fisher pitched two seasons for the Tacoma Giants before embarking on a 15-year major league career as a top reliever, winning a World Series championship with the 1966 Baltimore Orioles. Fisher, 74, makes his home in Oklahoma.
The Rainiers open renovated Cheney Stadium with a 7:05 p.m. game against Sacramento. Right-hander Chaz Roe (0-1, 37.80 ERA) starts for Tacoma, while the River Cats go with Cuban right-hander Yadel Marti (0-0, 1.50). The game is sold out, and it will be broadcast live on 850 AM.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.