The Tacoma Rainiers didn’t let a shorthanded roster stop them from moving past the .500 mark.
Playing with Nick Franklin, Abraham Almonte, and Stephen Kohlscheen — each of whom had been traded earlier in the day — the undermanned Rainiers were still able to defeat the Salt Lake Bees, 4-1.
The victory improved Tacoma’s record to 57-56, marking the first time the team has been over .500 since May 12 when the club was 18-17.
Xavier Avery hit the first pitch of the game from Chris Volstad over the right-field fence, getting things off to a good start.
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The 1-0 lead held until the seventh inning, when Julio Morban connected on a two-out RBI triple to score Humberto Quintero. Ty Kelly added a two-run homer in the eighth.
Forrest Snow started for the Rainiers, and he was uncharacteristically wild. Snow walked six batters over 42/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.
Blake Beavan, Lucas Luetge, and Todd Coffey provided solid relief as Tacoma sealed up the win.
Franklin was traded to Tampa Bay as part of a three-team deal which brought Austin Jackson to the Mariners. The trade ended seven months of speculation regarding Franklin, who dropped out of the Mariners’ plans after they signed Robinson Cano.
“I went day in and day out just thinking that I’ve got to play hard no matter what happens,” said Franklin, who grew up in Orlando. “I think closer to home is going to be nice, but at the same time I’m going to continue to stay focused and work hard.”
Franklin will report to Triple-A Durham, with a major league call-up this year a distinct possibility.
“I know Tampa has been pretty hot and that they’re looking to make a run,” Franklin said. “Whatever I can do to help, if I get the opportunity, I’ll try to make the best of it.”
Kohlscheen was fishing with fellow reliever Logan Kensing on the Weber River about an hour outside Salt Lake City when he learned that he and Almonte were going to the Padres organization. Kohlscheen will join Triple-A El Paso on Saturday.
After a rough start to 2014, Almonte hit .309 in 178 at-bats for Tacoma since June 1. The Padres are promoting him to the major leagues and he will get a chance to prove himself in San Diego.
Tacoma plays Salt Lake for the final time this season on Friday at 6:05 p.m. Tacoma starts James Gillheeney (3-8, 6.10) against Salt Lake’s Wade LeBlanc (7-2, 4.19).