Seemingly everything that can possibly happen in a baseball game occurred Thursday night in New Orleans.
Injuries, ejections, interference, ninth-inning home runs, extra innings, a bases-loaded triple — you name it, it happened in Tacoma’s 9-8, 12-inning victory over the Zephyrs.
Justin Smoak snapped a 7-7 tie with a run-scoring double with one out in the top of the 12th, giving the Rainiers the lead. Smoak then scored a necessary insurance run on John Hicks’ two-out single.
The game started with New Orleans launching homers in each of the first three innings against Tacoma starter Forrest Snow — who had not allowed a home run this season entering the game.
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Justin Bour homered in the first and third innings against Snow, and Kyle Jensen launched his 25th of the year in the second inning. Bour has homered in each of the first three games of the series against Tacoma.
After getting just one hit in the first three innings against Zephyrs starter Alex Sanabia, Tacoma scored four runs in the fourth. Hicks capped the rally with a bases-loaded triple to left-center.
Tacoma scored two runs in the top of the seventh, but it was a costly rally as designated hitter Jesus Montero left the game mid at-bat after pulling a muscle while swinging.
New Orleans scored one run and had a second run wiped off the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. With a run in and the bases loaded and one out, Rob Brantly hit a grounder to second base. Ty Kelly threw to shortstop Ketel Marte for one out, and Marte was upended by baserunner Mark Canha so he couldn’t throw to first — allowing the apparent tying run to score. After a long delay, Canha was ruled out for interference, and the run came off the scoreboard.
Stefen Romero gave Tacoma a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth inning with a long homer to left field, only to see New Orleans tie the game in the bottom of the inning when KiKe Hernandez homered to right-center.
Hernandez’s homer came against Tacoma reliever Todd Coffey, who was ejected for arguing after the completion of the inning. Two folding chairs from the dugout were tossed onto the field before his exit.
Blake Beavan (4-1) earned the win for Tacoma, delivering 21/3 scoreless innings.
Rehabilitating outfielder Michael Saunders was a late scratch from the Tacoma lineup because of a delayed flight from Denver. Saunders took a two-day break from rehabilitating a strained oblique to be with his wife while she gave birth to the couple’s second child, a son. … Outfielder Julio Morban left the game with an unspecified injury after colliding with the outfield fence in the seventh inning.
Tacoma sends Taijuan Walker (5-3, 4.91 ERA) to the mound in the final game of the series at 5 p.m. Friday. New Orleans is expected to start Elih Villanueva (10-8, 3.99).