Triple-A Rainiers capture PCL division title

It is late afernoon here in Anaheim and I just checked MLB.com’s Minor League site (MiLB.com) and saw that the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers beat the socks off the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 11-2, to capture the Pacific Coast League North Division championship.

Kudos to manager Daren Brown and his club, which went on a 9-0 road trip on its last trek to climb back into the PCL title hunt.

Left-hander Gaby Hernandez, acquired last year in the trade that sent Arthur Rhodes to the Marlins, won his sixth consecutive start in Monday’s winner-take-all game at Cheney Stadium. He tossed six solid innings for his seventh consecutive win overall.

Designated hitter Brad Nelson, left fielder Prentice Redman and Moore each had two RBIs in the clincher.

Right-hander Brandon Morrow, who contributed five wins to the Rainiers this season, is expected to re-join the Mariners later this week Arlington to start against the Rangers.

The Rainiers begin a best-of-five series against PCL South Division champ Sacramento, an Athletics affiliate, beginning on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, all eyes tomorrow night — and beyond — will be on Ichiro as he pursues a ninth consecutive 200-hit season, which would be a MLB record. He needs just five more hits and figures to get No. 200 on the road for the seventh time.

— Jim Street

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