10:10 p.m. update: It’s over, mercifully. Tacoma wins 9-1 over the Fresno Grizzlies at Chukchansi Park in both teams’ Pacific Coast League opener.
First pitch Friday is 7:05 p.m.
9:15 p.m. update: This one has officially gotten out of hand. More poor defense and a couple Tacoma hits, and it’s suddenly 9-1 Rainiers in the sixth.
Tonight’s game won’t make manager Bob Mariano’s highlight reel, that’s for sure.
8:57 p.m. update: Tacoma extends its lead to 5-1 on an error and an RBI single by Eric Thames in the fifth. Fresno stater Yusmeiro Petit lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs (three earned)
8:34 p.m. update: Fresno gets on the scoreboard on a Cole Gillespie double and an RBI single to right by Juan Perez. with two outs. Tacoma leads 3-1 through four innings.
8:01 p.m. update: It’s 3-0 Tacoma. Seattle Mariners top prospect Mike Zunino just hit a rocket off the Chukchansi Park scoreboard for a solo homer.
7:58 p.m. update: Well, so much for a scoreless pitcher’s duel. Alex Liddi just gave Tacoma a 2-0 lead in the third with a line drive over the left-field wall. Endy Chavez led off the inning with a double.
7:54 p.m. update: We’re still scoreless entering the third. Both starters, Fresno’s Yusmeiro Petit and Tacoma’s Danny Hultzen, have escaped jams.
Brett Pill has the only Grizzlies hit: a short fly to right field that probably should’ve been caught but fell in for a double.
7:16 p.m. update: We’re underway. RH Yusmeiro Petit’s first pitch to Tacoma leadoff man Endy Chavez was low and outside.
It’s 73 degrees, and there’s a 14 mph breeze blowing out to right center.
6:35 p.m. update: In case anyone’s wondering, here are today’s lineups.
Tacoma: Endy Chavez CF, Nate Tenbrink 2B, Alez Liddi 3B, Carlos Peguero RF, Mike Zunino C, Rich Poythress 1B, Eric Thames DH, Denny Almonte LF, Carlos Triunfel SS
Fresno: Gary Brown CF, Kensuke Tanaka 2B, Francisco Peguero RF, Brett Pill 1B, Roger Kieschnick LF, Juan Perez 3B, Cole Gillespie DH, Jackson Williams C, Carter Jurica SS.
6:20 p.m. update: First pitch is less than an hour away, and the field crew is making final preparations.
One thing I’ve noticed: The field isn’t in great shape this year. Lots of sod patches and dry spots, both on the infield and the outfield.
I’m told the bare patches are a result of soccer matches that have been played inside the stadium, but it could also be a lack of offseason upkeep.
Whatever the reason, I’m certain head groundskeeper David Jacinto isn’t happy. The man takes a lot of pride in his field.
: Greetings from the press box at Chukchansi Park, where in about two hours the Fresno Grizzlies will begin their 144-game Pacific Coast League season against the Tacoma Rainiers.
The Grizzlies just got through taking batting practice. I watched the first two groups from behind the cage. The first group included Brett Pill, Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero and Kensuke Tanaka. Talk about a contrast in styles.
Pill, who is with the Grizzlies on a major-league rehab, said his right knee feels strong three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
“Before I had (the procedure) done it would swell up every day with pain in there,” Pill said between rounds of BP. “Now it feels good.”
Grizzlies fans will get a long look at Brown this season. He’s the San Francisco Giants’ top outfield prospect making his Triple-A debut. Brown has kind of an odd batting stance. He holds his hands almost against his body while really bending his right knee. But, hey, if it works …