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After getting blasted on Thursday night, it was important that Tacoma get off to a good start on Friday. Picking up a run in the top of the first off of Colorado Springs starter Marc Kaiser was a great start.

Give up six runs in the bottom of the first? Not so much. Even worse? All six runs came with two outs. Colorado Springs would eventually lead 10-2 when the Rainiers mercifully pulled starter Brad Thomas in the fourth.

Game three of what looks like a nightmare series for Tacoma tomorrow at 6:05. Ryan Feierabend (2-2, 3.86) returns from Seattle to save the day against Bobby Keppel (1-5, 6.55)

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On of our very favorite minor league teams in the Boston Red Sox California League affiliate, the Lancaster JetHawks. What is a JetHawk you might ask. It's a jet fighter with the head of a hawk.

Well, duh...

The JetHawks' mascot is KaBoom – and you damn well better spell it like that – a giant purple hawk wearing a Lancaster uniform and gigantic goggles. Here he leads his legions of the undead adorable little children.


Photo Courtesy of JetHawks.com

Bonus Bit #1: The JetHawks actually call their fans "JetHawks Nation".

Bonus Bit #2: KaBoom has a MySpace page. Don't you want to be his friend?

Okay, a little background: We were picking up dinner this evening, listening to Mike Curto call the game. It was 11-8 Tacoma in the sixth. We felt confident enough - despite the previous five innings of shaky Jake Woods – to abandon the game and watch the second half of the NBA Finals. That was a mistake, as the Cleveland – San Antonio match-up turned so deadly dull we started watching the MLS game between Colorado and Houston.

Imagine our surprise then, when we checked on the beloved Rainiers and found out that Colorado Springs managed to score 15 runs in the next three innings and win 23-11. As one might imagine, the bullpen was the culprit. Juan Sandoval gave up six runs in a third of an inning, Jamie Cerda gave up four in 1 and 1/3 innings, and Byron Embry gave up three in in 1 and 1/3.

The only good news? Our Favorite Rainier goes 4-4 with two homers and a double.

So yeah, just your average 34 run, three-hour baseball game in Colorado Springs.

Same two teams tomorrow – and it couldn't get much worse - at 6:05.

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The modern-day Pacific Coast League is a massive enterprise consisting of 16 teams stretching from Tacoma and Portland in the Pacific Northwest to New Orleans of the Deep South. These are the teams our hometown nine will face throughout the long season. You must know the enemy!


The Team: Portland Beavers

The Location: Portland, Oregon

The Affiliation: San Diego Padres

The Website: PortlandBeavers.com

The Ballpark: PGE Park. Originally a football stadium opened in 1926 as Multnomah Stadium, this multi-use park was completely renovated in 2001. The Portland Beavers added baseball in 1956, after their home, Vaughn Street Park, was condemned. Even after the renovation, this is still very much a multi-use stadium, home to the Portland State Vikings football team, the Portland Timbers soccer club as well as the PCL Beavers.

The History: Portland has hosted a Pacific Coast League franchise longer than any other city. Like Tacoma, Portland was an original member of the Pacific Northwest League, and went through the war between the Pacific National League and the PCL. Where Tacoma stuck with the PNL, the Beavers’ predecessor Portland Webfeets made the move to the Pacific Coast League. Eventually rechristened the Beavers (or Lucky Beavers), the team remained in the PCL – with the exception of WWI – through the 1973 season. That team headed to Spokane, but the Beavers returned in ’78. This version stuck around until 1993, become the Salt Lake franchise. When the Beavers left again, the movement for a new ballpark caught fire, culminating in the opening of PGE Park and the return of the Beavers in 2001.

The Name: Yes, Lucky Beavers would be the perfect name for a strip club.

Miscellaneous Note #1: There would seem to be the chance for a nice Pacific Northwest rivalry with Tacoma, but that isn’t helped by the fact that the two teams don’t meet until mid-June.

Miscellaneous Note #2 We love the Beavers’ home uni.

The Prospects: Not much. The Padres’ system is very thin. The name to know might be Ryan Ketchner. He’s a minor prospect, but former Mariner property. The Beavs were supposed to feature Cesar Carrillo, San Diego’s best pitching prospect, but he went out with an injury.

Cubs 5, Rainiers 4

Ouch....

The Rainiers were on the verge of a series win against the team with the best record in the PCL. And then they weren't. Julio Mateo gave up a 4-3 lead in the eighth and gave up a game-winning solo home run from Cubs leadoff hitter Eric Patterson. Tacoma ends up losing the series and ending with a losing record for the recently ended homestand.

Tacoma hits the road tomorrow – with a much needed off-day – then it's on to Colorado Springs and Portland.

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After a sparkling 6-0 start, Justin Lehr came down to earth for a few innings Monday night. Lehr – who has been nearly unstoppable since joining the rotation the second week of the season – could only go 3 1/3, giving up homers to I-Cubs Micah Hoffpauir, Scott Moore and Anthony Richie. Lehr gave up five in the first, only to see Tacoma tie with five in the bottom of the first, but he gave up the lead in the third. Still, if this is the worst Lehr start the Rainiers will count themselves lucky.

Rubber game of the series tomorrow at 11:35. Also the finale game of this homestand; Tacoma sends Juan Done (0-1, 2.84) against J.R. Mathes (5-3, 5.40)

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Rainiers 7, Cubs 3

Hey, wrap-ups are back!

Bryan LaHair returned from the bench (Wait, he's been playing all this time? I thought since he's contributed nothing in the past six weeks...) and popped his first two homers since mid-April to power the Rainiers past Iowa. Jorge Campillo evened his record at 4-4 and Tacoma snapped a three-game losing streak. Our Favorite Rainier tied a rather esoteric record, number of putouts by an outfielder with 11. Jones is the eighth PCLer to tie this record, but the first in 39 years.

Same two teams tomorrow at 7:05. Rainier ace Justin Lehr (6-0, 2.34) against Ryan O'Malley (3-4, 6.23)

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