The Rainiers beat Salt Lake last night, 4-1, and have won three straight games. Tacoma goes for a sweep today.
Looking at the big picture, the Rainiers reached the .500 mark for the first time since the team was 2-2 on April 10. Now the club is 47-47, so the team spent 90 games under .500.
Tacoma was as many as ten games under .500, a nadir that the club sunk to on several occasions. The team has been over .500 only one time: when the club was 2-1 after game three.
The Rainiers have won 14 of the last 20 games to make this surge.
Luke French looked like his regular self yesterday, lasting seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits. He was able to get ground balls in the infield at will – in fact, he recorded 12 groundouts and six flyouts. French has won six of his last seven decisions.
The Rainiers have not swept anybody this year – they hope to change that with a win today at 1:35 pm. It’s the final game of the homestand – Tacoma hits the road for eight days starting Monday.
Tacoma will start LHP Anthony Vasquez (1-1, 4.97) against Salt Lake RHP Ronald “Bear” Bay (6-5, 4.76). If you can’t make it to the ballpark, listen on South Sound Sports 850 AM or online, streaming right here.
- Leading off, it’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Batting second, it’s the Mariners game story from the Times. Seattle is really have a tough time scoring and it’s getting kind of depressing.
- The 2001 Mariners reunited at Larry LaRue has the story. My friend Dave Myers, a former Rainiers manager, was the third base coach for that squad. He did not attend the reunion as he is the hitting coach for the Durham Bulls (AAA-Tampa).
- The 2001 Tacoma Rainiers benefitted greatly from the success of the Mariners – I wrote about it in my Minor League Notebook for the TNT. That was the best Tacoma team I’ve seen in my time here, and the second-best in franchise history.
- The Larry Stone Sunday baseball package: his column on those pesky Pittsburgh Pirates, his notebook, and his power rankings.
- One of my favorite baseball announcers is Jon Miller, and he spoke about his break-up with ESPN.
- Tacoma can’t gain any ground on first place Reno, as the Aces won their fifth in a row yesterday. David Winfree is back from injury and the former Rainiers outfielder is, predictably, raking.
- Fresno beat Sacramento – the first place River Cats have lost 12 of the last 16 games, yet they still have a six-game lead.
- Las Vegas scored three times in the ninth inning to beat Tucson in the third game at Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- We were afraid of this: the ballpark plan in Escondido, California is dead due to state budget problems. Tucson Padres for life! The brief sentence in this story that includes the words “El Paso” is perhaps the scariest thing I have ever read.
- Memphis and Round Rock have played one another eight times in a row. Really, the PCL must stop scheduling like this.*
- Former Rainiers first baseman Bryan LaHair is the hottest hitter in the PCL.
Final game of the homestand today – we’re off to 105-degree Tucson tomorrow, and then we go to Salt Lake City for the big Utah state holiday weekend.
* the Mike… Off-Mic “Let’s Fix The PCL Schedule” post is coming soon, but since I dare to eliminate two Monday home games for each team it will probably get censored – or at least frowned-upon.