The Rainiers losing streak reached seven with a 3-2 loss to Albuquerque on Thursday night.
It was the game of the strikeout at Cheney Stadium: both starting pitchers established new career-highs for strikeouts, and the two teams combined to punch out 29 times in a nine-inning game.
That means that 29 of the 54 outs in the game were strikeouts.
Albuquerque starter John Ely reached double-digits in strikeouts for the first time in his career, notching 11 strikeouts over seven innings. He picked up the win, allowing just two runs on four hits.
Rainiers starter Jarrett Grube had nine strikeouts in just five innings. He got hit with loss despite having his best outing of the season.
Albuquerque complained about the strike zone of home plate umpire Barry Larson. Larson, a PCL veteran umpire, ejected both outfielder Jerry Sands and hitting coach John Valentin after calling Sands out on strikes in the sixth inning.
Tacoma had another strong relief outing from Stephen Pryor, who went two scoreless innings and allowed one hit and one walk with three strikeouts. Pryor threw 37 pitches, 21 for strikes. No velocity readings were available – the Cheney Stadium radar gun was on the fritz last night; it needs a new battery or a calibration or something. After the two-inning stint, Pryor probably won’t pitch again until Saturday or Sunday.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05 and Albuquerque will be going for a series sweep. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway in his Triple-A debut, he’ll be opposed by Albuquerque LHP Michael Antonini (1-0, 4.50). As always the broadcast is on 850 AM and streaming online right here.
- Doug Pacey’s Rainiers game story for The News Tribune is about… strikeouts.
- Larry Stone has a feature on Mariners reliever Lucas Luetge, who still has a 0.00 ERA.
- We have stories on two Mariners who are in crucial seasons for their own careers. Larry LaRue wrote about Mike Carp, and Steve Kelley wrote about Justin Smoak.
- John McGrath writes that because of the big winter trade between Seattle and New York, all eyes will be on Jesus Montero at Yankee Stadium this weekend.
- Dave Cameron thinks that the time is ripe for trading Brandon League. He’s right – if the M’s decide they want to do that, closers have a lot of value right now.
- There are no Mariners in sight on this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet, but a former Washington State Cougar made the cut.
- In the PCL, hot-hitting Reno third baseman Josh Bell led the Aces to a 6-4 win at Memphis.
- Salt Lake beat Round Rock the second day in a row, 5-3.
- Nashville topped Colorado Springs on a two-out bunt single in the bottom of the ninth by Corey Patterson. Walk-off bunt!
- Josh Vitters had three hits as Iowa blasted Fresno, 10-1. Former Fresno manager Steve Decker talked about his new job.
- New Orleans got a great start from Tom Koehler and shut out Tucson, 2-0.
- Sacramento’s Graham Godfrey has been dealing since the A’s sent him down.
Friday Night Fireworks tonight – see you at the ballpark.