Rainiers Come Home Hot

The Rainiers return to Cheney Stadium tonight for a four-game series with Tucson that will cover all of Memorial Day Weekend.

We have night games tonight and Saturday at 7:05, and the day games on Sunday and Monday at 1:35.

Tacoma is coming in hot! The Rainiers have won nine of the last 13 games, including yesterday’s 7-2 decision over Iowa. The Rainiers finished the eight-game road trip with a 5-3 record, including a three-to-one series win at Iowa.

Brian Sweeney tossed six scoreless innings, Carlos Peguero hit another home run, and Mike Wilson had three hits and three RBI in the win.

Now the Tucson Padres arrive in town, and they look at bit different from how they did when Tacoma took two of three from them in Tucson, May 1-3.

The Padres have added infield prospect Jedd Gyorko from Double-A San Antonio, slugger Matt Clark is over his early season slump (he’s hitting .330 with seven homers in May after a .169 April), and catcher Yasmani Grandal is swinging a hot stick (14 hits in his last eight games, with at least one RBI in each).

The Tucson pitching staff has been in a state of flux, with the parent San Diego Padres swapping out relievers on a nearly daily basis. One player of note: former MLB starter Kip Wells has joined Tucson, and he gets the nod for a Memorial Day start.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and there will be fireworks afterward. Tacoma starts LHP Anthony Vasquez (5-2, 4.44) against Tucson LHP Tom Layne (0-2, 4.50). Can’t make it to Cheney Stadium? Listen to the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM or streaming online right here.

Links:

  • We’ll start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune with quotes from Brian Sweeney and Mike Wilson.
  • Uh-oh. I hope the Mariners didn’t get Albert Pujols hot.
  • When the Mariners activated Miguel Olivo from the disabled list yesterday, they optioned Casper Wells to Tacoma. Now the Rainiers have four outfielders who are on the 40-man roster and theoretically have to play every day (Wells, Carlos Peguero, Trayvon Robinson, and Chih-Hsien Chiang). That doesn’t include Mike Wilson, who is not on the 40-man but helps you win Triple-A games. It will be interesting to see how Daren Brown sorts this out.
  • Holy smokes! Danny Hultzen edged out Trevor Bauer for the #1 spot on this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet! The PCL is loaded with talent right now, and four of the top seven players on this list are in the league.
  • Speaking of Bauer, he allows some insight into his pitching philosophy in this interview.
  • Fan voting has begun for the Triple-A All-Star Game. You know our motto: Vote Early, Vote Often.
  • Larry Stone caught up with former Mariners and Tacoma Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry. The Hall Of Famer is throwing out the first pitch at the M’s game tonight – this story is a good read.
  • More fun stuff from Stone: the video on this post is wonderful, mostly because of the host. Watch it!
  • In the PCL, we have confirmation and a story on Reno outfielder David Winfree retiring. We wish the former Rainiers star the best in whatever he decides to do.
  • For night games, the Las Vegas newspaper writes a feature, and then slips the score and a few game details into the story. Today’s feature glorified 51s utility man Mike McCoy – a very good player, but it was bad timing.
  • The Tucson paper has a feature on Kip Wells and his comeback. Memphis beat Tucson 7-6 last night, avoiding a sweep, as catcher Brian Anderson went 6-for-6 with the game winning RBI single in the 11th. Apparently Anderson was really struggling – the 6-for-6 game only raised his average to .212.
  • Omaha salvaged a series split against Salt Lake, and the Rainiers gained a game.
  • Colorado Springs and Oklahoma City split a doubleheader.
  • The PCL’s two winningest pitchers went head-to-head in Albuquerque – and only one survived.
  • “Express Beat Sacramento” – my headline guy is back.
  • Manny Ramirez and his River Cats return to Sacramento tonight, and the newspaper has a big feature.
  • If there really is a tiger on the loose, would it be wrong for me to hope that it eats my neighbor’s dog?
  • Sad news, but I guess we knew it was coming: Led Zeppelin II is dead.

As you may know, the Party Decks down the third base line at Cheney Stadium are reserved for group outings (schools, churches, work events, etc). However, Memorial Day is not big seller for group outings – so the Rainiers are selling individual tables with a special Memorial Day buffet on Monday, and it looks like a pretty good deal. The details are on the Rainiers web site, or call 253-752-7700.

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