Greetings from the Rainiers own house of horrors, Aces Ballpark in downtown Reno, Nevada.
The Rainiers lost to Reno in the opening game of the series on Tuesday night, 7-5. It was a surprisingly low-scoring game from the PCL’s best hitter’s park.
Reno took a 7-1 lead early against Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway, who got knocked around for his first time this season.
Carraway couldn’t put away innings: six of Reno’s seven runs scored on two-out hits, and most of them were line shots into the outfield.
Tacoma had some plate discipline issues in the first six innings, chasing sliders out of the strike zone. Reno starter Joe Martinez struck out seven in 5.2 innings.
Once the Aces bullpen entered the game, the Rainiers bats came alive – but it was too little, too late.
Special shout-out to Leury Bonilla, who hit his first Triple-A home run in the ninth inning off Reno closer Jonathan Albaladejo.
Bonilla was playing because Luis Jimenez fouled a ball of his right ankle, and had to be helped off the field by trainer Tom Newberg. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and Luis can get back in there today or tomorrow.
Tacoma has now lost 11 straight games to Reno, including an 0-5 record this year. The Rainiers are 6-23 all-time at Aces Ballpark, which opened for the 2009 season.
We have three games left in this series, and at this point the Rainiers want to take baby steps: win one, and build from there.
Today’s game is at 1:05 PM (it was incorrectly listed as 7:05 on early prints of the Rainiers schedule). We’ll have the broadcast on 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Anthony Vasquez (5-2, 5.15) against Reno RHP Charles Brewer (1-4, 6.75).
- I wrote the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune – the game ended too late to get quotes, but it does have the blow-by-blow.*
- The Mariners piled up the runs and beat Texas yesterday, 10-3. That was very, very good to see.
- Larry LaRue has more on Franklin Gutierrez and his upcoming 20-day stint with the Rainiers.
- Steve Kelley at the Times writes that Eric Wedge should not be blamed for the Mariners struggles. I agree 100% – this is a rebuilding year.
- One of my favorite yahoos – John McGrath - wrote about the three players he thinks the Mariners are looking at for next week’s first-round draft pick.
- In this Geoff Baker notebook, we learn that Dustin Ackley’s teammates are mocking him for not playing on his bobblehead day. Also, James Paxton at Double-A Jackson is going to miss a few starts with a knee problem.
- Larry Stone has a blog item on Brandon League and the Mariners closer prospects.
- In the PCL, Sacramento walked-off Fresno on a homer by Brandon Hicks. This is a good rivalry series.
- A’s first baseman-turned-pitcher Sean Doolittle has made a rapid ascent to Triple-A Sacramento. Yoenis Cespedes is on rehab with the River Cats.
- Salt Lake found the bats! Fourteen hits and a 7-3 win over Colorado Springs to end a six-game losing streak.
- Down at the Austin Statesman, my favorite headline writer got the score wrong – again. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s just a poorly programmed bot.
That’s all the links I have time to get to today – early game!
* w/r/t the newspaper headline, you cannot bet on PCL games in Nevada casinos – even though the Harrah’s sports book is about 500 feet from the entrance to Aces Ballpark. There was a very funny story in the Reno newspaper about this when the team first moved here in 2009 - a “fan” was actually quoted as saying “Why would I go to the game if I can’t bet on it?”