Brian Sweeney tossed six shutout innings as the Rainiers won their sixth straight game on Monday night, 4-1 over the Tucson Padres. It was the opening game of an eight-game homestand.
Sweeney, Brian Moran, and Lucas Luetge combined to limit Tucson to four hits and one unearned run. It was the fourth game in a row in which the Rainiers pitching staff had allowed three runs or fewer – a remarkable feat considering that three of those games were played in the Las Vegas launching pad.
Tacoma’s team ERA is down to 3.93. That ranks 6th-best in the 16-team PCL, and is the best among the eight Pacific Conference teams.
Offensively, Tacoma had seven hits and four runs. Eric Thames continues to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He has played in every game this year, reaching base with either a hit or a walk in all 25.
Mike Zunino hit a long triple to center in his first at-bat, collecting his first career Cheney Stadium hit.
Nick Franklin contributed an RBI single, extending his hitting streak to ten. He has reached base in all 16 games he has played in, and he has a six-game streak of games with an RBI.
Tacoma is 15-10 going into the final game of the month. This is the most victories for the franchise in the month of April since the 2001 PCL Championship team went 18-5 in the first month of the season.
Roster moves: yesterday the Mariners activated Michael Saunders from the disabled list, and optioned Carlos Peguero to Tacoma.
Today the Rainiers officially added Jimmy Gillheeney to the roster, with utility man Leury Bonilla going back to Double-A Jackson.
The second game of the Tucson series is tonight at 6:05, and you can listen on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here (yes, the online audio stream was fixed yesterday and we should be all set moving forward). Tacoma starts LHP Jimmy Gillheeney (Triple-A debut) against Tucson RHP Wilfredo Boscan (0-0, 0.00).
- Don Ruiz had the pleasure of covering last night’s 2 hour, 18 minute Rainiers game. His story for The News Tribune has lots of reaction from Mike Zunino.
- Story of the day: historian David Eskenazi has an article on our stadium namesake Ben Cheney and his impact on sports and the American lumber and housing industries. This seems like a good time to remind everybody that the Cheney family pronounces it “CHEE-nee.”
- Michael Saunders came off the disabled list and made an instant impact for the Mariners. The other Saunders – Joe – tossed a rare complete game in the Mariners win last night.
- The A’s beat the Angels in the 19th last night, after a 6 hour, 32 minute game. Brandon Moss was the hero, and everyone was so exhausted that he just pied himself. <<< watch this video, it’s hilarious.
- In the PCL, Fresno walked-off Sacramento in the bottom of the 11th in a fierce battle between rivals. One of the PCL’s top hitter, Sacramento’s Stephen Vogt, returned to his homeland.
- Erick Aybar is rehabilitating with Salt Lake, but he couldn’t prevent the Bees from losing their seventh game in a row last night.
- Former Rainiers pitcher D.J. Mitchell tossed a gem in his first start for Las Vegas, earning a win in Reno. Aces speedster Tony Campana tied the record by stealing three bases in one inning – which included a straight steal of home. Make sure you watch the video on there, which includes fantastic calls by too-good-to-be-in-Triple-A Reno broadcaster Ryan Radtke.
- New Orleans pounded out 14 hits in a 6-3 win over Omaha.
- Oklahoma City leadoff man Trevor Crowe had three hits, two walks, three steals, and scored four runs in a 9-8 win against Nashville. Brett Wallace is trying to find his rhythm with the Red Hawks.
- Albuquerque’s pitching rotation is a mess, but the Elian Herrera saved the day with a walk-off hit against Memphis. A crowd of 6,948 ‘Topes fans ate an incredible 17,071 dogs on their annual 50-cent hot dog night. That’s 2.47 hot dogs per person.
- Former Rainiers slugger Brad Nelson went 4-for-5 but his Iowa Cubs lost to Round Rock, 10-9.
It’s a beautiful day in Tacoma, and the weather is supposed to be nice all week. Come join us at the ballpark!