Chihuahuas Invade Cheney Stadium

May 21, 2018

Tacoma won the Las Vegas series, taking three of the four games and improving to 23-21 on the year. Now the Rainiers will have to fight off a team of little dogs.

The El Paso Chihuahuas make their first trip to Tacoma, starting a four-game series tonight at 6:05.

The Rainiers were just in El Paso two weeks ago, fending off the Chihuahuas on their own turf and taking a road series 3-1. That was the turning point in the middle of Tacoma’s 13-game road trip which finished with a winning record.

El Paso’s team completed a quick four-game homestand last night, dropping three games to Fresno. Because they played a night game last night, the Chihuahuas couldn’t fly until today – so they will be playing tonight’s game after a long travel process.

Of note, the Chihuahuas will be without manager Rod Barajas during this series. Roving instructor Tony Tarasco will serve as manager for the San Diego Padres affiliate – you may remember him from notable moments in baseball history such as “The Jeffrey Maier Incident.”

Image result for jeffrey maier incident photo

Tony shouldn’t have to worry about that happening at Cheney Stadium… right?

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma’s bullpen shined in a 3-1 win over Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon. After Casey Lawrence pitched the first four innings allowing one run, Ashton Goudeau, Darin Gillies, Shawn Armstrong, and Mike Morin combined to pitch five shutout innings to close out the game. Mike Marjama and Dan Vogelbach homered for Tacoma.

TODAY: El Paso (21-23) at Tacoma (23-21), 6:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 3-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Luis Perdomo (3-2, 3.09) at RHP Christian Bergman (3-3, 3.40)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in 12 straight games, and ten of his last 12 hits have gone for extra bases… Chris Herrmann has reached base in 12 straight games… Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a six-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: After starting the season 15-5, the defending conference champions have lost 18 of the last 24 games. They have lost six straight series coming into this one… Allen Craig has a little three-game hitting streak, and he has hit four homers in his last 11 games… Shane Peterson has a four-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Tacoma pitchers Jonathan Aro and Dillon Overton are members of the El Paso pitching staff. Their pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers in 1993-1994.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 5:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Fresno 7, EL PASO 2 – Cy Sneed went six innings for the win, and Kyle Tucker homered and scored three runs for the Grizzlies. Story from MiLB.com.

SALT LAKE 12, Sacramento 5 – the River Cats managed to out-hit Salt Lake 16-14 yet lose the game by seven runs. Salt Lake hit four homers (to Sacramento’s zero), two off the bat of Rymer Liriano. Story from Salt Lake City.

ALBUQUERQUE 13, Reno 8 – the Isotopes took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth and then put together a ten-run inning. Josh Fuentes hit two triples and drove in five runs.

OKLAHOMA CITY 11, Nashville 2 – Donovan Solano had four hits and Jake Peter homered twice in the Dodgers blowout. Recap from Oklahoma City.

Memphis 6, COLORADO SPRINGS 1 – hard-throwing Dakota Hudson lasted six innings and allowed one run, improving his numbers to 5-1, 2.70 on the year.

IOWA 3, Omaha 2 – former Rainiers infielder Mike Freeman drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and then he and his pregnant wife had a gender reveal on the field.

Round Rock 3, NEW ORLEANS 1 – Express starter David Hurlbut pitched seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, but Beavis missed it because he was giggling during the entire game. Story from New Orleans.

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Sunday Funday: Rainiers Shoot For Series Win

May 20, 2018

Tacoma made it two straight victories over Las Vegas with a come-from-behind 10-6 win on Saturday night, taking a two games to one lead in the series against the New York Mets affiliate. Tacoma will try to win the series with a victory Sunday at 1:35.

Saturday’s game featured quite the comeback: after making three errors in rapid succession opening the door for a Las Vegas five-run fourth inning, Tacoma was trailing 6-2. But the Rainiers responded by a) not allowing a hit for the remainder of the game, and b) scoring eight unanswered runs.

With the win the Rainiers moved over the .500 mark to 22-21 on the season. It’s the first time Tacoma has been over .500 since April 29, when the club was 12-11. Tacoma was won nine of its last 13 games.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: After an inning of uncharacteristically poor defense, Tacoma overcame a 6-2 deficit by scoring eight unanswered runs in a 10-6 win over Las Vegas on Saturday night. Danny Muno and Chris Herrmann hit two-run homers, and John Andreoli had the go-ahead two-out, two-run double. Dario Alvarez made a strong relief appearance after Tacoma took the lead, retiring six of the seven batters he faced for two shutout innings.

ROSTER MOVES: Tyler Jackson is back in the Rainiers bullpen. He has pitched for Triple-A Tacoma, Double-A Arkansas, and Class-A Modesto this season.

TODAY: Las Vegas (17-26) at Tacoma (22-21), 1:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: New York Mets.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Logan Taylor (1-0, 5.63) at RHP Casey Lawrence (2-1, 1.80)

It’s a ‘bullpen day’ for Vegas; although Taylor has made a couple of spot starts this season.

HOT HITTERS: Jayson Werth has a five-game hitting streak in which he has gone 7-for-18 with three doubles and three homers… Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in 11 straight games, and nine of his last 11 hits have gone for extra bases… Chris Herrmann has reached base in 12 straight games… Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a five-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Veteran catcher Johnny Monell has hit safely in ten straight games… Dominic Smith had his six-game hitting streak end yesterday; he played the outfield for the first time in his career and didn’t mess anything up… Matt den Dekker has multiple hits in eight of his last 12 games, and he is 6-for-12 in this series.

FAMILIAR FACES: Las Vegas has two former Rainiers on the active roster: infielders Ty Kelly and Patrick Kivlehan. Relief pitcher Tim Peterson is a 2009 graduate of Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup. Currently on the disabled list is Bryce Brentz, who won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Cheney Stadium last July.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here. It’s a Sunday home game so Bob Robertson joins me in the booth.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Fresno 4, EL PASO 0 – ‘bullpen day’ turned into ‘shutout day’ for Fresno when five pitchers combined on a four-hitter. Fresno’s J.D. Davis is being called up by Houston today.

Sacramento 11, SALT LAKE 7 – the River Cats had 17 hits, and rehabilitating Mac Williamson doubled, homered, and drove in four runs. Steven Duggar added three hits and scored three runs. Story from Salt Lake City.

ALBUQUERQUE 5, Reno 1 – oft-injured top prospect Yency Almonte made a start, allowing one run over 4.1 innings for the ‘Topes. Mike Tauchman homered twice. Story from Albuquerque.

Omaha 4, IOWA 2 – Omaha starter Glenn Sparkman sparkled hard for seven innings without allowing an earned run.

OKLAHOMA CITY 4, Nashville 2 – here comes the next Dodgers pitching prospect: making his Triple-A debut, Dennis Santana struck out 11 and issued zero walks over six shutout innings for Oklahoma City. Story from MiLB.com.

Memphis 11/11, COLORADO SPRINGS 3/4 – the Redbirds swept the doubleheader with a pair of blowouts. Memphis scored ten runs in the top of the first inning of the second game – whoa. Leadoff man Orlando Mercado went 7-for-9 in the twinbill.

Round Rock 15/8, NEW ORLEANS 4/10 – the Baby Cakes salvaged a doubleheader split by scoring six runs in the first inning of Game Two. Round Rock catcher Juan Centeno hit a grand slam in the first game. Story from New Orleans.


Werth Homers Again; Rainiers Juggle Rotation

May 19, 2018

Jayson Werth continued his hot streak on Friday night, lacing a three-run homer in the fifth inning to open up a close game and lead Tacoma to a 7-2 win over Las Vegas.

Werth has homered in three straight games, during which he is 5-for-11 with a pair of doubles. The reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

The Rainiers won the game behind a terrific start from left-hander Ariel Miranda, who lasted seven innings without walking anyone, giving up one run. That was great to see from Miranda, who improved his record to 4-0 on the year.

Tacoma has made a change to the starting rotation. Max Povse was sent to Double-A Arkansas after the game last night. He’ll try to iron out his consistency issues in the Texas League.

Casey Lawrence is being inserted into the rotation, and he is expected to start Sunday’s game.

Last night’s win brought Tacoma back to .500 on the year, and the team has won eight of the last 12 games. Let’s see if they can get over .500 this evening.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma evened the series with a 7-2 win over Las Vegas on Friday night. Ariel Miranda had a terrific start, lasting seven innings and allowing one run without walking a batter. Danny Muno came through with a big two-out, two-run single in the second inning to give Tacoma the lead, and Jayson Werth‘s three-run homer in the fifth inning opened up the game.

ROSTER MOVES: The Rainiers have added Ashton Goudeau to the bullpen, he has returned from extended spring training. Starting pitcher Max Povse has been transferred to Double-A Arkansas.

TODAY: Las Vegas (17-25) at Tacoma (21-21), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: New York Mets.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Drew Gagnon (0-1, 6.56) at RHP Rob Whalen (5-2, 5.73)

HOT HITTERS: Jayson Werth has homered in three straight games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in ten straight games, and nine of his last 11 hits have gone for extra bases… Chris Herrmann has reached base in 11 straight games… Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a five-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Veteran catcher Johnny Monell has hit safely in nine straight games… Dominic Smith has a six-game hitting streak… Matt den Dekker has multiple hits in seven of his last 11 games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Las Vegas has two former Rainiers on the active roster: infielders Ty Kelly and Patrick Kivlehan. Relief pitcher Tim Peterson is a 2009 graduate of Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup. Currently on the disabled list is Bryce Brentz, who won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Cheney Stadium last July.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

EL PASO 8, Fresno 7 (10) – Fresno scored once in the top of the tenth before El Paso’s Diego Goris singled home two runs to win it in the bottom of the inning. Goris went 4-for-5 with four RBI.

Sacramento 7, SALT LAKE 3 – Chase d’Arnaud had three hits, a homer, and three RBI to lead the River Cats. Story from Salt Lake City.

Reno 9, ALBUQUERQUE 7 – Ildemaro Vargas led off the game with a homer and the Aces were off and running. Story from Albuquerque.

Omaha 8, IOWA 6 – the Storm Chasers had home runs by Ryan O’Hearn and Cam Gallagher in the win.

Nashville 8, OKLAHOMA CITY 4 – leadoff man Nick Martini had three hits, including two homers, and drove in four runs for the Sounds. Jake Smolinski appeared in the box score and had four hits for Nashville. Recap from Oklahoma City.

Round Rock at NEW ORLEANS and Memphis at COLORADO SPRINGS – both rained out.


Werth Continues To Show Progress But Rainiers Drop Homestand Opener

May 18, 2018

The Rainiers lost the opener game of the eight-game homestand on Friday night to Las Vegas, 8-3. The 51s jumped all over the Rainiers early, with first baseman Dominic Smith having a big game at the plate (3-for-4, two doubles, four RBI).

Tacoma outfielder Jayson Werth continues to show progress at the plate, lifting an opposite-field two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to briefly give the Rainiers a 2-1 lead.

The longtime major leaguer is trying to see if he has anything left in the tank, and early indications were not good. That opinion, however, may be changing: Werth has gone 4-for-8 in his last two games, with two doubles and two homers. Two days shy of his 39th birthday, Werth is heating up.

The next two weeks will be big for Werth as we find out if he can still hit at an advanced level. He’s been behind schedule all along, having missed spring training, and now he should have his timing back. It sure would be fun to watch if he played his way back into the big leagues.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Las Vegas put together a steady attack over the first six innings on the way to an 8-3 series-opening win at Tacoma. Six of the ten Las Vegas hits went for extra bases. Jayson Werth and Taylor Motter homered for Tacoma.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners called up Ryan Cook and he made his first major league appearance since September 16, 2015. Starting pitcher Christian Bergman was optioned to Tacoma. The Rainiers are a little short in the bullpen right now, especially since Erik Goeddel was claimed by the Dodgers today.

TODAY: Las Vegas (17-24) at Tacoma (20-21), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: New York Mets.

SEASONS SERIES: Las Vegas leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Corey Oswalt (2-2, 6.62) at LHP Ariel Miranda (3-0, 4.91)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in nine straight games, and nine of his last 11 hits have gone for extra bases… Chris Herrmann has reached base in ten straight games… Jayson Werth has homered in back-to-back games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas has won five of its last seven games… veteran catcher Johnny Monell has hit safely in eight straight games… Dominic Smith has a five-game hitting streak… Matt den Dekker has multiple hits in six of his last ten games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Las Vegas has two former Rainiers on the active roster: infielders Ty Kelly and Patrick Kivlehan. Relief pitcher Tim Peterson is a 2009 graduate of Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup. Currently on the disabled list is Bryce Brentz, who won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Cheney Stadium last July.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • The Mariners lost to Detroit in the eighth inning last night, 3-2. The lineup isn’t quite as formidable without Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz in it.
  • Ryan Cook is back in the big leagues. TJ Cotterill has the story.
  • MiLB.com has a feature on Mariners Class-A shortstop Bryson Brigman, who was known as a glove-first prospect until he started hitting .380 for Modesto this season.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Fresno 9, EL PASO 7 – JD Davis hit for the cycle and raised his batting average to .425 (in 127 at-bats). Davis needed the homer to complete the cycle, and he blasted a two-run shot in the top of the ninth inning. Story from MiLB.com.

SALT LAKE 12, Sacramento 11 – the Bees are loaded with sluggers, but on Thursday they had 17 hits without a homer in the win over Sacramento. Neither team pitched a scoreless half-inning until the top of the sixth inning. Story from Salt Lake City.

ALBUQUERQUE 8, Reno 2 – Jeff Hoffman pitched 6.2 shutout innings with ten strikeouts, and Jordan Patterson homered twice for the ‘Topes. Story from Albuquerque.

COLORADO SPRINGS 10, Memphis 5 – trailing 5-4 at the stretch, the Sky Sox scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Keon Broxton went 4-for-4, stole two bases, and scored three runs.

OKLAHOMA CITY 13, Nashville 3 – another game decided by a big inning, this one an eight-run fourth for the Dodgers. Tim Locastro doubled, homered, and drove in four runs. Recap from Oklahoma City.

NEW ORLEANS 3, Round Rock 2 – Marlins top pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara went eight innings for the Cakes, allowing two runs on five hits. Story from New Orleans.

IOWA 4, Omaha 3 (11) – this one was tied 3-3 after nine and neither team was able to score despite getting a runner at second base… until the bottom of the eleventh, when Ryan Court hit a walk-off single.


Finally – A Homestand!

May 17, 2018

The Rainiers completed their longest road trip since 2014 on Tuesday with an 8-5 win at Sacramento, remarkably finishing the 13-game journey with a winning record of 7-6.

After a league-wide day off on Wednesday, the Rainiers open up an eight-game homestand tonight at Cheney Stadium. The Las Vegas 51s are in town for their first visit of 2018.

Tacoma will be playing the first two games without manager Pat Listach, who is away from the club to attend a college graduation. He’ll be back in time to manage Saturday’s game.

In his place, Rainiers hitting coach David Berg will serve as manager for two games. Berg has been a manager at the lower levels of the minor leagues in the Marlins organization – he should do just fine. The Mariners will send in some roving instructors to boost the coaching staff.

We expect some transactions prior to first pitch tonight. Christian Bergman was called up yesterday to make a (terrific) spot-start, for which he might be rewarded with a trip right back to Tacoma. We’ll see what they decide to do.

Anyway, it’s great to be back in town. Let’s have a homestand!

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma was off yesterday. On Tuesday the Rainiers closed out the 13-game road trip with an 8-5 win at Sacramento. Trailing 3-0 after five innings, the Rainiers scored eight unanswered runs over the next three frames. Seth Mejias-Brean made an impact in his first game for Tacoma, reaching base three times including an RBI double.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners called up Christian Bergman to make a spot start, and he delivered seven shutout innings before the Mariners lost late in the game. Seattle designated reliever Erik Goeddel for assignment, so we’ll have to wait a few days and see if anyone claims him.

TODAY: Las Vegas (16-24) at Tacoma (20-20), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: New York Mets.

SEASONS SERIES: 0-0. First of 16 meetings between the two teams.

PITCHERS: LHP PJ Conlon (1-3, 6.10) at LHP Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.78)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in eight straight games, and he hit .386 (17-for-44) with six homers and 14 walks on the 13 game road trip… Chris Herrmann has reached base in ten straight games… John Andreoli has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas closed out a 4-4 homestand on Tuesday, splitting four-game series with Fresno and Albuquerque. After a dreadful 5-14 start to the season, Tony DeFrancesco‘s club has gone 11-10… veteran catcher Johnny Monell has hit safely in seven straight games… Dominic Smith has a little four-game hitting streak; he’s a good first base prospect.

FAMILIAR FACES: Las Vegas has two former Rainiers on the active roster: infielders Ty Kelly and Patrick Kivlehan. Currently on the disabled list is Bryce Brentz, who won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Cheney Stadium last July.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL:

The entire league was off on Wednesday. We should note that division-leading Fresno lost in the ninth inning to Salt Lake on Tuesday, so the Rainiers picked up a game and are four games out of first place.

 


The End Of A Long Road

May 15, 2018

It’s the end of the road, and what a long road it has been. Tacoma completes its 13-game road trip with a day game today at noon in Sacramento.

Amazingly, Tacoma has a chance to finish its longest road trip in five years with a winning record – despite losing the first three games of the journey in Reno. After that dreadful start, the club turned it around and has won six of the last nine games. The Rainiers are 6-6 on the trip going into the final game today.

Lots of positive things are happening.

Jayson Werth connected for three extra base hits on Monday night, including a key three-run homer, making us believe there is still some life left in that bat.

Taylor Motter has played terrific defense, which he continued last night by starting a stunning double play at shortstop. Now he may be heating up at the plate. He had three solid hits on Monday, including a key two-run double.

Dan Vogelbach is crushing it. Kirk Nieuwenhuis is healthy and contributing. Instead of sending us a green teenager from extended spring training to replace Gordon Beckham, the Mariners actually promoted a solid player in Seth Mejias-Brean from Double-A.

Regardless what happens in the final game of the trip today, it has been a real success once you consider how it started. After the 0-3 start in Reno, a disaster trip was certainly a possibility – and that has been avoided.

Wednesday is a day off (and there will be no blog update). An eight-game homestand begins on Thursday with a 7:05 game against Las Vegas at Cheney Stadium.

Shortstop Taylor Motter and second baseman Zach Vincej turned an amazing double play last night, and it even made SportsCenter’s Top Ten.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Breakout games by Jayson Werth and Taylor Motter along with a gem of a relief appearance from Casey Lawrence helped Tacoma beat Sacramento on Monday night, 8-5. Werth hit two doubles and a three-run homer in his best performance as a Rainier, while Motter had three hits and two RBI along with an incredible double play. Lawrence retired all 12 batters he faced in a perfect four inning relief appearance.

ROSTER MOVE: Yesterday the Rainiers added Casey Lawrence to the roster, and brought up third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean from Double-A Arkansas. Pitchers Steven Moyers and Ashton Goudeau were sent to extended spring training.

TODAY: Tacoma (19-20) at Sacramento (20-19), 12:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 8-7. It’s incredible that Tacoma is going to play all 16 games against Sacramento before playing even one game against Las Vegas or Salt Lake – both teams that Tacoma will play 16 times.

PITCHERS: RHP Max Povse (1-6, 9.38) at RHP Tyler Beede (1-3, 5.63)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has a seven-game hitting streak, and he is 17-for-41 with six homers and 12 walks in the 12 games on this road trip… Chris Herrmann has reached base in nine straight games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has won seven of its last 11 games… Chase d’Arnaud has reached base in ten straight games, and scored a run in eight straight… Hunter Pence (thumb) has three straight two-hit games on his rehabilitation assignment.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage managed the 2006 Tacoma Rainiers, and served as hitting coach several seasons prior to that.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 11:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

El Paso 6, RENO 3 – Brett Nicholas had two hits, a double, and three RBI to support a strong start by Walker Lockett.

FRESNO 4, Salt Lake 3 – some different heroes for Fresno, as Tim Federowicz hit a homer and Jon Kemmer delivered a two-run triple.

LAS VEGAS 2, Albuquerque 1 – sporting the worst team ERA in the league, Las Vegas received a life-giving seven shutout innings from starter Chris Flexen. Phillip Evans hit two solo homers to account for all of the Las Vegas offense. Story from Vegas.

COLORADO SPRINGS 8, Oklahoma City 5 – if you have an unusual last name which begins with the letter ‘O’ you homered for the Sky Sox: Nate Orf and Shane Opitz each hit their first dinger of the season.

Omaha 4, NEW ORLEANS 2 – the Baby Cakes wasted a brilliant start from Adam Conley, who allowed one run over eight innings only to see the ‘Cakes bullpen get smashed. Story from New Orleans.

MEMPHIS 2, Nashville 1 – Tyler O’Neill‘s two solo homers propelled Memphis to the win. He’s hitting .333 with 13 home runs. Story from MiLB.com.

Round Rock 11/4, IOWA 4/6 – a doubleheader split. Cameron Rupp homered and drove in four runs for the Express in the opener, while former Rainiers Efren Navarro (3-for-3) and Mike Freeman (two RBI) led Iowa in the second game.


Rainiers Split As Vogelbach Blasts Off

May 14, 2018

Tacoma first baseman Dan Vogelbach had a monstrous 24-hour spell in Sacramento, but the Rainiers could only manage a doubleheader split on Sunday afternoon.

After homering in Saturday night’s series-opening loss, Vogelbach homered in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader – including a pair of dingers in the second game. He hit four home runs in less than 24 hours.

For his dominance, Vogelbach was chosen as the Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Week. He hit .429 with five homers and eight RBI during the week, while adding four doubles and nine runs scored.

Vogelbach’s second home run in game two last night was a game-tying two-run shot in the top of the seventh inning. When Sacramento did not score in the bottom of the inning, we went to extra innings for the first time this season.

It was our first experience with the new runner-placed-at-second-base rule to start the inning, and it did not go well for Tacoma.

The rule heavily favors the home team. The visiting team must score in the top of the inning, or else the home team has a relatively easy to execute one-run strategy to win the game.

However, you can’t score just one run as the visiting team, because the home team still has an easy set-up to tie the game. So you have to play for multiple runs in the top of the inning, and come out swinging. The situation can change depending on the players who are due up, but for Tacoma last night with Werth, Nieuwenhuis and Muno coming up it was a swing away situation.

Tacoma did not score, Sacramento played for one run and got it, and that was that.

It gave me a lot to talk about on the radio, but I’m not sure I like it. I definitely wouldn’t want to have a lot of games decided this way.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Despite Dan Vogelbach launching three homers in the doubleheader, Tacoma split two games at Sacramento on Sunday. The Rainiers won the first game, 3-2, as Chris Herrmann joined Vogelbach in the home run column. Tacoma lost the second game, 5-4, as the team played with the new extra innings rule for the first time.

ROSTER MOVE: The Mariners called up Gordon Beckham to replace the injured Robinson Cano. Tacoma added reliever Steven Moyers from Modesto yesterday. Pitcher Casey Lawrence is expected to report today, which will require a roster move.

TODAY: Tacoma (18-20) at Sacramento (20-18), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 7-7.

PITCHERS: RHP Rob Whalen (4-2, 5.31) at RHP Jose Flores (1-2, 4.28)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has homered in three straight games (four total homers), he has hit safely in six straight games, and he is 15-for-36 with six homers and 12 walks in the 11 games on this road trip… Chris Herrmann has reached base in nine straight games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has won seven of its last ten games… Austin Slater has a 12-game hitting streak during which he is 19-for-41 with two homers… Chase d’Arnaud has reached base in ten straight games, and scored a run in eight straight… Hunter Pence (thumb) has back-to-back two-hit games on his rehabilitation assignment.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage managed the 2006 Tacoma Rainiers, and served as hitting coach several seasons prior to that.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

LAS VEGAS 9, Albuquerque 7 – the 51s won a game which featured six home runs. Story from Vegas.

RENO 5, El Paso 4 – catcher Anthony Recker hit a go-ahead two run homer in the seventh inning.

FRESNO 6, Salt Lake 4 – the Grizzlies used a string of hits to jump out to a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning.

COLORADO SPRINGS 4, Oklahoma City 3 – Sky Sox starter Aaron Wilkerson pitched into the sixth inning, allowing two runs.

Nashville 8, MEMPHIS 3 – top prospect Jorge Mateo had two hits, including a double, and drove in three runs for the Sounds.

Omaha 4, NEW ORLEANS 2 – in his first Triple-A start of the year Glenn Sparkman allowed one run over six innings to earn the win. Story from New Orleans.

Round Rock at IOWA – rained out.