A Tough Loss In Reno

July 18, 2018

It sure felt like the Rainiers were in position to win their second straight game at Greater Nevada Field on Tuesday night, when the team had a 9-6 lead with two outs and nobody on base for Reno in the bottom of the eighth inning. The way the Rainiers bullpen has been performing for the last two months, this seemed like a sure thing.

But this is Reno, and bad things have happened here since the Rainiers started visiting the city in 2009.

Reno rallied to score four two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth, held off a Rainiers rally attempt in the ninth, and stunned Tacoma 10-9.

The Rainiers all-time record in this ballpark dropped to 22-55, which includes a 2-4 mark this season.

This is the 20th series that Tacoma has played at Reno, and the Rainiers have still won only a single series in this ballpark. Tacoma took two games in a three-game series in 2015.

There is a chance to win this current four-game series, which is tied 1-1. But a win last night would have created a real good opportunity to take it.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: The Rainiers lost a tough one, blowing a 9-6 lead as Reno scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kevin Cron‘s two-run double was the game-winning hit. Tacoma had 14 hits, led by Adam Law‘s 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer performance. Dan Vogelbach reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with two walks. Andrew Aplin and Gordon Beckham chipped in with solo homers.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers added pitcher Christian Bergman to the active roster, and he will start today’s game.

TODAY: Tacoma (51-45) at Reno (47-49), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 6-5.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (6-6, 4.78) at RHP Jake Buchanan (6-7, 5.72)

HOT HITTERS: Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 20 consecutive games, and he has a five-game hitting streak… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 18 PCL games, and he has an eight-game hitting streak… Andrew Aplin has reached base in 16 straight games, totaling 22 hits and 13 walks during that stretch… Gordon Beckham has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 PCL games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Reno is 9-2 since the Rainiers beat them 4-of-5 from June 29-July 3… they just swept a four-game road series at El Paso… Ildemaro Vargas has an 18-game hitting streak… Kevin Cron has an 11-game hitting streak, with 16 RBI during the stretch… Michael Perez has hit safely in nine straight games… Juniel Querecuto has gone 10-for-20 over his last six games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers and Mariners left-hander Anthony Vasquez is with Reno.

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):

FRESNO 8, Sacramento 3 – Jake Marisnick went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, while Fresno starter Josh James struck out 12 batters in six innings to earn the win.

SALT LAKE 5, Las Vegas 4 – Bees reliever Greg Mahle delivered three shutout innings from the bullpen to earn the win. Story from Salt Lake City.

El Paso 8, ALBUQUERQUE 2 – the Chihuahuas muscled up for four home runs at Isotopes Park. Cory Spangenberg hit two doubles with a homer to lead the pack. Story from Albuquerque.

COLORADO SPRINGS 11, Round Rock 10 – the Sky Sox had 19 hits, yet still needed a walk-off RBI single by Tyrone Taylor to win the game. Domingo Santana homered twice, and Jake Hager went 5-for-6. Story from MiLB.com.

NASHVILLE 11, Omaha 1 – Sounds designated hitter Anthony Garcia hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and had eight runs batted in. Story from MiLB.com.

MEMPHIS 3, Iowa 2 – Redbirds starter Austin Gomber tossed five shutout innings of one-hit ball to earn the win.

OKLAHOMA CITY 5/5, New Orleans 4/2 – a doubleheader sweep for the Dodgers, who won the first game in ten innings. A new league rule was applied: since they were making up a postponement of a game originally scheduled to be played in New Orleans, the Baby Cakes got to play as the home team in Game One. They had a couple of chances to walk-off the Dodgers in their own ballpark, but couldn’t do it. Recap from Oklahoma City.

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Rainiers Add Rupp, Take Down Reno

July 17, 2018

Monday was a good day for the Tacoma Rainiers, who added a power-hitting catcher to the roster before beating Reno and picking up a game in the Pacific-North standings.

The Mariners signed former Philadelphia Phillies backstop Cameron Rupp to a minor league deal, and he joined the team yesterday (he did not play last night; look for him to make his Rainiers debut tonight).

Rupp brings experience behind the plate, having spent all of the last three seasons in the majors with the Phillies. He also brings something to the lineup that the Rainiers really need: power.

Tacoma has had just one true home run threat in the batting order, Dan Vogelbach. But Rupp can hit ’em out. He hit eight homers in 32 games (113 at-bats) for Round Rock during the first two months of this season before exercising an out in his contract and becoming a free agent. Over the last two years in the majors, Rupp hit 30 homers in 684 at-bats.

The Rainiers second-best home run hitter has been Gordon Beckham, who has seven. The team RBI leader is Zach Vincej with 44, and he usually hits eighth in the order. Tacoma has been scoring its runs via walks and singles. Rupp should help out in the power categories.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Trailing 6-2 after six innings, the Rainiers rallied to score five runs after there were two outs in the top of the seventh inning and went on to win in Reno, 10-6. Seth Mejias-Brean had the go-ahead two-run single in the seventh. The Rainiers had 15 hits and drew six walks, including their PCL-leading 21st bases-loaded walk of the season. Tacoma pulled to 3.5 games behind Fresno.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers added catcher Cameron Rupp and infielder Gordon Beckham to the active roster, and pitcher Rob Whalen was activated from the disabled list. Infielder Connor Hoover was sent back to Everett, pitcher Darren McCaughan back to Modesto, and pitcher Williams Perez was surprisingly sent to Double-A Arkansas.

TODAY: Tacoma (51-44) at Reno (46-49), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 6-4.

PITCHERS: RHP Bryan Evans (2-1, 5.20) at LHP Anthony Vasquez (6-3, 4.17)

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has 14 RBI over his last 13 games, and he has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 19 consecutive games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 17 PCL games, and he has a seven-game hitting streak… Andrew Aplin has reached base in 15 straight games, totaling 20 hits and 12 walks during that stretch.

OPPONENT NEWS: Reno is 8-2 since the Rainiers beat them 4-of-5 from June 29-July 3… they just swept a four-game road series at El Paso… Ildemaro Vargas has an 18-game hitting streak… Kevin Cron has a ten-game hitting streak, with 14 RBI during the stretch… Michael Perez has hit safely in nine straight games… Juniel Querecuto has gone 9-for-16 over his last five games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers and Mariners left-hander Anthony Vasquez is with Reno.

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):

Sacramento 4, FRESNO 3 – the River Cats won a tight game when Gregor Blanco doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. Tacoma pulled within 3.5 games of first place.

SALT LAKE 10, Las Vegas 5 – the Bees lashed 14 hits, including three apiece by Luis Rengifo and Eric Young Jr. Story from Salt Lake City.

El Paso 6, ALBUQUERQUE 3 – Brett Kennedy continued his excellent season for the Chihuahuas, going five innings to earn the win and improve to 8-0, 2.65 on the year. Story from Albuquerque.

COLORADO SPRINGS 5, Round Rock 4 – the Sky Sox scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by Christian Bethancourt‘s two-run homer.

NASHVILLE 5, Omaha 4 (11) – tied 2-2 after nine, each team scored one run in the tenth before Nashville won it with two runs in the bottom of the 11th. Melvin Mercedes had the game-winning hit.

New Orleans 5, OKLAHOMA CITY 1 – the Baby Cakes rallied to score all five runs in the top of the fourth inning, with a two-run triple by Tomas Telis being the key hit. Trade rumors are swirling around Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo.

MEMPHIS 6, Iowa 4 – trailing 4-1 going to the bottom of the eighth inning, the Redbirds struck for five runs and won the game. Alex Mejia had a pinch-hit two-run single during the rally.


Road Trip To Reno Starts Tonight

July 16, 2018

After a disappointing series split with first place Fresno, Tacoma now hits the road for four games at Reno. It’s a quick road trip, with Tacoma returning to Cheney Stadium this Friday to host Salt Lake.

The Rainiers are 5-4 against Reno this season, losing 3-of-4 at Greater Nevada Field in May before taking 4-of-5 from the Aces at Cheney Stadium two weeks ago. Reno has been playing well recently and brings a six-game win streak into tonight’s contest.

Look for Tacoma to have an improved lineup tonight. Gordon Beckham is expected to report to the team today, and there are rumblings of additional moves which should help the offense. I’ll post them as soon as we get official word.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma’s hopes of winning the Fresno series were ruined, as the Grizzlies took Sunday’s game 5-3 to earn a split of the four-game series. Spot starter Darren McCaughan couldn’t find the magic he had when he shut down Salt Lake in his Triple-A debut on June 1 – this time he allowed a leadoff homer and three runs in the first inning, and struggled to get through four frames.

ROSTER MOVES: There are going to be a few today.

TODAY: Tacoma (50-44) at Reno (46-48), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 5-4.

PITCHERS: RHP Rob Whalen (7-4, 4.68) at RHP Taylor Clarke (8-7, 4.86)

Whalen is expected to be activated from the disabled list and start tonight’s game. He’s been out since June 21st with shoulder stiffness.

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has 14 RBI over his last 12 games, and he has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 18 consecutive games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 16 PCL games… Andrew Aplin has reached base in 14 straight games, totaling 17 hits and 12 walks during that stretch.

OPPONENT NEWS: Reno has won six straight games, and is 8-1 since the Rainiers beat them 4-for-5 from June 29-July 3… they just swept a four-game road series at El Paso… Christian Walker‘s return from the Diamondbacks has ignited the hot streak; he homered in three straight games prior to going 0-4 yesterday… Ildemaro Vargas has a 17-game hitting streak… Kevin Cron has a nine-game hitting streak… Michael Perez has hit safely in eight straight games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers and Mariners left-hander Anthony Vasquez is with Reno.

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:

  • We have a Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • The Mariners got swept by the Rockies and stumbled into the all-star break. They have four days to regroup, holding a three-game lead over Oakland for the final wild card spot.
  • The Seattle Times sent Larry Stone to the All-Star Game and he has this column on Mariners Futures Game participant Kyle Lewis.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Reno 4, EL PASO 1 – Aces starter Alex Young pitched 6.2 innings and allowed just one run at El Paso, while Socrates Brito and Kristopher Negron homered to help Reno finish the sweep.

SACRAMENTO 6, Salt Lake 5 – new River Cats outfielder Peter Bourjos had two hits and scored two runs.

Albuquerque 14, LAS VEGAS 5 – the ‘Topes were hanging onto a 6-5 lead after six innings, and then they went nuclear with an eight-run rally in the top of the seventh. Stephen Cardullo paced the offense with four hits, but pretty much everyone filled up the box score. Story from Las Vegas.

NEW ORLEANS 11, Colorado Springs 1 – Jarlin “the Marlin” Garcia pitched six shutout innings and Peter Mooney hit a three-run homer for the Baby Cakes. Man, that was a ridiculous sentence. Story from New Orleans.

Memphis 8, OMAHA 0 – Redbirds starter Daniel Poncedeleon had his best game of the year, a complete game one-hit shutout. He walked two and struck out five, and lowered his season ERA down to 2.15. Story from Omaha.

Oklahoma City 11, ROUND ROCK 1 – Donovan Solano went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in as the Dodgers wiped out Round Rock.

IOWA 2, Nashville 0 – Trevor Clifton and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout for the I-Cubs.


Standings-Swing Sunday

July 15, 2018

Big game today as the Rainiers finish the four-game series with first place Fresno.

Tacoma started the series 4.5 games behind Fresno. The Rainiers won the first two, assuring they wouldn’t fall any further back in the standings, and then had to win one (or both) of the last two to make a gain. But Fresno won the third game last night, 7-1.

With a win today, Tacoma will be 2.5 games back and feel good about having made a gain on Fresno by winning the series. With a loss today, Tacoma will be right where they started the series: 4.5 games back.

Today is the last game of the homestand. The Rainiers head to Reno tomorrow for a four-game series against the Aces, and then return home this coming weekend for a three-gamer against Salt Lake.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: A.J. Reed hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Fresno never looked back in a 7-1 win over the Rainiers on Saturday night, dashing Tacoma’s hopes of a four-game sweep. Now the Rainiers need to win today in order to take the series and pull to 2.5 games of first.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday reliever Nick Rumbelow (recently optioned by Seattle) reported to Tacoma, and pitcher Christian Bergman was optioned to the Rainiers. Today pitcher Darren McCaughan will be promoted from Class-A Modesto to make a spot-start.

TODAY: Fresno (53-39) at Tacoma (50-43), 1:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Fresno leads, 6-5.

PITCHERS: RHP Brady Rodgers (-) at RHP Darren McCaughan (1-0, 0.00)

Once one of the top starters in the PCL, Rodgers is making his return from “Tommy John” surgery on his right elbow. This is his first start for Fresno, but he has had some rehab appearances elsewhere in the Astros farm system. McCaughan is spot-starting in Casey Lawrence‘s slot; he made a terrific spot-start and beat Salt Lake on June 1.

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has 12 RBI over his last 11 games, and he has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 17 consecutive games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 15 PCL games… Andrew Aplin has reached base in 13 straight games, totaling 16 hits and 11 walks during that stretch.

OPPONENT NEWS: Fresno has gone 8-12 over the last 20 games, but they did win three-of-five from a hot Las Vegas club right before the break… A.J. Reed led the minors in home runs last year and appears set to contend for the title again this year… Jack Mayfield has a six-game hitting streak… Myles Straw is considered one of the fastest players in baseball, and he is 50-for-57 stealing bases this year (including 15-for-16 since being promoted to Triple-A on June 16).

FAMILIAR FACES: Fresno first baseman Taylor Jones attended Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and Gonzaga before being drafted by the Astros in 2016. He homered in his Triple-A debut on June 28 at El Paso… Fresno’s Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School in 2011 and played at Washington State.

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:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has an item on the two local players for Fresno, Nick Tanielu and Taylor Jones. There was no further news after the game on pitcher Williams Perez, who left the game after being hit in the knee by a line drive in the fifth inning.
  • The Mariners have hit a skid, dropping a 4-1 decision at Coors Field as the offense managed just five hits. The Rockies started Jon Gray, whom the Rainiers faced in Albuquerque in his previous start last Sunday.
  • Seattle’s lead over red-hot Oakland is down to four games, and Larry Stone has a column on that concerning subject.
  • Ryan Divish did one of his Mariners Q&As and somehow it devolved (evolved?) into fly fishing.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Reno 7/4, EL PASO 3/1 – the Aces swept a doubleheader, with Christian Walker homering in both games of the twinbill. They made up for Friday’s rain out.

LAS VEGAS 2, Albuquerque 1 – a rain storm hit the Las Vegas desert in the bottom of the sixth inning, and since Cashman Field doesn’t have a tarp that was it, game called. Chris Flexen was credited with a complete game two-hit shutout. Story from Las Vegas.

Salt Lake 3, SACRAMENTO 2 – Kaleb Cowart went 3-for-4 with a triple and drove in a run for the Bees, who made up some ground on first place El Paso in the South.

Colorado Springs 11, NEW ORLEANS 8 – the Sky Sox hit three home runs, and they rallied to score three runs in the top of the ninth inning to win a rare slugfest in New Orleans. Tyrone Taylor and Jake Hager had three hits apiece for the Sky Sox. Story from New Orleans.

Oklahoma City 7, ROUND ROCK 5 – Dodgers outfielder Kyle Garlick hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning. Story from MiLB.com.

OMAHA 1, Memphis 0 – PCL earned run average leader Trevor Oaks did it again, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings and out-dueling Memphis starter Chris Ellis. Oaks now has a 1.84 ERA. Story from Omaha.

IOWA 5, Nashville 4 – trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Taylor Davis ripped a two-run homer to give the I-Cubs the lead.


Tacoma Moves Closer To First

July 14, 2018

The Rainiers topped Fresno on Friday night, 8-7, as a pair of errors on the same play helped Tacoma score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

With the win the Rainiers pulled to 2.5 games behind first-place Fresno. Tacoma has clinched a split of the four-game series by winning the first two, and now will focus on doing better than that.

Overall, the Rainiers have won five straight games and eight of the last ten, moving a season-best eight games over .500 (50-42).

The key play in last night’s game was Dan Vogelbach‘s mad dash to third base in the eighth inning, which is well described (with some good reaction from manager Pat Listach) in the first link down below.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma lost leads of 3-0 and 7-3 during the first five innings before emerging with an 8-7 win over Fresno on Friday night. Andrew Aplin‘s sacrifice fly scored pinch-runner Connor Hoover with the game-winning run. Adam Law hit three doubles and drove in three runs, and the Tacoma bullpen of Darin Gillies, Dario Alvarez, and Shawn Armstrong combined to deliver four shutout innings.

TODAY: Fresno (52-39) at Tacoma (50-42), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 5-5.

PITCHERS: RHP Trent Thornton (5-7, 4.22) at RHP Williams Perez (2-0, 1.69)

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has 12 RBI over his last ten games, and he has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 16 consecutive games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 14 PCL games… Andrew Aplin has reached base in 12 straight games, totaling 15 hits and 11 walks during that stretch.

OPPONENT NEWS: Fresno has gone 7-12 over the last 19 games, but they did win three-of-five from a hot Las Vegas club right before the break… A.J. Reed led the minors in home runs last year and appears set to contend for the title again this year… J.D. Davis is 4-for-8 over the first two games of this series… Myles Straw is considered one of the fastest players in baseball, and he is 50-for-57 stealing bases this year (including 15-for-16 since being promoted to Triple-A on June 16).

FAMILIAR FACES: Fresno first baseman Taylor Jones attended Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and Gonzaga before being drafted by the Astros in 2016. He homered in his Triple-A debut on June 28 at El Paso… Fresno’s Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School in 2011 and played at Washington State.

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 Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has reaction to Dan Vogelbach‘s “little league triple” that set up the winning run, and notes on the Walkin’ Rainiers and the upcoming pitching plans.
  • The Mariners lost in Colorado last night, 10-7, and have lost six of the last nine games. They still have a five game lead over Oakland for the final Wild Card spot.
  • Former Tacoma resident and Stadium High School alum Tony Miles is the chip leader with three players remaining in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Salt Lake 7, SACRAMENTO 4 – Luis Pena pitched six innings of one-hit ball for Salt Lake, and former Mariners prospect Luis Rengifo drove home three runs in his second Triple-A game.

LAS VEGAS 12, Albuquerque 0 – it was a homer-fest for the 51s, with both an inside-the-parker (Jeff McNeil) and a grand slam (Peter Alonso). Starter Nabil Crismatt pitched six shutout innings. Story from Las Vegas.

Reno at EL PASO – rained out (hey, it’s monsoon season).

Oklahoma City 8, ROUND ROCK 5 – Kyle Farmer hit three doubles and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, while Edwin Rios had two hits and three RBI.

Memphis 6, OMAHA 3 – a three-run homer by Adolis Garcia was the big blow for Memphis. Story from Omaha.

NEW ORLEANS 4, Colorado Springs 3 – Jonathan Rodriguez hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Cakes. Story from New Orleans.

Nashville 8/3, IOWA 3/5 – a doubleheader split in Des Moines as the teams made up an April rain out. Iowa (and former Tacoma) catcher Chris Gimenez is considering hanging ’em up after this season, the Des Moines Register reports.


Rainiers Take Opener From Fresno

July 13, 2018

The Rainiers won the first game of the four-game series against first-place Fresno on Thursday night, 4-3, and are now only 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies.

Tacoma moved a season-best seven games over .500, and the Rainiers have won seven of the last nine games going back to before the All-Star break.

That is all great news, but the Rainiers have an unexpected problem. Due to a major league injury last night the Tacoma pitching staff is in turmoil.

James Paxton left last night’s game in Anaheim in the first inning with a back injury. It’s not serious – he’s only going to miss ten days, apparently – but with the M’s opening a series at high-octane Coors Field tonight they decided to beef up the pitching staff.

Seattle needed a starter today for Felix Hernandez; we’ve known that this would be a Christian Bergman spot-start. But the Mariners also called up Casey Lawrence and Mike Morin to help the bullpen.

Lawrence was slated to start for Tacoma tomorrow, which is beginning to look like a ‘bullpen day’ or maybe we’ll get a spot-starter from Modesto.

There is some help on the way, as it appears that Rob Whalen should be ready to return to the rotation soon – possibly in time for the upcoming series at Reno.

It’s all a temporary problem, as both Paxton and Felix Hernandez expect to return to the  Mariners rotation after the major league all-star break next week. But the timing for Tacoma, in the middle of a big series against first-place Fresno, is not ideal.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Starting pitcher Bryan Evans shook off a couple of early solo home runs, delivering six innings of two-run ball and earning the win as the Rainiers won the series opener against Fresno, 4-3. Adam Law hit the go-ahead RBI double in fifth inning for the Rainiers, who pulled to 3.5 games out of first.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers placed outfielder Cameron Perkins on the disabled list, activated LHP Dario Alvarez from the disabled list, and added infielder Connor Hoover from Everett. Today the Mariners called up Casey Lawrence, Christian Bergman, and Mike Morin (25% of the Tacoma pitching staff), and optioned Nick Rumbelow and Gordon Beckham to Tacoma.

TODAY: Fresno (52-38) at Tacoma (49-42), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Fresno leads, 5-4.

PITCHERS: RHP Mike Hauschild (7-6, 4.41) at LHP Ross Detwiler (2-2, 4.67)

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has 11 RBI over his last nine games, and he has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 15 consecutive games, and he has hit four homers over his last 11 games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 13 PCL games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Fresno has gone 7-11 over the last 18 games, but they did win three-of-five from a hot Las Vegas club right before the break… A.J. Reed led the minors in home runs last year and appears set to contend for the title again this year… J.D. Davis was the hottest hitter in the league in April and May, but he has tailed off and hit .230 since June 1… Myles Straw is considered one of the fastest players in baseball, and he is 50-for-57 stealing bases this year (including 15-for-16 since being promoted to Triple-A on June 16).

FAMILIAR FACES: Fresno first baseman Taylor Jones attended Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and Gonzaga before being drafted by the Astros in 2016. He homered in his Triple-A debut on June 28 at El Paso… Fresno’s Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School in 2011 and played at Washington State.

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):

Reno 8, EL PASO 2 – Jake Buchanan had a solid start, and Christian Walker, Kristopher Negron, and Yasmany Tomas homered for the Aces. Juniel Querectuo had five hits and got a write-up from MiLB.com.

LAS VEGAS 5, Albuquerque 4 – top Mets prospect Peter Alsonso – who has struggled since being promoted to Triple-A – doubled and homered to lead the Vegas attack. Story from Las Vegas. Story from Vegas.

Salt Lake 9, SACRAMENTO 4 – Taylor Ward, Matt Thaiss, and Nolan Fontana each hit three-run homers to account for all of the Bees runs.

Nashville 8, IOWA 7 – outfielder Anthony Garcia had two hits, including a homer, and scored three runs to lead the Sounds.

ROUND ROCK 8, Oklahoma City 4 – Express infielder Hanser Alberto continues his strong season by going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI.

Memphis 6, OMAHA 3 – the Redbirds had 15 hits, paced by Luke Voit‘s 3-for-5 performance. Story from Omaha.

Colorado springs 3, NEW ORLEANS 2 – Sky Sox starter Aaron Brooks delivered five shutout inning to earn the win. Story from New Orleans.


Rainiers Return To Action Tonight With Important Series vs. Fresno

July 12, 2018

After a triumphant performance by the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game held last night in Columbus, we are ready to resume regular-season play tonight at Cheney Stadium.

The Tacoma Rainiers host the first-place Fresno Grizzlies in the opener of a four-game series tonight at 7:05. Tacoma is in second place in the standings, 4.5-games behind Fresno. This is a big series for the Rainiers as they try to gain some ground in the playoff race.

There are 50 games left in the PCL season. Tacoma has eight games remaining against Fresno – and all eight of them are at home. The Grizzlies return to Cheney Stadium for another four-game series in mid-August.

Fresno is the Houston Astros affiliate. This is a Triple-A version of the American League West race, except we don’t have a wild card fall-back option in the PCL.

The PCL battered the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game last night, 12-7.

It looked like it was going to be more of a blowout than that. The PCL scored six runs in the second inning, added two more in the third, and held an 8-1 lead going to the fourth. But the IL clawed back into it, pulling within 8-7 before the PCL started scoring again.

Albuquerque third baseman Josh Fuentes won the MVP award, hitting a homer and an RBI single during the six-run second inning.

As for Tacoma’s Shawn Armstrong, it was a successful – if brief – night.

Brought in with two outs in the eighth inning and protecting a 10-7 lead, Armstrong faced Columbus shortstop Yu Chang. He struck him out on three pitches and hit the showers.

I hope to speak with Armstrong about the entire all-star experience tonight for the radio pregame show, if he is available.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: The Rainiers went in to the three-day All-Star Break by winning in Albuquerque on Sunday, 8-6, to take the final three games of that five-game series. The team scattered for the all-star break, and returns to action tonight.

ROSTER MOVES: Over the break the Mariners called up infielder Gordon Beckham and reliever Nick Rumbelow, and optioned outfielder John Andreoli to Tacoma.

TODAY: Fresno (52-37) at Tacoma (48-42), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Fresno leads, 5-3.

PITCHERS: RHP Cy Sneed (8-4, 3.10) at RHP Bryan Evans (1-1, 5.82)

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has ten RBI over his last eight games, though his nine-game hitting streak ended on Sunday before the break… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 14 consecutive games, and he has hit four homers over his last ten games… John Andreoli has reached base safely in his last 12 PCL games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Fresno has gone 7-10 over the last 17 games, but they did win three-of-five from a hot Las Vegas club right before the break… A.J. Reed led the minors in home runs last year and appears set to contend for the title again this year… J.D. Davis was the hottest hitter in the league in April and May, but he has tailed off and hit .230 since June 1… Myles Straw is considered one of the fastest players in baseball, and he is 48-for-55 stealing bases this year (including 13-for-14 since being promoted to Triple-A on June 16).

FAMILIAR FACES: Fresno first baseman Taylor Jones attended Kentwood High School (Class of 2012) and Gonzaga before being drafted by the Astros in 2016. He homered in his Triple-A debut on June 28 at El Paso… Fresno’s Nick Tanielu graduated from Federal Way High School in 2011 and played at Washington State.

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:

  • Smiling PCL MVP Josh Fuentes comes right out with the money quote in the Triple-A All-Star Game story from MiLB.com.
  • Marco Gonzales pitched the Mariners to a 3-0 win in Anaheim last night.
  • In case you haven’t been on the internet in the last 48 hours, Jean Segura won the Final Vote and was added to the American League All-Star Team.
  • Lookout Landing has a State of the Farm report.
  • ESPN.com has a story on how the new extra-innings rules in the minor leagues are working out. It includes reaction from former Rainiers coach and current Class-A Clinton manager Denny Hocking.
  • The Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game ended in a tie, so they determined the winner via a bizarre batting practice challenge.

Around the PCL:

Other than the all-stars, I imagine it was a lot of golfing, fishing, and hanging out with the family for the PCL players the past few days.