The Rainiers are hoping to right the ship on this long homestand, but that plan failed in the opening game against Portland on Wednesday night.
San Diego Padres pitching prospect Cory Luebke was very impressive in his first game against the Rainiers, tossing eight scoreless inning. Luebke had great command, needing just 91 pitches to cruise through eight walk-free innings. Luebke is now 5-0 since being promoted to Portland, with a 2.97 ERA.
Tacoma starter Maurcio Robles allowed just two runs over six innings, but it wasn’t pretty: he walked six batters, but allowed just three hits. Robles struck out eight and looked overpowering at times.
Is there a Wily Mo Pena resurgence? The former Reds slugger – only 28 years old – is attempting a comeback with the Padres. Pena homered and doubled off Robles, driving in the game’s only runs.
Tonight the Rainiers send Michael Pineda (3-3, 4.14) to the mound in his next-to-last start of the year. He’ll be opposed by Portland RHP Josh Geer (10-10, 5.46) in a game that will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet NW at 7:00. The simulcast will air on South Sound Sports 850 AM, and stream via www.tacomarainiers.com.
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Manager Jose Castro notes that the Beavers are much improved.
- Tacoma sill has a 2.5-game lead over Salt Lake, with 12 to play. The Rainiers “magic number” is 10. Salt Lake lost in Colorado Springs last night, due to a defensive meltdown.
- In the South, Sacramento pulled within one game of first-place Fresno by winning the tense opening game of the five-game series. The beat Fresno ace Eric Hacker, who fell to 16-6. Fresno added red-hot Giants prospect Brandon Belt, and he homered in his Triple-A debut.
- In the American-North, Omaha beat Iowa to pull within 1.5-games of the Cubs. Scott Thorman ended a scoreless battle by launching a two-run homer in the 11th inning.
- The Mariners split a doubleheader in Boston, and finished that massive road trip with a 6-6 record – very respectable, especially considering it went through Boston and New York. Daren Brown is 8-7 as skipper.
- Felix Hernandez recorded his 1,000th strikeout, and he’s gaining Cy Young Award support.
- This requires a Baseball America system, but here’s another story on M’s shortstop prospect Nick Franklin.
- The Las Vegas paper ran a feature on Josh Roenicke, who is one of the top relievers in the PCL.
- Salt Lake RG Steve Klauke posted his latest update on eating his way through the PCL.
- Former Rainiers infielder Willie Bloomquist batted third and hit a game-winning homer for Kansas City. I did not make that up.
Big game tonight – the Rainiers need to win one; they are getting little pressure from Salt Lake and can bury them during this homestand.