The Rainiers have a few starting pitchers who are beginning to get it going, and Blake Beavan has been the leader of the pack.
The 22-year-old right-hander tossed another gem last night – his sixth consecutive strong start, leading to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Tacoma ended a four-game losing streak with the victory, and moved back into a second-place tie with the Sky Sox.
Beavan tossed seven innings and allowed just two runs on six hits. He struck out seven and walked only one. Both runs he allowed came on solo home runs – the first one on a clear mistake pitch to Mike Paulk with an 0-2 count.
Over his last six starts, Beavan is 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA (39.0 IP, 8 ER, with 33 strikeouts). This is his first real extended run of success at the Triple-A level – remember, he didn’t get promoted until late July last year, so he was only here for August and then the playoff starts.
Beavan’s progress this season is promising for the Mariners organization, which has most of it’s starting pitching prospects in the low minor leagues.
Kyle Seager made his Triple-A debut last night, starting at second base and batting in the #2 spot. He singled sharply in each of his first two at-bats and finished the game 2-for-4. Defensively, he was untested – he didn’t even have a fielding chance until the seventh inning.
The Rainiers can split the series with a win tonight in the last game of the eight-game home stand. It’s Friday Night Fireworks and game time is 7:05 – a big crowd is expected, but general admission tickets should be available at the door. You can follow the broadcast on 850 AM or streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Nate Robertson (1-2, 5.23) against Sky Sox RHP Billy Buckner (1-2, 5.36).
- In the Rainiers game story from Larry LaRue in The News Tribune, we learn that Blake Beavan has been going to his new curveball more often.
- The Mariners lost to the Washington Nationals yesterday, 1-0, getting swept by the hottest team in the National League. Then, the Nats had a Marinersesque managerial change.
- Now the M’s are “home” at Safeco for this crazy series against the Marlins, in which the Marlins will pretend to be the home team. National League rules, pitchers will bat. Who was the last pitcher to bat at Safeco Field? I’m sure Tim Hevly will have the answer (hint: it’s in the story, and it was a player who was named after one of the world’s most dangerous animals).
- It’s Friday afternoon and you have time to kill, so read this fun Jeff Sullivan primer on National League baseball.
- Geoff Baker writes that the Mariners need to make a trade. At this point, I disagree, but I reserve the right to change my mind in a month. The franchise needs to move forward with the youth, and that means letting the kids play. It’s for the long run.
- Mariners prospect Nick Franklin made his Double-A debut, and he had two hits and helped turn a triple play.
- Another M’s prospect – Clinton pitcher Taijuan Walker – made a strong showing in this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- In the PCL, first-place Reno had a come-from-behind victory at home against Las Vegas.
- Salt Lake signed former SF Giants and Fresno Grizzlies pitcher Jerome Williams, and he made his Bee’s debut at Fresno and beat his former team. In this story, we learn that Williams is now a restaurateur.
- The Chicago Cubs sent Tyler Colvin to Iowa, where he is hitting home runs.
- Here’s an odd one: Last week, Nashville pitching coach Rich Gale was named to the staff of the PCL All-Star team. Now, he has quit his job due to personal reasons.
- It might not be a Storm, but the Omaha Chasers have proven they can catch the Sounds.
- My Cal Bears were knocked out of the College World Series. A fine showing, though.
Tonight may be the last game of the homestand, but the Rainiers road trip is very short – just four games in Las Vegas (whoo0!) and then an off-day (double-whooo!), and the Rainiers will be right back home again on Thursday night (triple-whooo!).