Bullpen Gets It Done

The Rainiers picked up a 4-2 victory over Fresno on Friday night, bringing the club’s record back up to the .500 mark at 8-8 on the year. The Rainiers wrapped up their first homestand with a 3-5 record.

Danny Hultzen pitched well and earned the win, with Alex Liddi hitting a three-run homer and Eric Thames chipping in a solo shot.

There is plenty on Hultzen in the links down below, so I’m going to talk about the bullpen.

Reliever Jhonny Nunez had his first successful outing in a high-leverage situation, tossing scoreless relief in the 7th and 8th innings while protecting a slim two-run lead. After Thursday’s 11-inning game in which the bullpen threw seven innings, Tacoma was relying on Nunez and he was able to do the job.

Logan Bawcom nailed down the save with a scoreless ninth. It wasn’t easy – he walked the leadoff man and allowed a hit as well – but he got it done.

It was Bawcom’s first Triple-A save. He had 26 saves last year split between three lower-level teams, and 27 saves in Class-A ball the year before. Don’t be surprised if Bawcom gets more save opportunities as the year goes on.

Now the Rainiers hit the road for a nine-day, eight-game trip. The first four are in Salt Lake City, and the last four are in Las Vegas with a day off between series. Guess which city we are spending the off-day in? Thank you, PCL schedule makers. I take back all of those awful things I have said about you!

Tacoma just played the ancient Salt Lake Bees in a four-game series at Cheney Stadium, and the Bees took three-of-four. They are the same team we just saw, with the notable exception of former major leaguer Brad Hawpe, who was just signed by the Angels for depth purposes.

After taking 3-of-4 at Tacoma, Salt Lake went to Tucson and won the first game… and then dropped three straight, including a 12-4 disaster last night. Maybe they’ve slowed down a bit; they were 10-3 after the first game in Tucson and now they are a more realistic 10-6.

Tonight’s game is at 5:35 pm (Pacific). Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (1-1, 4.96) against Salt Lake RHP Barry Enright (1-1, 5.82). As always, the broadcast is on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.


  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, with reaction from Stefen Romero on his first Triple-A game.
  • In this story on MiLB.com, Danny Hultzen talks about surviving without his best stuff.
  • Yu Darvish must have gotten tired of getting beat up by the Mariners. Last night he tossed seven shutout innings in the Rangers 7-0 win. This is an excellent game story from friend-of-the-blog Ryan Divish.
  • It appears that Michael Saunders is close to being ready to come off the disabled list.
  • In the PCL, Las Vegas spanked Sacramento, 10-5. Touted prospect Zack Wheeler was wild – we should see the flame-thrower start against the Rainiers later on this trip.
  • Tucson ripped Salt Lake, 12-4. The story focuses on former Rainiers and Mariners catcher Rene Rivera, who keeps on going. He’s only 29!
  • Colorado Springs topped Reno, 5-2. Infielder Taylor Harbin has been playing the outfield recently.
  • Nothing quite like a doubleheader sweep: Omaha took down Albuquerque twice, with a 3-2 score in both games.
  • Oklahoma City picked up a 5-2 win over Round Rock.
  • Matt Diaz hit a 3-run homer and New Orleans shut out Memphis, 4-0.
  • The lede says it all on this one: Nashville lost a minor league baseball game to Iowa, 5-0.

It’s raining at 1:00 in the afternoon here in Salt Lake City. In fact, the weather is exactly like what we just left in Tacoma. Hopefully it will clear up tonight.


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