Rainiers Drop Opener To Fresno

The Rainiers returned home on Saturday night, but the team continued to struggle. Tacoma wasted a brilliant outing by James Paxton and lost to Fresno, 2-1.

The offense struggle mightily, getting no-hit by Fresno starter Mitch Lively for the first six innings. Brad Miller broke it up with a single to lead off the seventh, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.

As it turned out, Miller had the only two hits. Tacoma could not muster any offense for the second game in a row – and Lively came into the game with a 7.16 ERA, so it’s not like he is dominating the PCL or anything. He had only two strikeouts in 6.1 innings – he got a lot of soft contact from Tacoma hitters.

Paxton went six innings for the Rainiers, striking out a season-high 11 batters. He got ahead of hitters and had a wicked fastball last night – he was working in the mid-90s on the gun, and throwing it where he wanted it to go.

Paxton left the game with the score at 0-0 after six innings.

Fresno won the game with a pair of runs in the eighth inning against Tacoma reliever Logan Bawcom. The last three days, Tacoma has had trouble in the bullpen.

The Rainiers have dropped six of the last eight games, yet still lead the division by 1.5 games over Colorado Springs, and three games over Salt Lake.

I fully expect this to turn around quickly. The team is simply too talented for a skid like this to last very long.

Today’s game is at 1:35, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streaming online, or via the TuneIn app for iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-2, 1.69) against Fresno RHP Chris Heston (6-5, 5.43).

Links:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • My minor league notebook for the paper looks at several Mariners farmhands who received mid-season promotions this past week.
  • It’s nice to see Nick Franklin make an impact as the Mariners beat the A’s last night.
  • Franklin Gutierrez returned to the Mariners yesterday and homered in his first at-bat. He detailed his injury woes.
  • The Mariners had to make room for Guti on the 40-man roster (he was on the 60-day disabled list which doesn’t count against the 40-man) so they designated Eric Thames for assignment. Thames is out another 3-5 weeks with a hairline fracture in his left hand; it remains to be seen if anyone will claim him off waivers.
  • The Larry Stone Sunday baseball package is here: a depressing look at the Mariners at the mid-way point, a notebook with an item on Matt Tuiasosopo, power rankings, and thumbs up-and-down.
  • The Salt Lake Bees six-game win streak ended in Las Vegas. The 51s got ’em, 4-1, as D.J. Mitchell tossed a gem. It looks like slugger Ike Davis is going to stay with Las Vegas for a while longer – they visit Tacoma on Thursday.
  • River Cat For Life Michael Taylor homered and hit a bases-loaded double – driving in five runs – as Sacramento defeated Colorado Springs, 9-5.
  • Rehabbing Aaron Hill helped Reno beat Tucson, 7-3. Hill had three hits.
  • Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp is on a rehabilitation assignment with Albuquerque.
  • Jake Elmore had four hits as Oklahoma City wiped out Omaha, 11-2.
  • Reno flash Tony Campana talked about speed and stealing bases with skipper Brett Butler, who was no slow poke himself.

It’s K-9 Innings today – listen for barking dogs in the background of the broadcast.

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