Pretty much everything went right for the Rainiers on Saturday night, when they ended a seven-game losing streak by beating the Iowa Cubs, 5-0.
Hector Noesi, Chance Ruffin, and Carter Capps combined for a shutout. Pitching – check.
Tacoma banged out 11 hits and scored five runs. The Rainiers took advantage of every scoring opportunity they had; there were none of those runner-at-third-no-outs failures we’ve seen lately. Hitting – check.
The Rainiers did not make any errors, or any defensive blunders of any kind. Fielding – check.
Tacoma even gained a game in the standings. Omaha went to Salt Lake and beat the Bees, and now Tacoma is four games out of first place. Standings improvement – check.
They even got the whole thing accomplished in well under three hours, which I appreciate. Happy broadcaster – check.
Now let’s see if the Rainiers can string together some wins. Iowa is reeling right now, they’ve lost nine straight and have lost two position players to Chicago in the past 48 hours.
Today’s game is at 1:35, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streaming right here, and available via the TuneIn app for iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts RHP Taijuan Walker (2-1, 3.09) against Iowa RHP Jake Arrieta (1-2, 4.03).
- There is some optimism from manager John Stearns in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- My minor league notebook for the paper looks at a fast-rising Mariners bullpen prospect, in addition to a few other items.
- Michael Saunders homered twice and the Mariners beat Baltimore last night.
- Ryan Divish has notes on the future of Kendrys Morales and Dustin Ackley.
- Stephen Pryor has been shut down for the season with a new triceps injury. He’s had a tough year.
- Larry Stone’s column for the Seattle Times is about the latest chapter in the fall of Alex Rodriguez. Oh yeah – even though he’s an all-sports columnist now, Stoney still cranks out his irreplaceable power rankings.
- Salt Lake outfielder Trent Oeltjen was hit in the face by a pitch, and the Bees lost to Omaha.
- Oklahoma City tied a franchise record for runs in a 24-5 broasting of Colorado Springs. That game was not in the Springs – it was in Bricktown. Perhaps the Sky Sox left their gloves in the Springs – they made five errors, and only ten of the 24 runs were earned. The Oklahoman ran a Q&A with hitting coach Leon Roberts.
- Reno topped New Orleans in 12 innings, 2-0. An error allowed the only runs to score.
- Las Vegas was in first place with a nice lead – and then they went to Tennessee, where they have now lost five straight games.
- Sonny Gray pitched Sacramento into a first-place tie with Las Vegas, beating Round Rock 5-3.
- Tucson has not taken advantage of this Las Vegas downturn. The Padres lost in Nashville, 10-6, and remain in third place.
- Heath Hembree set a new Fresno record with his 25th save in a 4-2 win over Albuquerque.
I’m looking forward to seeing Walker pitch today. He’s been knocked around a little bit in his last two starts, a bounce-back would be fun to see.