Season Starts With A Split

The Rainiers and Albuquerque Isotopes split their season-opening doubleheader on Friday night.

Tacoma won the first game in a wipeout, 11-1. The Rainiers blasted 18 hits despite going to the plate in only six innings. Everybody in the Tacoma lineup had at least one hit, and seven of the nine starters had multiple hits. Blake Beavan made all of that offense feel like a luxury by tossing a complete game four-hitter – it was just the second career complete game for Beavan.

The Rainiers changed pitching plans for game two, electing to turn it into a “bullpen game” since the team currently has eight relievers and every one of them was fresh and ready to pitch.

Nick Hill, Clay Rapada, Brandon Maurer, Zach Miner, and Logan Bawcom each took the mound for Tacoma in the second game, but the Rainiers lost to the Isotopes 6-3. Former Mariners and Rainiers catcher Miguel Olivo was the big star for the ‘Topes, hitting a three-run double in the first inning and adding an RBI single in the seventh.

Tacoma actually out-hit the Isotopes in the game two loss, and when you add it all up the Rainiers offense was impressive: 14 runs over the two games, with 26 hits. The team batted .413 (26-for-63) in the doubleheader.

Nick Franklin led the way with five hits and a homer, but Cole Gillespie wasn’t far behind with four hits and a homer. Ji-Man Choi and Jesus Montero each had three hits, and James Jones notched three RBI.

It was an impressive offensive show. Hopefully it will continue today. And tomorrow. And the next day…

Today’s game starts at 5:05. Albuquerque starts RHP Zach Lee against Tacoma LHP Anthony Fernandez. Both pitchers are making their Triple-A debuts. The broadcast starts at 4:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.

Links:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. In the photo, Jesus Sucre is the happy guy in the National Anthem lineup. I can’t tell who the singing/yawning player in the middle is.
  • The TNT has a dozen photos from the game in this gallery.
  • Yesterday the Mariners designated Hector Noesi for assignment, and called up reliever Dominic Leone from Tacoma. Leone never pitched in a game for the Rainiers, but he’s on his way to the big leagues (“Jaime (Navarro) is a great pitching coach – he gets guys to the big leagues before they even pitch in a game,” Roy Howell cracked on the pregame show yesterday).
  • There are some good quotes from Leone on his pitches and style in this blog post.
  • The Mariners game in Oakland last night was cancelled due to strange circumstances. Reminds me of a Rainiers trip to Tucson years ago, during monsoon season – we flew down there, it was a beautiful day, and the game was cancelled because some yahoo forgot to tarp the field the day before when a big monsoon hit. So, we all enjoyed a pleasant evening off.
  • For the Mariners farm report, go here. The big news was at Advanced-A High Desert, where Taijuan Walker had a successful rehabilitation start and D.J. Peterson hit a two-run homer.
  • Did you see Giancarlo Stanton‘s 484-foot home run yesterday? You can’t see the ball in this video, but look at the people at sitting at that bar – they are looking up, watching the ball sail over them.
  • Former Rainiers pitcher Michael Pineda makes his Yankees debut today.
  • Baseball America has the annual list of the ten youngest players in each league. No Rainiers made the PCL Young Ten.
  • In the PCL, Las Vegas starter Noah Syndergaard is picking up a lot of nicknames. He also picked up his first Triple-A win in an 11-8 victory over Fresno last night.
  • Reno starter Mike Bolsinger delivered 6.2 shutout innings in the Aces 2-0 win over El Paso last night. The El Paso club did not make this list of the Top Ten Team Names in minor league baseball. Surprise!
  • Salt Lake clobbered Sacramento, 13-4. Grant Green had three hits, giving him a PCL-leading six hits after two games.
  • Nashville shortstop Hector Gomez spoiled the Omaha Storm Chasers home opener by launching a three-run homer.
  • Nick Tepesch was dealing and Round Rock shut out Oklahoma City, 5-0. In the story’s notes: we learn about an Oklahoma City pitcher who was blowing 101 MPH on opening day.
  • Memphis coasted to a 9-0 win at Iowa on the strength of a pair of homers from Greg Garcia. Cubs phenom Javier Baez went 0-for-4. The Iowa Cubs cut ties with veteran Casey Coleman before the game.
  • The Sky Sox had a big game from Kyle Parker in an 8-2 win at New Orleans.
  • Here’s an interesting bit of history from Colorado Springs on how the team got its name.
  • Found a grid with all of the PCL Opening Day rosters on one page.

See you at the park!

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