El Paso won the third and final game of the series on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium, taking a 5-2 decision. The Chihuahuas won 2-of-3 in the inaugural series between the two teams.
The highlight of the game was the relief work of Brandon Maurer. After recording his first out via an infield grounder, Maurer got his next nine outs via the strikeout. All told, he pitched 3 1/3 innings and recorded nine strikeouts. That’s right: 9-of-10 outs were strikeouts.
Maurer combined with James Gillheeney and Carson Smith to strike out 16 batters last night. That might end up as the season high for nine-inning games when we’re all done on Labor Day.
The Rainiers made some roster moves prior to Thursday’s game.
Nate Tenbrink was placed on the 7-day disabled list – he hasn’t played since the opener on Friday with a sore back. Leury Bonilla was activated from the disabled list to take his spot.
Also, Andrew Carraway joined the team and was added to the active roster, filling the spot previously occupied by Lucas Luetge (who was called up Wednesday).
Now we hit the road for our first trip of the season, and it’s a quickie: a four-game trip to Albuquerque.
This first travel day was kind of an awkward one: we got a direct flight from SeaTac, which is great – but it left at 6:30 AM, and the team bus to the airport was at 4:15 AM. Sleep was quite limited on Thursday night, but there was a little time for napping after arrival.
Friday night’s game is at 6:20 (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show starts at 6:00 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Anthony Fernandez (0-1, 8.31) against Albuquerque RHP Zach Lee (1-0, 3.60).
- Meg Wochnick wrote the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune.
- Both Larry Stone and Todd Dybas of competing newspapers have features on the aggressive play of Abraham Almonte.
- Former Rainiers pitcher Michael Pineda was embroiled in a pine tar controversy during his excellent start against the Red Sox last night. Seems like this happens every year, and the players on the field don’t really care about it.
- John McGrath offers his thoughts on replay review after watching it in action for ten games.
- Former Rainiers outfielder Darren Ford – now with Fresno – suffered a scary-looking injury last night in Salt Lake City, but thankfully he is OK.
- Apparently a new groundskeeper has turned the field at Cashman into a gem. We’ll see first-hand next road trip. Meanwhile, the 51s stunned Sacramento with a 5-run eighth inning.
- Reno topped Albuquerque, 5-4. Mike Jacobs hit a big three-run homer.
- Remember on Wednesday when Omaha crushed Memphis, 20-3? Well the very next night it was Memphis 10, Omaha 1. Baseball.
- Javier Baez connected on his second homer of the year in Iowa’s 5-1 win over Nashville.
- Round Rock whacked Colorado Springs, 14-8, down in Texas. It was the third straight win for the Express. Meanwhile, the Sky Sox play their home opener tonight and pitching prospect Tyler Matzek is going to try to conquer elevation.
- Oh, boy. New Orleans lost its seventh in a row and finished its opening homestand with a 1-7 mark. Yikes.
It’s the Isotopes home opener tonight, so first pitch will be delayed until 6:20 and there will probably be a huge crowd. Should be fun!