Rainiers Squeak Out Win, Move On To Sacramento

The Rainiers edged Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, 5-4, avoiding a sweep at the hands of the PCL’s best team.

Hisashi Iwakuma was nickled-and-dimed for three runs in the bottom of the first inning without allowing a hard-hit ball. His fastball velocity was steady at 89 in the first inning, but slipped to 86 by the time his rehabilitation outing finished in the fourth. He had good movement on everything, though.

Is he ready to join the big league rotation? That’s for the Mariners to decide – they had plenty of people watching him, including Player Development Director Chris Gwynn, Pitching Coordinator Terry Clark and Special Assistant to the GM Ted Simmons.

The Rainiers won the game after Iwakuma left. Jesus Montero launched a long go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth inning, Mark Rogers delivered four outstanding innings in his Tacoma debut, and Logan Kensing closed it out with a difficult save (protecting a one-run lead in Vegas is always a tough save).

I think it was important for Tacoma to win one in Vegas. The two teams will play each other 12 times in a span of 20 days, and starting that off with a four-game sweep would have been a real downer.

The Rainiers made a roster move yesterday: reliever Carson Smith was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a finger problem on his pitching hand. I haven’t had a chance to ask him about it yet but I will.

Rogers took his spot on the roster – he was on the disabled list since spring training due to, of all things, non-baseball injuries he suffered in a car accident.

Now it’s on to Sacramento for a four-game series. The River Cats just split a four-game home series with El Paso, and they are 13-10 on the season. They have one big change from when we saw them at Cheney Stadium seven days ago: defensive wizard Andy Parrino was re-claimed off waivers from Texas and he is patrolling shortstop.

Monday’s game starts at 7:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Anthony Fernandez (1-1, 4.95) against Sacramento RHP Zach Neal (1-1, 6.55).

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