Tacoma’s relief crew was terrific in both games, and the Rainiers swept a doubleheader against Albuquerque on Friday night. They won the first game 5-3, and took game two by a score of 4-2.
The bullpen combined to pitch six innings without allowing an earned run in the doubleheader. This was crucial, as in each game Tacoma’s starter lasted four innings and left holding a slim lead.
The first game saw relievers Todd Coffey, Logan Bawcom, and Brandon Maurer each pitch a scoreless inning while protecting a 5-3 lead. Maurer earned his first professional save by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
Starter Chance Ruffin turned over a 2-1 lead to the ‘pen in game two, and Logan Kensing and Carson Smith were able to finish off the Isotopes.
On the offensive side of things, Jabari Blash had big hits in each game of the doubleheader, Ty Kelly hit a three-run homer in the first game, and Jesus Montero kept swinging it well (3-for-6 total). Nick Franklin returned to the Rainiers and chipped in with a pair of hits in the opener.
The doubleheader sweep was the first for Tacoma since June 24, 2010 when they swept Salt Lake. Tacoma had played five doubleheaders this season with each one of them a split.
Tacoma has won two straight games for the first time since May 5-7. Yes, that is accurate: the Rainiers went one month without winning back-to-back games. Maybe this is the start of something big!
Saturday’s game starts at 5:05 (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 4:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (3-4, 2.79) against Albuquerque RHP Red Patterson (2-5, 4.61).
- TJ Cotterill has the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune.
- Fans at Cheney Stadium this weekend get to see one of the top prospects in the minors in Albuquerque center fielder Joc Pederson. In this piece for Grantland, Jonah Keri explains why Pederson is still in Triple-A.
- Also on the Albuquerque front, we have an ear update.
- The Rays ended their ten-game losing streak and the Mariners five-game win streak when Eric Bedard pitched Tampa to a 4-0 win over Seattle on Friday night.
- In his daily Mariners Notebook, Bob Dutton has a bunch of details from the minor leagues.
- The Mariners drafted eight more dudes on Friday. They will select another 30 dudes today.
- Six players with Washington ties were selected in the first ten rounds of the MLB Draft, Adam Jude reports.
- Tacoma made a big move in the standings last night, gaining 1.5 games on division co-leaders Sacramento and Reno. Sacramento was shut down by Justin Thomas and Salt Lake, 3-1. Reno lost at home to El Paso, 6-4. Tacoma is 10.5 games out of first – hey, that’s better than 12 games out.
- Fresno walloped Las Vegas, 10-1. Infielder Juan Ciraco went 5-for-5 with four doubles (that ties the franchise record). Vegas ace Noah Syndergaard was diagnosed with a sprained left shoulder.
- Iowa shortstop Javier Baez hit a two-run homer and pitcher Chris Rusin took care of the rest as the I-Cubs beat Colorado Springs, 2-1.
- Ex-Rainiers pitcher Ryan Feierabend tossed a gem and Round Rock handed New Orleans a 3-2 defeat.
- Rainier Beach High School product Matt Fields went bonkers at the plate in Omaha’s 6-2 win over Oklahoma City. Fields homered twice and drove in all six runs.
- A Tom Gorzelanny rehabilitation appearance caused top prospect Jimmy Nelson to pitch in relief, but that didn’t stop the Nashville Sounds from shutting out Memphis, 1-0.
Tickets for the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay go on sale Monday. Since we are 99% sure that the Rainiers will be on the road when the tournament is played, here are the details.