Tacoma’s win streak reach seven straight games with a 4-2 victory over Colorado Springs on Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.
For the second day in a row, Colorado Springs scored early. The Sky Sox got a solo home run from Tim Smalling in the first inning, and added an unearned run during a long top of the second inning.
At that point Tacoma trailed 2-0, and it appeared as if the Rainiers run of excellent starting pitching was at its end: James Gillheeney needed 54 pitches to get through the first two innings, and there had already been action in the bullpen.
But Gillheeney got things back on track and made it through five innings without allowing any more damage. Tacoma starting pitchers have now gone seven straight games without allowing more than two runs, and seven straight games without allowing more than one earned run.
Ty Kelly was a factor once again. He hit a two-out, two-run single in the third inning to tie the game, then launched a solo home run in the fifth to give Tacoma the 3-2 lead. Chris Taylor added a solo shot in the sixth.
The Tacoma bullpen delivered four scoreless innings to close it out. The Tacoma bullpen has allowed just four earned runs over the last 37 innings pitched (11 games).
The seven-game win streak is the team’s longest since it won ten straight from April 23 to May 3 last season. Let’s see if they can keep it going tonight.
Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 PM – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Taijuan Walker (1-1, 4.32) against Sky Sox LHP Brian Burres (0-1, 11.57).
We had an unusual occurrence last night: a Mariners roving minor league instructor got ejected from the game.
Field Coordinator Jack Howell is in town, and he got ejected by home plate umpire Blake Davis one batter into the bottom of the first inning.
Howell was upset that the umpire allowed Colorado Springs starter Mike McClendon to quick-pitch Chris Taylor on the second pitch of the bottom of the first inning. Apparently this was banned in an off-season rule change due to injury concerns.
I have no idea what Jack Howell said to get ejected, but he did not go on the field to argue.
An amusing side-note to this: usually the league issues a fine to a player or coach who gets ejected. They do this by sending a letter to the minor league team office of the person who was ejected. Good luck tracking down a rover! If I’m Jack Howell, I’m going to treat this like a parking ticket on a rental car.
- We’ll start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Seattle lost to San Diego, 2-1, on a day where even the Padres batters said Felix Hernandez was unhittable.
- The Mariners have signed No. 1 draft pick Alex Jackson, according to Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
- A Rainiers play from last month (and my favorite band) made this blog post of bizarre occurrences in the minor leagues.
- For ESPN Insiders, here is Keith Law’s notebook on the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. It includes a paragraph on Mariners prospect Gabriel Guerrero.
- Vin Scully proved that a broadcaster cannot jinx a no-hitter. Thank you, Vin.
- In the PCL, four Sacramento pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout and the River Cats won in Round Rock, 2-0. The Express are adding MLB veteran Carlos Pena to the lineup.
- Reno stunned Oklahoma City with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the RedHawks, 7-6. Trailing 6-3, it took just five batters (and no outs!) for Reno to rally for the win.
- New Orleans starter Elih Villanueva became the PCL’s first eight-game winner by shutting down Fresno, 5-1. Villanueva also became the Zephyrs all-time strikeout leader.
- Memphis and Salt Lake split a doubleheader – each game was decided in the last at-bat by one run.
- Omaha’s seven-game win streak ended with a 10-5 loss to Albuquerque. The ‘Topes snapped a 5-5 tie with a five-run ninth inning. Omaha is doing just fine at the gate even with the College World Series in town.
- Las Vegas picked up an 8-2 victory over Nashville as catcher Travis d’Arnaud continued to get back on track.
- I couldn’t locate a link, but Iowa beat El Paso 3-1 last night by getting a strong start from Dallas Beeler.
- We finish with Baseball America’s minor league round-up.
It’s Thirsty Thursday tonight – make sure to check out the new ‘R’ Yard in left field next time you come to the ballpark!