The Rainiers enjoyed a well-earned off-day on Wednesday, and the team starts a four-game series in El Paso tonight. Tacoma brings a four-game win streak into Chihuahua World, and the Rainiers have won 11 of the last 13 games overall.
Taijuan Walker was about as good as possible on Tuesday evening, tossing his first career shutout. Walker allowed four hits and one walk, while striking out eight. He threw a season-high 109 pitches.
It was Tacoma’s first complete game shutout since James Paxton pitched one at Tucson on July 8 of last season.
Tacoma scored its only runs on a two-run homer by Xavier Nady in the first inning. The longtime major leaguer ended his stint in Tacoma with a seven-game hitting streak and game-winning hits in his final two games.
Yes, I said he ended his stint in Tacoma. Nady exercised an option in his contract and became a free agent after Tuesday’s game. The Mariners initially signed him to provide a right-handed bat on the big league bench, but as soon as he signed Stefen Romero and especially Cole Gillespie got hot in the big leagues – ending the immediate need for Nady.
Nady will look for a major league spot, but it is possible that he will retire.
Rehab Row is down to a duo here in El Paso. Justin Smoak and Corey Hart are expected to continue on with the Rainiers for a little while.
Yesterday the Mariners optioned starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez to Tacoma, and recalled reliever Brandon Maurer. Because of an off-day on the schedule the Mariners could go without a fifth starter for one trip through the rotation.
Also, the Rainiers should be getting Jesus Montero back from Seattle with Michael Saunders presumably activated from the DL.
Thursday’s game starts at 6:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Matt Palmer (1-4, 4.76) against Chihuahuas RHP Donn Roach (0-1, 3.57).
There is some concern about the status of tonight’s game. The Rainiers did make it to El Paso, but most of the team’s equipment was not on the same flight. It’s supposed to come in on a later flight, but we’ll see about that. Stay tuned on Twitter for updates.
- Here is the Rainiers game story on Taijuan Walker‘s shutout from Wednesday’s News Tribune.
- Tacoma gained a full game on Sacramento, which lost in New Orleans on Tuesday. Tacoma trails the River Cats by 7.5 games in the standings – that’s the closest Tacoma has been to first place since May 24.
- Iowa’s Kris Bryant hit another home run on Tuesday – his first five Triple-A hits have all been homers.
- Mariners prospects D.J. Peterson (just promoted to Double-A Jackson) and Gabriel Guerrero (Advanced-A High Desert) were selected to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.
That’s it for today – flying from SeaTac to El Paso is a real grind; we were up at 3:00 AM and had a layover in Houston which isn’t even remotely close to being in between the two cities.