Tacoma played a great game on Thursday night, earning a 5-1 win over Reno in front of a sellout crowd of 7,035 at Cheney Stadium.
Jordan Pries bounced back nicely from a rough outing in his last start, allowing just one run over seven innings. Pries was particularly tough when facing a jam: he escaped runners at 2nd-and-3rd with one out three different times in the game.
Tacoma had just one hit through five innings against Reno starter Charles Brewer. Heading to the sixth, Tacoma trailed 1-0 and had not scored a run in 20 innings. They didn’t even get a runner to third base in 18 straight innings!
That team-wide slump officially ended in the bottom of the sixth, when the Rainiers used seven hits to score four runs. Chris Taylor singled in the tying run, Ji-Man Choi ripped the go-ahead two-run double, and Nick Franklin extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games with an RBI double.
The win gave Tacoma a split of the four-game series with Reno, and Tacoma pulled back within 9.5 games of first-place Sacramento.
After the game, the crowd enjoyed the massive fireworks display – always a great one at Cheney Stadium.
Now the Rainiers hit the road – July 4 is always a travel day, as every team in the league has a home game on either July 3rd or July 4th, so the whole league is in motion on the morning of the 4th.
Tacoma will face new division rival Fresno for the first time this season. The Rainiers will play the Giants Triple-A club 16 times over the final 58 games of the season.
The Grizzlies just split a four-game series at Sacramento, in which three games were one-run affairs. Fresno won the final game last night, 3-0.
The pre-season top prospect on the team is pitcher Edwin Escobar, who starts the opener against Tacoma tonight. Triple-A hasn’t been easy for the highly regarded left-hander: he’s encountered a home run problem.
Speaking of dingers, PCL home run leader Adam Duvall is expected to return to Fresno tomorrow – he was optioned to Triple-A from the big leagues by the Giants last night. His MLB debut was brief – just five games – but he’s hit 23 home runs in the Coast League this year. He was sent down because Brandon Belt came off the disabled list.
Fresno has a familiar face in former Rainiers pitching coach Dwight Bernard, who has the same job over there now. Grizzlies first baseman Travis Ishikawa is from Federal Way. Ex-Rainiers Guillermo Quiroz and Darren Ford are with the Grizzlies.
Friday’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 Andrew Carraway (3-4, 4.88) against Fresno LHP Edwin Escobar (3-7, 5.00).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners had the day off, so Ryan Divish looked at the M’s all-star candidates.
- Kyle Seager is having a great year – but he could be better, Bob Dutton writes.
- Dutton has a lot of good Mariners insight in his Q&A.
- John McGrath has a column about how the tide may be turning for Mariners GM Jack Z.
- Fresno helped out the Rainiers last night by shutting out Sacramento, 3-0. Mitch Lively, Dan Runzler, and Erik Cordier combined on the six-hit shutout. Fresno has two all-stars.
- Matt den Dekker stole home in the Las Vegas 51s 9-8 win over Salt Lake. Sadly, the story offers no details on how this happened.
- Jonathan Galvez – El Paso’s lone all-star – hit the go-ahead homer in a 7-6 win over Albuquerque.
- All-star Ben Paulsen helped Colorado Springs to a 6-2 win over Oklahoma City. Brett Tomko earned the win on the 13th anniversary of his no-hitter for Tacoma at Oklahoma City.
- New Orleans starter Adam Conley allowed one run in 5.2 innings, but the Zephyrs bullpen resembled a tire fire in a 9-7 loss to Round Rock.
- Omaha scored twice in the ninth to end Iowa’s five-game win streak, 4-3. A new kid named Whit Merrifield had the game winning hit.
- Nashville’s six-game win streak ended with a 7-5 loss to Memphis. The Sounds got a couple of all-stars, including likely starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
That’s it for today – have a super-fun but safe Fourth. By that I mean: don’t blow yourself up in a fireworks accident. We need all of our fans!