The team needed that one.
Tacoma held on for a 5-4 victory over El Paso on Monday evening, ending a three-game losing streak and avoiding a home sweep. It was the first Cheney Stadium win for the Rainiers this season.
The Rainiers were trailing 4-1 going to the bottom of the fifth. Chris Taylor lifted a solo homer onto the R-Yard in left, and then with two outs Jesus Montero lined a three-run shot to left-center, giving the Rainiers a 5-4 lead.
The bullpen took over from there. Logan Bawcom protected the lead by tossing two scoreless innings, and then Triple-A rookie Mayckol Guaipe came in the game.
Guaipe had a terrific season at Double-A Jackson last year, earning a spot on the Mariners 40-man roster. But he had not shown his best stuff in his first three Triple-A games.
That changed last night. Guaipe went six-up, six-down with three strikeouts to coast through the eighth and ninth innings, earning his first Triple-A save.
Guaipe missed up with a few pitches to the first batter he faced, but after that it was all fastballs pounding the bottom of the strike zone.
The win sent the Chihuahuas off (they flew home this morning), and now the Rainiers welcome the Albuquerque Isotopes to town for a four-game series which carries through Friday night. The Isotopes just played four in Reno, splitting the series 2-2.
Yesterday: Tacoma picked up a 5-4 win as Jesus Montero hit a go-ahead homer, and relievers Logan Bawcom and Mayckol Guaipe combined to toss four shutout innings while protecting a one-run lead.
Today: Albuquerque (7-5) at Tacoma (4-8) 6:05 PM (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Albuquerque is now a Colorado Rockies affiliate.
Season Series: Albuquerque leads, 3-1.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Carlos Hernandez (0-0, —) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (1-0, 0.82)
Tacoma fans will get their first in-person look at Gaviglio, who was terrific in two outings on the opening road trip. From Ashland, OR and Oregon State University, Gaviglio uses a sinker/slider combination.
Hernandez is a 28-year-old Triple-A veteran who had to open the season at Double-A New Britain for the Rockies. He was promoted after an injury to John Lannan and this will be his first PCL appearance of the season.
Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor had two hits and a homer yesterday; he has hit safely in seven straight games (9-for-26). Franklin Gutierrez had a hit and two walks yesterday, and he has hit safely in seven of the eight games he’s played in this season.
Look Out For: Isotopes first baseman Ben Paulsen has a ten-game hitting streak, going 14-for-36 during that stretch.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.
PCL Scoreboard: follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- There are lots of good quotes in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Lookout Landing has a good write-up of yesterday’s game, with an analysis of Roenis Elias‘s outing and video of the Montero homer.
- Since Tacoma is playing the Isotopes tonight, here is the music video of The Isotopes performing “The Ballad Of Rey Ordonez” (complete with ridiculous, grainy highlights of Ordonez).
- The Minor League Baseball Game of the Week is back on CBS Sports Network this season. Unfortunately, no Rainiers games are on the initial schedule (we had two last year).
- The Mariners starting pitching continued to falter in a 7-5 loss to Houston last night.
- Larry Stone has a column on Nelson Cruz.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook has items on Cruz and more.
- Fangraphs did a check-up on James Paxton.
- In the PCL, Salt Lake ended its nine-game losing streak with a 9-5 victory over Sacramento. Josh Rutledge went 5-for-5 for the Bees.
- Fresno’s Preston Tucker hit his PCL-leading fifth home run in an 8-4 win at Las Vegas. The newspaper story features Vegas shortstop Matt Reynolds. In the story’s notes: major league managerial speculation surrounds 51s skipper Wally Backman.
- Reno won a prospect battle against Albuquerque last night, 6-2, as Robbie Ray out-dueled Jon Gray (I could not find a game story in the Reno paper).
- Oklahoma City’s Scott Baker was a strike away from a seven-inning perfect game in the opener of a doubleheader at Iowa – he had to settle for a two-hit shutout. Cubs prospect Addison Russell broke it up with a single, then was promoted to Chicago. Iowa had a walkoff win in game two and earned a split.
- New Orleans had a strong start from pitching prospect Justin Nicolino in a 4-3 win at Omaha.
- Nashville knocked off Colorado Springs, 11-5, and took 3-of-4 in the series. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has allowed three hits and no runs in ten innings.
- Round Rock has a glove man in Hanser Alberto. The Express defeated Memphis last night, 4-3.
See you at the ballpark!