Rainiers Go For…

May 31, 2015

I don’t want to jinx it.

We haven’t had one of these yet in 2015. It’s possible today. It’s time. You can feel it in the air, can’t you?

The Rainiers have a chance to (rhymes with tweep) the Round Rock Express. All they need to do is beat them today.

And this ain’t no chump squad. Round Rock is in first place in the American-South division. They entered this series on a 12-4 streak, and had a record of 30-16.

Now the Rainiers could take four straight.

First pitch is at 11:35.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Franklin Gutierrez hit the go-ahead three-run homer, Leon Landry went deep again, and Logan Kensing made an impact from the bullpen in his first game of the season as Tacoma beat Round Rock on Sunday afternoon, 6-3.

Today: Round Rock (30-19) at Tacoma (22-29), 11:35.

Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock is the Texas Rangers affiliate.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Anthony Ranaudo (4-1, 2.70) at RHP Stephen Landazuri (0-1, 8.53)

Injury Update: Ketel Marte left yesterday’s game with a thumb injury on his left hand – he was getting x-rays after the game and no prognosis is available yet. Stefen Romero has missed nine straight games with a hip flexor. Reliever Edgar Olmos is away from the team as his wife just gave birth.

Hot Rainiers: Leon Landry has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, going 15-for-36, and he has hit three homers the past two days. Franklin Gutierrez is 13-for-30 over an eight-game hitting streak. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 14.1 innings pitched.

Look Out ForTyler Pastornicky is 5-for-8 with two doubles in the last two games, and he’s hit in 12 of 13 games since joining Round Rock on May 16th.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:20 AM (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.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune is all about the possibility of getting a pweep. Or a mweep. Whatever – one of those things.
  • The Mariners lost to Cleveland in 12 innings, 6-3. People will point to the pitching in the 12th inning, but Seattle had five hits. Five hits in 12 innings = a loss 99.9% of the time.
  • Here’s an explanation of why the Indians played the game under protest (which no longer matters since they won).
  • Uh-oh. The Mariners loss seemed to make my pal John McGrath a bit testy.
  • It’s been tough in the big leagues this season for Dom Leone, Jayson Jenks writes.
  • When asked why Mike Montgomery was scratched from his start for the Rainiers yesterday, Lloyd McClendon had a funny response.
  • My alma mater lost a wild 12-inning game in the NCAA Regional last night.
  • We don’t normally link to high school baseball stories, but when there is a modern-day version of Merkle’s Boner in a Washington state championship game, we sure do.
  • Hey guys: vote for some Rainiers for the Triple-A All-Star Game, will ya? I strongly recommend Marte at SS – he’s been here longer and had a better year in the PCL than Correa and Seager (those two annihilated Double-A and then got moved up).
  • In the PCL, the old lefty Barry Zito beat the young lefty Steven Matz, 1-0. This is a game I wish I was there to see. Nashville has won seven in a row.
  • Oklahoma City starter Scott Baker helped Tacoma and everybody else in the Pac-North by tossing a complete game 4-1 victory over first-place Fresno. Top prospect Carlos Correa left this game early after a play at home plate – no reports yet on what happened.
  • Sacramento whacked Colorado Springs 10-5 and the River Cats have won two straight after their franchise-record 10-game losing streak. Federal Way native and World Series hero Travis Ishikawa cleared waivers and will report to Sacramento.
  • Hot-hitting Jamie Romak helped Reno top New Orleans, 4-3.
  • Iowa scored seven runs in an inning, Javier Baez had three hits, and the I-Cubs won in El Paso, 8-4.
  • Top prospect Jon Gray is starting to figure things out, but his bullpen couldn’t hang on in a 2-1 loss to visiting Omaha.
  • Salt Lake’s game at Memphis was rained out and they’ll play two tonight. Your tickets are good to be exchanged for any future Memphis Redbirds home game except July 4.

After today’s game we go to a normal schedule of night games for the remainder of the week.

And hey: don’t forget to watch (or attend) tonight’s Yankees-Mariners game, which features two of the three most dominant Tacoma Rainiers pitchers I have ever seen. Michael Pineda against Felix Hernandez – should be quite the duel. If anyone watches this game with Ryan Anderson, please let me know.

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Landry Leads Rainiers

May 30, 2015

Fairly new outfielder Leon Landry had a huge game as Tacoma topped Round Rock on Saturday evening, 7-3. It was the second straight win for the Rainiers.

Playing in just his 14th Triple-A game, Landry homered twice and made a terrific diving catch in right field. His first home run was a three-run blast which gave Tacoma a 4-0 lead in the third inning (part of a six-run Rainiers rally).

Landry has hit clean-up the last two days after doing it only one time previously in his 4.5-year professional career. He hasn’t been a power hitter in his career, but he’s been putting together good at-bats for the last two weeks so Cory Snyder decided to give him a shot in that spot. I’d say it worked.

Landry’s huge game overshadowed an effective outing by starter Forrest Snow, who allowed one run over six innings, and two more scoreless frames from hot reliever Logan Bawcom.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Leon Landry belted two home runs and made a diving catch to support starting pitcher Forrest Snow, and the Rainiers made it two straight wins with a 7-3 victory over Round Rock on Saturday.

Roster Moves: Prior to the game yesterday the Rainiers added pitchers Logan Kensing and James Gillheeney to the roster. Kensing was recently re-signed and has been working out at extended spring training; he was a PCL All-Star for Tacoma last year. Gillheeney returns to the club (for the first time this year) from Double-A Jackson.

Today: Round Rock (30-18) at Tacoma (21-29), 1:35.

Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock is the Texas Rangers affiliate.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Alec Asher (0-0, 5.06) at LHP James Gillheeney (—)

Gillheeney is up from Double-A Jackson, where he went 3-1, 2.58 in 11 appearances (four starts). He’s starting in Mike Montgomery’s slot. Montgomery is “on hold” because the Mariners need a starter on Tuesday and they haven’t figured out what they are going to do yet. Since Montgomery is pitching well and is on the 40-man roster he’s a possibility to take that spot.

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed eight straight games with a hip flexor; he ran the bases and took batting practice yesterday.

Hot Rainiers: Leon Landry has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games, going 14-for-34. Franklin Gutierrez is 11-for-26 over his last seven games. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 14.1 innings pitched.

Look Out ForTyler Pastornicky went 3-for-5 yesterday, and he’s hit in 11 of 12 games since joining Round Rock on May 16th.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here. It’s a Sunday, so Pacific Northwest broadcasting legend Bob Robertson joins me on the air. Among his many accomplishments, he called Tacoma Giants television games in 1960.

PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Like day games? We have another on Monday: 11:35 AM first pitch at Cheney Stadium, to wrap-up the Round Rock series.

New Orleans comes in on Tuesday and they are currently slated to start ex-Rainiers pitcher Travis Blackley on Wednesday and Washington State Cougar Adam Conley on Friday.


Gaviglio Delivers Strong Start

May 30, 2015

Tacoma opened the eight-game homestand in style on Friday night, defeating Round Rock 5-3 behind a great start from Sam Gaviglio.

Gaviglio had never pitched a complete game or a shutout before, and he had a chance to do it on Friday – but he was going to need a very quick ninth. After eight innings, his pitch count was 98 – six higher than his previous season-high of 92.

Acting manager Cory Snyder let him start the inning, but Rougned Odor had a seven-pitch at-bat which ended with a double to start the inning. After Gaviglio got Jake Smolinski to line out, he was at 108 pitches and they decided to get him out of there.

The Express ended up scoring three runs in the ninth, but Tacoma held on for the win. Gaviglio was charged with one run in 8.1 innings – which was the longest start of his career.

Today should be the final day of the Rainiers graduation coaching carousel. Manager Pat Listach is still away for his son’s graduation, and pitching coach Jaime Navarro is missing tonight’s game to attend his daughter’s graduation.

For today’s game, Cory Snyder is the manager, Terry Clark the pitching coach, and Lee May Jr. the hitting coach. Clark and May are roving instructors in the Mariners farm system.

Here’s something cool: tonight is Tacoma Public Schools Night at Cheney Stadium, and the Rainiers are going to be wearing jerseys designed by middle schooler Tony Ngyuen. He won the contest for best design – his jerseys look sharp.

Read more about the contest, the winner, and what the purpose of this whole thing is right here.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma starter Sam Gaviglio had his best game of the year, carrying a shutout into the ninth inning of the Rainiers 5-3 win last night. Carlos Rivero hit a two-run triple for Tacoma, and Ketel Marte drove in two runs.

That Happened: After hitting two triples on Thursday in Omaha, Shawn O’Malley hit another one last night last night. That’s three triples in two days for O’Malley.

Roster Moves: Yesterday the Mariners called up two Tacoma relief pitchers: Lucas Luetge and Dom Leone, to fill in for James Paxton (disabled list) and Joe Beimel (restricted list for a few days). Tacoma did not immediately receive any replacements.

Today: Round Rock (30-17) at Tacoma (20-29), 5:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock is the Texas Rangers affiliate.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Alec Asher (0-0, 5.06) at RHP Forrest Snow (1-4, 3.00)

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed seven straight games with a hip flexor; he said yesterday he’s feeling better.

Hot Rainiers: Franklin Gutierrez is 10-for-22 over his last six games. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 12.1 innings pitched.

Look Out For:The Rainiers held Round Rock’s three hottest hitters hitless yesterday. Tyler Pastornicky, Jake Smolinski, and Ryan Strausborger each entered the series red-hot and went 0-for-yesterday.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (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.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story notes that Sam Gaviglio‘s long outing came at a very good time.
  • Taijuan Walker brought his A-game and the Mariners edged the Cleveland Indians on Friday, 2-1.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook has the latest on James Paxton‘s injury and possible replacements in the starting rotation.
  • In the PCL, top shortstop prospects Carlos Correa and Corey Seager are going head-to-head as Fresno opened a four-game series at Oklahoma City. Neither did anything last night, when Oklahoma City won the opener 2-1.
  • Reno had a strong start from Robbie Ray and knocked off New Orleans, 4-2.
  • They said the River Cats would stop winning when they switched from the A’s to the Giants, and so far that prediction appears true. Sacramento set a new franchise record with its tenth consecutive loss in an 8-3 defeat at Colorado Springs.
  • In the Battle of Yohan, Albuquerque bludgeoned Omaha, 12-3. Yohan Flande got the win and Yohan Pino took the loss.
  • El Paso cruised to a 14-2 win over the Iowa Cubs.
  • Kyle Kubitza homered in the 12th inning to give Salt Lake a 5-3 win at Memphis.
  • Nashville’s Chris Bassitt pitched well in a 2-1 victory over Las Vegas.

Rainiers Look For Home Cooking

May 28, 2015

Tacoma looks to turn things around at home after a tough Midwest road trip that saw the club go 2-6. The team went 1-3 in both Iowa and Omaha.

At least Iowa had the decency to throttle us. Omaha swiped two games with late rallies, including a 6-5 ten-inning game on Thursday in which Tacoma took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

The club hopes to get back on the right side with an eight-game homestand starting tonight against Round Rock and New Orleans.

Tacoma plays without manager Pat Listach tonight and tomorrow. He’s attending his son’s high school graduation, so hitting coach Cory Snyder will manage the game. By the way, Pat’s kid Blaine is the top prep high-jumper in the country and is going to Baylor next year.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Omaha stunned the Rainiers, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth to tie and then winning the game in the tenth on an RBI single by Lane Adams. It was a tense game – read the details in the story (first link below).

That Happened: Shawn O’Malley hit two triples last night. Two triples in one game is quite rare – and three is the PCL record. It’s only been done nine known times in 113 years of PCL baseball.

Today: Round Rock (30-16) at Tacoma (19-29), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock is the Texas Rangers affiliate.

Season Series: First game tonight.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (4-2, 5.15) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-4, 5.63)

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed six straight games with a hip flexor; he’s listed as day-to-day. Also, reliever Edgar Olmos has been away from the team for the birth of his child; I heard he may rejoin the club today.

Hot Rainiers: Pat Kivlehan has hit safely in seven straight games – he’s 10-for-27 with two homers during the streak. Franklin Gutierrez is 10-for-22 over his last six games. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 12.1 innings pitched.

Look Out For: Tyler Pastornicky, Jake Smolinski, and Ryan Strausborger are all red-hot for Round Rock. Really, we should look out for the Express as a whole: they lead their division, and they are 12-4 over their last 16 games.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 (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.

Links:

  • Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, and the story from the Omaha newspaper covers the walk-off hit.
  • The Mariners ran into strikeout machine Corey Kluber and lost to Cleveland, 5-3.
  • There is encouraging news about Hisashi Iwakuma in Bob Dutton’s Christian Caple’s Mariners Notebook.
  • In the PCL, Tacoma wasn’t the only team to get walked off. Joe Sclafani had the game-winner for Fresno in the 11th inning of a 5-4 win over Memphis.
  • Iowa walked off Reno even more dramatically, when Matt Szczur launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Aces, 3-2.
  • So Corey Seager is a little hot right now. Kyle’s bro went 6-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, and six RBI in Oklahoma City’s 14-11 win at Salt Lake yesterday. Salt Lake’s Andrew Heaney is waiting for the call to the show.
  • Round Rock’s starter got scratched but they still knocked off El Paso, 5-3. Jake Smolinski hit a three-run homer.
  • Nashville topped Sacramento 3-2 and completed a four-game road sweep, and the River Cats have lost nine in a row. Sacramento is feeling the on-field results of the affiliation change – I wonder if nine in a row is a franchise record?
  • Kyle Parker had the big hit as Albuquerque rallied in the ninth to win at New Orleans, 4-2.
  • Colorado Springs outfielder Shane Peterson homered twice in a 8-3 win at Las Vegas.

Rainiers Hope to Return Home On Positive Note

May 28, 2015

Tacoma lost Wednesday’s game in Omaha, 5-2, and is now 2-5 on the current eight-game road trip which ends tonight. Omaha hit a couple of two-run homers, including a big one in the eighth inning to break open a really tight game.

The good news is the Rainiers return home on Friday, starting an eight game homestand against Round Rock and New Orleans. The weather forecast is fantastic and it should be a fun time at Cheney Stadium this weekend and on into next week.

But there is one left in Omaha, and the Rainiers can still get a split of the Omaha series by bagging a win on Thursday.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Omaha’s Alex Rios and Brett Eibner each hit a two-run homer and the Storm Chasers downed Tacoma, 5-2.

Today: Tacoma (19-28) at Omaha (23-24), 4:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Omaha is the Kansas City Royals affiliate.

Season Series: Omaha leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Justin Germano (3-2, 2.95) at RHP Andy Ferguson (1-1, 1.50)

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed five straight games with a hip flexor; he’s listed as day-to-day. Also, reliever Edgar Olmos is away from the team for the birth of his child; he’ll come back as soon as possible.

Hot Rainiers: Pat Kivlehan is 9-for-23 with two homers in his last six games. Franklin Gutierrez is 8-for-17 over his last five games. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 12.1 innings pitched.

Look Out For: Rey Fuentes went 2-for-4 yesterday and hit the game-winning homer on Monday; he’s 10-for-17 in the last four games (and 7-for-12 in this series against Tacoma).

Local Guy: Rainier Beach HS and Green River CC product Matt Fields did not play for Omaha Wednesday.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:20 (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.

Links:

It’s the last game of the trip. The team flies home super-early on Friday morning and settles in for the eight-game homestand.


Ninth Inning Rally Ends Streak

May 27, 2015

Tacoma snapped a 3-3 tie by manufacturing a run in the ninth inning and ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win at Omaha on Tuesday night.

Tacoma was up 3-0 in the middle of the sixth, because of a two-out, two-run triple by James Jones in the fifth and a two-out, RBI double by Pat Kivlehan in the sixth.

Two-time defending PCL champion Omaha scored twice in the sixth, but Tacoma starter Mike Montgomery finished the inning and left with a 3-2 lead (it was a valiant start by Montgomery, who has been sick – see the first link below).

Omaha literally stole a run against the unaware Rainiers in the seventh, tying the game. But Tacoma had a rally left.

Leon Landry led off the ninth with a single, and Kivlehan followed with a single of his own. John Hicks bunted the runners up, and Carlos Rivero delivered with a sac fly on a 3-1 count to drive in Landry.

Dom Leone survived a two-out threat in the bottom of the inning, getting the last out to secure the win.

It all added up to a much-needed win for the Rainiers.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers manufactured a run in the ninth inning and topped Omaha, 4-3, ending a four-game losing streak.

Roster Move: In order to make room for Danny Farquhar on the Tacoma roster, pitcher Andrew Kittredge was transferred to Double-A Jackson prior to last night’s game.

Today: Tacoma (19-27) at Omaha (22-24), 4:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Omaha is the Kansas City Royals affiliate.

Season Series: Tied, 1-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Stephen Landazuri (0-0, 10.57) at LHP John Lamb (4-1, 3.55)

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed four straight games with a hip flexor; he’s listed as day-to-day. Also, reliever Edgar Olmos is away from the team for the birth of his child; he’ll come back as soon as possible.

Hot Rainiers: Pat Kivlehan is 8-for-19 with two homers in his last five games. Speedy Leon Landry has hit safely in seven straight and started the game-winning rally in the ninth yesterday. Franklin Gutierrez is 7-for-14 over his last four games, but he left Tuesday’s game with dizziness.

Look Out For: Rey Fuentes went 3-for-4 yesterday after hitting the game-winning homer on Monday; he’s 11-for-20 over his last five games. And while he hasn’t played yet in this series, catcher Francisco Pena (Tony’s kid) hit 27 homers for the PCL champions last year, but he’s off to a slow start in 2015. That being said, he has hit safely in four straight games and ripped his second HR of the season against Reno on Friday.

Local Guy: Rainier Beach HS and Green River CC product Matt Fields went 2-for-3 with a double yesterday for Omaha.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:20 (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.

Links:

Let’s see if the Rainiers can make it two in a row.


Omaha Hands Tacoma Memorable Loss

May 26, 2015

Omaha gave the Rainiers something to remember on Memorial Day, stunning Tacoma with five runs in the eighth to win 8-5.

This one felt like a Tacoma win. The Rainiers built the lead when Jesus Montero hit a two-out, two-run double in the third inning. Tacoma took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning stretch.

Omaha scored one run in the bottom of the seventh, but Tony Zych got a big double play grounder to escape a jam.

Mayckol Guaipe was summoned for the eighth, and he’s had an excellent season so far. Here’s what happened:

  • Batter grounds out.
  • Rainiers drop a routine pop fly, batter reaches first.
  • Dusty Coleman hits his second career Triple-A home run, 5-5 tie.
  • Batter reaches on infield single off glove of diving third baseman.
  • Rey Fuentes lines two-run homer to right field, Omaha leads 7-5

Omaha added another run, and the Rainiers lost their fourth in a row and dropped a season-worst nine games under .500

Here are some bad stats that can’t continue (Right? They can’t possibly continue): during the four-game losing streak, Tacoma has allowed 38 runs on 60 hits. That’s 9.5 runs and 15 hits per game. Yikes.

Hopefully things will turn around tonight. Omaha is the two-time defending Triple-A Champion, but they are only 22-23 this year.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Omaha stunned Tacoma, overcoming a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the eighth when Dusty Coleman and Rey Fuentes each hit two-run homers in the inning. Neither player is a power hitter.

Roster Move: Seattle activated Austin Jackson from the disabled list and optioned reliever Danny Farquhar to Tacoma.

Today: Tacoma (18-27) at Omaha (22-23), 4:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Omaha is the Kansas City Royals affiliate.

Season Series: Omaha leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Mike Montgomery (3-4, 3.83) at RHP Aaron Brooks (3-3, 3.76)

Montgomery has been sick this week; we hope he is recovered enough to give the Rainiers a much-needed start of decent length. Brooks went 12-3, 3.88 for Omaha last year, then he tossed a complete game shutout in Game Five of the PCL Championship Series against Reno.

Injury Update: Stefen Romero has missed three straight games with a hip flexor; he’s listed as day-to-day. Also, reliever Edgar Olmos is away from the team for the birth of his child; he’ll come back as soon as possible.

Hot Rainiers: Pat Kivlehan is 6-for-15 with two homers in his last four games. Speedy Leon Landry has hit safely in six straight and is walking at a good clip. Franklin Gutierrez is 6-for-12 over his last three games.

Look Out For: Rey Fuentes hit the game-winning homer yesterday; he’s 8-for-16 over his last four games. And while he didn’t play yesterday, catcher Francisco Pena (Tony’s kid) hit 27 homers for the PCL champions last year, but he’s off to a slow start in 2015. That being said, he has hit safely in four straight games and ripped his second HR of the season against Reno on Friday.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:20 (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.

Links:

Looks like we’ll be dodging rain showers in Omaha tonight. This is no place for a rainout – let’s get ’em in.