Rainiers Look To Slow Down I-Cubs

The Iowa Cubs are speeding right now, and the Rainiers will turn to Sam Gaviglio to try to slow ’em down in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

Iowa went into Friday’s game ranked 14th among the 16 PCL teams in runs scored, and then they beat Tacoma 10-9. They improved upon that Saturday, tallying 16 hits and wiping out the Rainiers 13-7.

That’s 23 runs on 33 hits the last two days – all after the Rainiers won the opener on Thursday night by the normal baseball score of 5-3.

Tacoma can still escape this town with a split if they win today. They need a good pitching performance to get it done.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Iowa jumped out early and scored five runs in the first two innings, eventually building an 8-1 lead after six. As has been happening all year, the Rainiers fought back. Pat Kivlehan‘s two-run homer in the eighth made it 8-5, and the Rainiers loaded the bases with two outs but didn’t add more. Iowa scored five in the bottom of the eighth and that was that.

Today: Tacoma (18-25) at Iowa (21-20), 11:05 AM (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Iowa is the Chicago Cubs affiliate.

Season Series: Iowa leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-3, 5.23) at RHP Donn Roach (5-0, 1.97)

As you can see from the stats, Roach has been Iowa’s ace so far. He was with both El Paso and the San Diego Padres last year and mostly pitched out of the bullpen. The Cubs made a waiver claim to get him in November and so far that looks like an excellent move.

Hot Rainiers: We’ll keep Marte in here, but Franklin Gutierrez is 5-for-8 over the last two games, and he laced a sharp double to the opposite field last night. Ketel Marte leads the PCL with a .351 batting average; his 60 hits also tops the circuit.

Look Out For: Seriously, someone needs to check on Iowa’s Taylor Davis and see if he is human, because this is ridiculous. He hit two more doubles yesterday and is 13-for-20 with nine doubles during a five-game hitting streak. Nine doubles! Maybe you should try to stretch one into a triple, Davis, just to see what happens.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:50 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 notes that Justin Germano allowed just six runs in the first six weeks of the season – and then eight yesterday.
  • Pat Listach is a popular man in Iowa.
  • My Minor League Notebook for the TNT looks at Seattle native Blake Snell and new Rainiers reliever Tony Zych.
  • Willie Bloomquist has a long history of hitting Mark Buerhle well, and he proved it in the Mariners 3-2 win at Toronto on Saturday.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook informs us that (among other things) Fernando Rodney is 60-for-64 in save opportunities since joining the Mariners. The Experience has been adventurous, but highly successful.
  • Lots of good comments from John McGrath in his weekly MLB power rankings.
  • Ryan Divish has an excellent Mariners minor league overview, including a lead segment on why first-round pick Alex Jackson was pulled out of Class-A Clinton.
  • Mariners catcher Mike Zunino talked to Esquire about getting beat up behind the plate.
  • In the PCL, Robbie Grossman gave Fresno a dramatic 3-2 win over Nashville in the 11th inning.
  • Sacramento lost its fourth in a row – this one by a 6-4 decision to Memphis.
  • Omaha starter Andy Ferguson had a career-high ten strikeouts in a 7-1 win over visiting Reno.
  • New Orleans had a strong start by Justin Nicolino and a big game from first baseman Brady Shoemaker in a 4-2 win over El Paso. There has been some drama concerning the future of El Paso manager Pat Murphy.
  • Alfredo Marte had a big game at the plate in Salt Lake’s 3-2 win over Colorado Springs.
  • Oklahoma City emerged from Vegas with a 6-4 win last night.
  • Round Rock’s home game against Albuquerque was rained out, and they’ll play a doubleheader today. Josh Hamilton is done rehabbing – he’s on his way to join the Texas Rangers.

After today’s game the Rainiers take a quick bus ride to Omaha (it’s only 2.5 hours away) and get ready for the Memorial Day game on Monday at 10:05 AM (Pacific).

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