Montero & Rainiers Romp

Jesus Montero hit a two-run double in the first inning and a grand slam in the second as the Rainiers ran away with an 11-2 win in the series opener against New Orleans on Tuesday night.

The Rainiers hit four homers in total: Pat Kivlehan hit his team-leading tenth of the year, while Shawn O’Malley and James Jones each knocked their first of the season.

Montero’s grand slam was the first by Tacoma this season (after 44 bases loaded plate appearances for the team). Montero finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs scored and six RBI.

Danny Farquhar made his first professional start and lasted 3.2 innings. He kept New Orleans off the scoreboard for three innings, but Derek Dietrich got him for a two-run homer in the fourth. By that time Tacoma already led 8-0 so it was no big deal.

Justin Germano followed Farquhar and went the rest of the way without allowing a run.

The Rainiers have won four of their last five games – covering the entire homestand so far. Three more games are left against New Orleans – all at 7:05, through Friday night.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: You get a homer, you get a homer, and you get a homer… the Rainiers hit four homers and blasted New Orleans in the series opener, 11-2.

Roster Moves: Prior to last night’s game the Mariners called up starter Mike Montgomery and optioned reliever Mayckol Guaipe to Tacoma. They also activated Tyler Olson from the disabled list and optioned him to Tacoma – he’ll start on Friday. Ketel Marte was placed on the disabled list. And before I could even learn to spell his name without looking it up, Jhombeyker Morales was sent back to extended spring training.

Today: New Orleans (25-25) at Tacoma (23-30), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: New Orleans is the Miami Marlins affiliate.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Travis Blackley (0-1, 4.80) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (4-4, 4.94)

That’s the former Rainiers and Mariners lefty Blackley, who is making his third start of the season today. He was released by the Giants at the end of spring training, and the affable Aussie hung out in the Bay Area until the phone rang. When it did, it was the Marlins on the other line, and Blackley reported to New Orleans.

Injury Update: Ketel Marte broke his left thumb and is reportedly out for around six weeks. Stefen Romero returned to the lineup yesterday after missing ten games with a hip flexor.

Hot Rainiers: Franklin Gutierrez is 15-for-38 over a ten-game hitting streak. Shawn O’Malley has ten hits and three walks in his last seven games – he’s also been hit by pitch three times, so that’s 16 times on base in seven games. Reliever Logan Bawcom has allowed just one run in his last 14.1 innings pitched.

Look Out For: Left-handed pitchers. New Orleans is scheduled to start four consecutive left-handers against the Rainiers in this series, which is quite rare in the PCL (or anywhere, for that matter). Outfielder Jordanny Valdespin has a nine-game hitting streak, and Derek Dietrich is 14-for-33 with two homers in his last nine games.

Welcome Back: New Orleans has former Rainiers and Mariners Brandon Bantz, Cole Gillespie, and Travis Blackley on its roster.

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:

Happy 40th birthday to friend of the blog Ryan Divish!

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