When New Orleans announced it was starting four straight left-handed pitchers against the Rainiers, Jesus Montero must have been pretty excited.
The Tacoma first baseman has a history of bashing left-handed pitching, and he’s really hit them hard the first two games of the series.
He went 4-for-5 with a grand slam and six RBI in the opening game on Tuesday. He followed that up with a 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI game on Wednesday in which he also drew a pair of walks.
All told, Montero is 6-for-8 with nine RBI in the first two games of this series – and he gets to face two more left-handed starters to close out the homestand. On top of that Sacramento is starting three lefties in this weekend’s series at Raley Field – that’s seven opposing LHPs in eight games!
For the season, Montero is batting .377 with four homers and a 1.072 OPS against left-handed pitchers. He’s hitting .289 against right-handers.
Montero’s first inning homer last night was all starter Sam Gaviglio needed. He tossed eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball. Gaviglio did not allow a New Orleans runner to reach second base until the eighth inning. It was his second straight strong start.
Yesterday: Tacoma jumped out to an early lead on a long home run by Jesus Montero, and Sam Gaviglio tossed eight scoreless innings in a 6-1 win last night.
Roster Moves: The Mariners made a big trade yesterday, acquiring Mark Trumbo from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Seattle gave up four players, and (amazingly) none of them were on the Rainiers. However, they will need to call up a catcher today. With that in mind, Tacoma expects to add catcher Steve Baron from Double-A Jackson. Baron was hitting .243-0-13 with a .362 OBP for Jackson, and he threw out 30% of opposing basestealers.
Today: New Orleans (25-26) at Tacoma (24-30), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: New Orleans is the Miami Marlins affiliate.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Pat Misch (4-4, 3.12) at RHP Forrest Snow (2-4, 2.79)
Misch set two PCL records during his May 4th start at Oklahoma City: most batters hit by pitch in an inning (four) and most HBPs in a game (five). He has hit only one other batter the entire season.
Hot Rainiers: Franklin Gutierrez is 16-for-43 over an 11-game hitting streak. Shawn O’Malley has 12 hits and three walks in his last eight games – he’s also been hit by pitch three times, so that’s 18 times on base in eight 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 ten-game hitting streak, and Derek Dietrich is 15-for-37 with two homers in his last ten 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.
- In the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune, Montero says seeing the left-handed starters is good for the team.
- The Mariners were swept by the Yankees. They face ex-Rainiers pitcher Erasmo Ramirez tonight.
- Here’s the news story on the Mark Trumbo trade.
- Baseball America has a write-up of each player involved in the trade.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN writes that acquiring Trumbo doesn’t help fix the Mariners glaring weakness.
- Here is USS Mariner’s look at the trade.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook covers the Fernando Rodney situation, among other things.
- If Mariners fans need some cheering up, well… they have baby leopards at the zoo!
- The Houston Astros are removing the hill from center field, which makes one wonder if the Albuquerque Isotopes will consider doing the same thing.
- In the PCL, Carlos Correa had a big game as Fresno picked up a 4-1 win at Colorado Springs.
- Sacramento used clutch hitting to defeat Oklahoma City, 7-3.
- Rougned Odor reached base five times in Round Rock’s 5-2 win at Reno.
- Nashville topped Salt Lake 5-1 and the Sounds have won nine of the last ten games.
- Las Vegas lost its eighth in a row. The 51 scored three runs in the top of the first inning and still managed to lose at Memphis, 4-3.
- Albuquerque put “a collective beating” on Iowa, 9-7. I like that phrasing.
- Casey Kotchman homered in Omaha’s 6-2 win at El Paso.
Tacoma has won five of the last six games. Let’s see if they can keep it going on Star Wars Night.