The Reno Aces aren’t the youngest team in the PCL – they have a 39-year-old starting shortstop to prove otherwise – but their young players led the charge in a 4-3 win at Tacoma on Tuesday.
Making just his second Triple-A start, 23-year-old Aaron Blair bounced back from a rough Triple-A debut and held the hot-hitting Rainiers in check. He lasted 6.2 innings, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out six.
Tacoma starter Justin Germano was actually out-pitching Blair until there were two outs in the sixth inning. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for 24-year-old Peter O’Brien, who deposited a 2-2 fastball into the R-Yard for a grand slam. It was O’Brien’s 15th home run of the season, which puts him in a three-way tie for the PCL lead.
The game was the 72nd of the year for the Rainiers – meaning we have reached the exact midpoint of the season. A win would have put Tacoma at .500 but instead the Rainiers hit the fulcrum at 35-37.
Yesterday: Reno’s Peter O’Brien hit a two-out grand slam in the top of the sixth inning and it held up as the Aces defeated Tacoma, 4-3. After eight straight games with 10+ hits, and a .354 team batting average on the just-completed road trip, Tacoma returned home and had just five hits in the loss.
Today: Reno (32-39) at Tacoma (35-37), 7:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks.
Season Series: Tied, 2-2.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Archie Bradley (—) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (7-5, 4.29)
Bradley is making a rehabilitation start; he’s 2-3, 5.80 as a rookie in the Arizona starting rotation. He’s already been on the DL twice – on April 28 he was struck in the face by a line drive, suffering a sinus fracture. He came back from that, made four starts, and then landed on the DL on June 4 with right shoulder tendonitis.
Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor has a 11-game hitting streak, going 18-for-50 (.360) during the streak. Carlos Rivero has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games, has reached base safely in 14 straight, and is batting .365 in June.
Look Out For: Nick Evans has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has homered in two of the last four games. Jamie Romak is 9-for-15 with two homers and eight RBI in four games against Tacoma this season.
I Know You: Found out last night that the Diamondbacks released Reno outfielder Trayvon Robinson on Sunday night, so the former Rainiers and Mariners player is not in Tacoma and instead is looking for work. Pitcher Blake Beavan is on the Reno disabled list; he is rehabbing in extended spring training and not with the team.
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.
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Mike Montgomery tossed his first career shutout – against his former organization, no less – and the Mariners beat Kansas City, 7-0. Baseball Prospectus subscribers can find an analysis of his game.
- Our region’s top two sports columnists each wrote about the challenges facing new Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez today. We’ve got John McGrath here and Larry Stone here.
- In his Mariners Notebook, Bob Dutton applauds the grammar of Mariners fans.
- Ex-Rainiers catcher Jim Horner was named assistant coach at Washington State University. Since he’s currently managing the Mariners Double-A Jackson affiliate, there is going to be some midseason shuffling on the Mariners farm.
- Rick Randall swallowed a positive pill and wrote a state of the Mariners minor league system address.
- Former Tacoma Tigers slugger Jose Canseco suited up for three games in an independent league.
- In the PCL, Tacoma fell 8.5 games behind first-place Fresno, which beat Sacramento 6-2. Jon Singleton ended a 98 at-bat homerless string when he ripped his 15th of the year. Fresno is adding top pitching prospect Mark Appel to its rotation.
- Las Vegas topped Salt Lake on a throwing error in the tenth inning.
- El Paso scored early and often in an 8-5 win over Albuquerque.
- Barry Zito and Nashville downed Memphis, 6-4.
- John Lamb was dealing as Omaha won at Iowa, 4-2. The Des Moines paper looks at top prospect Kyle Schwarber while the Omaha paper easily won the headline war.
- Colorado Springs got shut down by Scott Baker and Oklahoma City.
- New Orleans starter Andre Rienzo tossed seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 win over Round Rock.
- Rainiers players John Hicks and Chris Taylor are going to be pretty worked up tonight as their alma mater plays in the title game of the College World Series.