Fresno Ends 16-Year Playoff Drought

The Rainiers division was settled last night.

We’d like to offer our congratulations to the Fresno Grizzlies, who clinched the Pacific-North title with last night’s win over the Iowa Cubs.

In their first year as a Houston Astros affiliate, Fresno has ended a 16-year playoff drought. The Grizzlies last reached the PCL playoffs in their first year in the league: 1998.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Fresno’s roster after the first of September, when the major league rosters expand. The Astros are trying to hang on to the AL West lead, and they’ll call up players who they think can help them do that.

But that’s a common story in the PCL playoffs. Call-ups effect all of the playoff teams.

Who said Gonzaga is strictly a basketball school?

We’ve got an all-Bulldogs pitching match-up tonight at Cheney Stadium, when two Gonzaga Baseball products square off head-to-head.

Tacoma’s Tyler Olson pitched four years for the Zags, before the Mariners drafted him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.

Memphis starter Arturo Reyes started out at Columbia Basin College, but transferred to Gonzaga for his junior year – the 2013 season. Reyes was selected by the Cardinals in the 40th round of that draft.

The former teammates are both from Washington: Olson grew up in Spokane, and Reyes is from Warden.

Arturo is the younger brother of former El Paso and Tucson pitcher Jorge Reyes, who faced the Rainiers many times from 2012-2014. He’s in the Braves organization now.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Memphis first baseman Dan Johnson hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and a three-run homer in the second as the Redbirds cruised to an 8-2 win over the Rainiers on Tuesday night. Tacoma needs a win tonight to salvage a series split.

Injury Update: Jabari Blash left last night’s game after seeing one pitch – a foul ball he hit down the left field line. Turns out he had some severe cramping in his right calf, but it subsided later and he’s OK now. Manager Pat Listach said he’s going to try to give him a day off today, but we’ll see.

Roster Moves: Tacoma activated pitcher Sam Gaviglio from the disabled list and he pitched two nice scoreless inning in relief last night. Gaviglio had been out since July 5th with a sore elbow.

Today: Memphis (66-65) at Tacoma (61-70), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: St. Louis Cardinals.

Season Series: Memphis leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Arturo Reyes (0-1, 7.71) at LHP Tyler Olson (2-4, 5.09).

It’s a Gonzaga Bulldogs showdown (more in the main body above).

Hot Rainiers: Patrick Kivlehan scored both Tacoma runs last night. He extended his hitting streak to six games, going 12-for-26 with two homers and five doubles during the streak… Tony Zilch Zych has pitched a scoreless outing in 20 of his last 21 relief appearances (including his brief stint at Double-A).

Look Out For: Dan Johnson has hit safely in eight straight games; after his two early home runs last night the Rainiers walked him twice… Xavier Scruggs is 12-for-34 with three homers in his last nine 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.

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