Rainiers Back On Track, Smith OK

Tacoma ended its four-game losing streak with a 7-1 win over Sacramento on Monday night. James Paxton pitched very well, as did the bullpen, and the Rainiers had some timely hitting.

There was a scary moment in the fourth inning, right after Shawn O’Malley pulled a two-run homer to give Tacoma a 4-1 lead.

The very next pitch from Austin Fleet to Tyler Smith came up and in, and it hit Smith in the batting helmet. It’s always scary when a player gets hit in the head, and this was no exception. Trainers tended to Smith and he eventually walked off the field on his own power.

It turns out that the pitch struck Smith’s helmet, and then hit him in the nose. It opened up a cut on his nose, which is what was bleeding. He had no concussion symptoms, thank goodness.

After the game, manager Pat Listach said Smith told him he wants to play in today’s game. Pat isn’t going to put him in there, but it’s definitely good news that he wants to play immediately.

The weirdest thing was that after Smith came off the field, the umpires ruled that the pitch hit his bat before hitting Smith, so it was a foul ball. Confusion ensued. Video replay showed that this was the wrong ruling, but we don’t have replay review in the PCL so the call stood: foul ball.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: James Paxton tossed 5.1 walk-free innings, striking out eight, and Tacoma beat Sacramento 7-1. Shawn O’Malley hit a two-run homer, Mike Baxter hit a two-run triple, and Mike Zunino singled home another run. Steve Johnson was particularly strong in relief, working 2.1 scoreless innings.

Roster Move: Before yesterday’s game, Mayckol Guaipe was recalled by Seattle. The Rainiers added pitcher Jordan Pries from Double-A Jackson. Pries was in Tacoma’s starting rotation the last two years, but after being slowed last season by two different injuries, the M’s are easing him back in a long relief role for now.

Today: Sacramento (7-12) at Tacoma (11-7), 11:35 AM.

Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.

Season Series: Sacramento leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Albert Suarez (0-2, 3.46) at RHP Adrian Sampson (2-1, 4.24).

Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his career-best 14-game hitting streak. He’s reached base in 17 straight games. He went 23-for-57 during the hitting streak… Stefen Romero has an 11-game hitting streak… here comes Mike Baxter: he had two hits yesterday and has a five-game hit streak.

Look Out For: Mac Williamson had that seven-RBI game on Sunday, but the Rainiers held him in check on Monday. Still, he’s a tough out.

Ex-Rainiers Alert: Sacramento has former Rainiers Miguel Olivo and Darren Ford on the team. Yes, that Miguel Olivo. He’s 38-years-old and has already hit two homers this year. Pitching coach Dwight Bernard had the same job for Tacoma for seven years.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:20 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:

PCL Game Reports:

Tuesday is the last game of the brief homestand. We’re off on Wednesday and there will be no new blog post. Next update will be early Thursday afternoon, prior to the first game of the Las Vegas series.

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