Tacoma got a much-needed 12-1 win in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, with James Paxton turning in his third consecutive strong start.
Paxton allowed one run over six innings, striking out seven with just one walk. He gave up five hits.
It was yet another strong start for Paxton since he and pitching coach Lance Painter used video analysis to correct a flaw in his mechanics.
In his last three starts, Paxton has pitched 17.1 innings, giving up 12 hits and two runs (one earned). He has struck out 18, and most impressively he’s issued just one walk.
The victory ended Tacoma’s four-game losing streak, and it avoided a sweep in Vegas. Now Tacoma hopes to get hot at home again, with Salt Lake coming into town.
Yesterday: Tacoma broke out of its slump with an impressive 12-1 win at Las Vegas on Sunday. James Paxton pitched another strong game, Shawn O’Malley had three hits and four RBI, Ed Lucas launched a grand slam, and Mike Zunino ripped his PCL-leading eighth home run.
Roster Move: The Mariners announced that they removed Joe Wieland from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Tacoma. Wieland was already with the Rainiers, but the Mariners cleared a 40-man spot with this move.
Today: Salt Lake (15-9) at Tacoma (12-11), 6:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Season Series: 0-0. Today is the first of 16 games between the two teams.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Chris Jones (1-1, 7.88) at RHP Adrian Sampson (2-1, 3.09).
Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has a 14-game hitting streak… Chris Taylor had three hits yesterday, he’s reached base via hit or walk in 21 of 22 games played… Mike Zunino continues to hit, connecting for a double and a homer yesterday.
Look Out For: Jefry Marte is Salt Lake’s first baseman, and he carries a nine-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… switch-hitting outfielder Todd Cunningham is 8-for-16 during a five-game hitting streak. He’s also “controlling the zone” with 17 walks and only 10 strikeouts this season.
Ex-Rainiers Alert: Left-hander Lucas Luetge is in the Salt Lake bullpen; he’s been a regular at Cheney Stadium the past three years… reliever Ramon Ramirez had a brief stint with Tacoma in 2014… former Mariners player, minor league pitching coach, and all-around good guy Pat Rice is currently serving as Salt Lake’s pitching coach.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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, Boog Powell talks about using bunt hits to try to get out of a mini-slump.
- The Mariners were unable to finish a sweep of the World Series champion Royals. Still, it was a good series all-around.
- Todd Milles had Mariners Notebook duty yesterday. We’ll give him credit for a pinch-hit double.
- John McGrath has a good column on Sunday’s game and where the Mariners currently stand.
- Big news on the Triple-A front, where reports say the PCL and IL are going to scale back to a 140-game schedule. My opinion: 140 or 144 doesn’t matter, what matters is the five off-days (not including the all-star break). We need more off-days for travel and rest.
PCL Game Reports:
- Sacramento pounded Salt Lake again, this time by a score of 16-6 in a game that the Bees actually led 5-0 after one inning. Jarrett Parker hit three home runs for Sacramento, and he got his batting average over the Mendoza Line.
- Reno beat Albuquerque 1-0 on Peter O’Brien‘s walk-off home run in the 12th inning – a blast which tied him with Mike Zunino for the PCL lead. The paper has a story on top prospect Braden Shipley, who tossed six scoreless innings in the win. O’Brien and Shipley were named the PCL Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
- El Paso hung on for a 4-3 win at Fresno. The defending PCL champions are watching as their parent club struggles mightily in Houston.
- Colorado Springs picked up a 4-3 win in the opening game of a doubleheader at Iowa, and the second game was rained out. The paper has a story on I-Cubs pitcher Drew Rucinski.
- Round Rock is having an offensive problem. The Express got shut out by Zach Neal and Nashville on Sunday, 3-0.
- Oklahoma City’s doubleheader at Omaha got rained out. The OKC Dodgers are about to add top pitching prospect Jose De Leon.
Today is Rainiers owner Mikal Thomsen‘s 60th birthday, and he’s having the party at Cheney Stadium. Should be a packed house on a Monday!