Rainiers Go For Sweep Tonight

Tacoma’s suddenly stellar starting pitching kept the Salt Lake Bees in check for the third straight game on Wednesday night, and the Rainiers picked up a 3-1 win.

The Rainiers have won the first three games of the four-game series by scores of 6-1, 3-1, and 3-1. Salt Lake has a total of three runs on 21 hits in the series – and the Bees team batting average is just .219.

Salt Lake hasn’t even really put together a rally in the three games: two of their three runs scored on solo home runs, with the other scoring on Monday when Kyle Kubitza hit a leadoff triple and scored on an RBI single.

Including the final game in Las Vegas on Sunday, Tacoma has won four straight games and has held the opponent to exactly one run in each. Can it continue tonight? The Rainiers hope to sweep Salt Lake for the first time since the 2010 season.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Joe Wieland had a much-needed solid start, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one run, while striking out eight. Boog Powell drove in all three Tacoma runs, with a leadoff homer in the first and a two-run double in the third inning.

Today: Salt Lake (15-12) at Tacoma (15-11), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Kyle McGowin (–) at RHP Cody Martin (3-2, 8.49).

McGowin is making his Triple-A debut tonight – he’s up from Double-A Arkansas, where he went 3-2, 4.56 in five starts. He had 32 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched, with nine walks.

Hot Rainiers: Ed Lucas has three homers and a double during a four-game hitting streak… Stefen Romero saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday night – he went 23-for-59 during the streak… Shawn O’Malley is 8-for-13 during a four-game surge… Daniel Robertson has gone 7-for-15 over his last four games.

Look Out For: The Bees don’t really have any hot hitters after what has happened in the first three games of this series. Experience tells me to look out for all of them tonight, but maybe the Rainiers can keep them down for one more game?

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 6:50 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.

Links:

  • In the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, Joe Wieland talks about the adjustment he made which led to success.
  • Tacoma’s Mike Zunino was named the PCL Player of the Month for April. He ranked first or second in the league in just about every hitting statistic for the month.
  • Congrats to Salt Lake Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke, who is getting called up for three Angels games. He’ll be getting some practice in at Cheney Stadium tonight.
  • Dae-Ho Lee homered twice as the Mariners pulled off a big comeback and beat the A’s on Wednesday afternoon, finishing a three-game sweep. Nelson Cruz hit a jaw-dropping home run.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook has an update on injured reliever Tony Zych, among other things.
  • Felix Hernandez‘s velocity is down, so Jeff Sullivan and Fangraphs took a look under the hood.
  • This is a game changer in the minor leagues: the Phillies are catering healthy meals for their players throughout the organization – both home and away. Look for every team to follow suit within the next two years.

PCL Game Reports:

Last game of the home stand, Cinco de Mayo, and Thirsty Thursday… come on out to the park!

 

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