Tacoma lost the last game in Albuquerque on Monday – a close one, a 4-3 defeat – and had to settle for a split of that four-game series.
Now the road trip moves on to Fresno, where the team faces division rival and defending PCL champions the Fresno Grizzlies for the first time this season.
The Houston Astros affiliate hasn’t gotten hot just yet, hanging right around the .500 mark before dropping their last three games. But they have a winning manager in Tony DeFrancesco, and one of the top hitting prospects in the minors in A.J. Reed.
Fresno enters this series in second place in the Pacific-North, 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
It’s never too early to start picking up wins against a division rival!
Yesterday: With the wind blowing out in Albuquerque, nobody expected the Rainiers and Isotopes to combine for just nine hits on Monday afternoon – but that’s what happened in Albuquerque’s 4-3 win. The Isotopes scratched the winning run across in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Today: Tacoma (18-13) at Fresno (13-17), 6:35.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: 0-0. First of 16 games tonight.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Cody Martin (4-2, 6.75) at RHP Brady Rodgers (1-2, 3.60).
Martin is tied for the PCL lead in wins… Rodgers is the reigning PCL Pitcher of the Week, an award he won with his complete game, four-hit, 86-pitch shutout of Reno on Wednesday.
Hot Rainiers: All of the Rainiers hitting streaks ended yesterday… Chris Taylor reached four times, with two hits and two walks, and he has reached base via hit or walk in 27 of the 30 games he has played in.
Look Out For: Veteran shortstop Danny Worth has been on a tear since opening day for Fresno – and it’s a good thing, because most of their position players have gotten off to slow starts. Worth is hitting .366-5-19, he’s hit safely in 24 of 28 games played, and he’s been the crux of the Fresno offense… also, Tony Kemp is on a seven-game hitting streak… top prospect A.J. Reed has not started hitting yet in the PCL.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:20 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.
- There was a surprising lack of offense in Albuquerque’s 4-3 win over Tacoma on Monday.
- A Baseball America study shows that Cheney Stadium was the most extreme home run park in the PCL last season. It looks like a one-year aberration to me.
- Felix Hernandez set the Mariners franchise record with his 146th career win in a 5-2 victory over Tampa last night. Ketel Marte went 4-for-5 with the go-ahead three-run homer.
- Robinson Cano won the Player of the Week award and some Mariners relievers are getting healthy, we learn in Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook.
- John McGrath encouraged the Mariners to sign Tim Lincecum.
- Columnist Matt Calkins asked several Mariners players and coaches if the team’s winning ways can continue.
PCL Game Reports:
- El Paso’s Diego Goris hit a Little League home run and an over-the-fence home run in the Chihuahuas 8-6 win over Fresno. El Paso won the last three games of that series to reach the .500 mark.
- A makeup doubleheader was truncated to a single game due to more rain, and Salt Lake beat Reno 5-2 with an eighth-inning rally.
- Las Vegas starter Rafael Montero out-dueled Chris Heston in a rare 1-0 game at Sacramento.
- Albuquerque pitching coach Daryl Scott is the “pitcher whisperer.”
- Dan Vogelbach clobbered two home runs in Iowa’s 10-3 win at Omaha. Outfielder Travis Snider ended up pitching two scoreless innings for Omaha.
- Prospects had a big day in Colorado Springs, where Oklahoma City’s Julio Urias tossed six shutout innings only to see his bullpen blow the game in a 7-3 loss.
- Arturo Reyes pitched shutout ball for 6.2 innings and Memphis took down Nashville, 5-0.
- Round Rock took command of the American-South division and has a PCL-best record of 18-12 after edging New Orleans on Monday, 2-1.