Great win for the Rainiers in the homestand opener last night: a clean 3-2 win in a tense game with some terrific pitching for the Rainiers. Nice to see the bullpen turn it around with three innings of perfect relief.
Today is Part II of Throwback Weekend, with the Tacoma Tigers being honored. Tigers was the name of the club from 1980-1994, with all but the first year as an affiliate of the Oakland A’s.
Bob Robertson joins me in the booth today and we’ll talk about the Tigers era during the broadcast, as he was the play-by-play announcer for many of those seasons.
Yesterday: Rob Brantly‘s go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning proves to be the game winner, as Tacoma had terrific pitching in a 3-2 win over Omaha to start the homestand. Joe Wieland, Casey Coleman, and Blake Parker held the hot-hitting Storm Chasers in check.
Roster Moves: The Mariners have called up infielder/outfielder Shawn O’Malley, and optioned infielder Luis Sardinas to Tacoma. This is presumably so that the 22-year-old Sardinas can get some regular playing time – he hasn’t had much in Seattle. Also, today’s starting pitcher Brad Mills was activated from the disabled list, and Jordan Pries has been transferred to Double-A Jackson. My understanding is that Pries is going to move into the starting rotation and “stretch out” his pitch-counts.
Today: Omaha (20-15) at Tacoma (21-15), 1:35.
Opponent Affiliation: Kansas City Royals.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Brooks Pounders (3-1, 3.41) at LHP Brad Mills (-).
The PCL veteran Mills is making his season debut, taking Cody Martin’s spot in the rotation. Mills was a minor league free agent signed during the winter, but he battled shoulder soreness during spring training and was held back until now. Martin will follow Mills from the bullpen today – most of Martin’s major league experience is as a reliever, so this a role he is familiar with.
Hot Rainiers: Rob Brantly has gone 6-for-16 over a four-game hitting streak, with homers in his last two… Dario Pizzano has hit safely in eight straight games, going 11-for-28… Chris Taylor has reached base via hit or walk in 31 of the 33 games he has played in.
Look Out For: Brett Eibner homered three times on Thursday against Memphis, including two in the fifth inning alone. He became the 21st player in PCL history to homer twice in one inning… Clint Barmes has an eight-game hitting streak… former first round pick Hunter Dozier homered eight times in 26 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas before being promoted to Omaha on May 7.
Local Guy: Mill Creek native Travis Snider is on Omaha, trying to play his way back to the big leagues. Jackson High School Class of 2006.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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.
- The Rainiers win last night was about mental toughness, manager Pat Listach said in the game story.
- My Minor League Notebook for the paper is on the rare visits by Omaha and Iowa, and an unexpected travel situation in the PCL.
- The Mariners made in incredible comeback in the eighth inning, only to lose in the ninth last night against the Angels. Meanwhile, the El Paso Chihuahuas and New Orleans Zephyrs laugh at them (see below).
- Some good stuff in Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook, on the state of the team right now.
- It’s OK to jump on the Mariners bandwagon, Larry Stone wrote.
- Ryan Divish has a story on the long list of star second basemen currently in the American League.
- John McGrath has a column about the defensive shift. Here are his MLB Power Rankings.
- Ex-Rainiers first baseman Justin Smoak is playing the best baseball of his career, and the Toronto Star wonders if he is a late bloomer.
- Jason Churchill took a one-month check-up on his Mariners top prospects list.
Some truly amazing stuff happened last night in the PCL Game Reports:
- El Paso took an 8-0 lead into the ninth inning against New Orleans, and blew it. But after the Zephyrs scored eight runs in the top of the ninth, El Paso won it in bottom of the 11th on a walk-off home run by Ryan Schimpf.
- Colorado Springs topped Salt Lake, 2-1, in the longest game in Sky Sox franchise history. They played 18 innings – in the Springs, no less – before Salt Lake ran out of pitching and sent outfielder Quintin Berry to the mound. Numerous Sky Sox franchise records were set. All we have for now is a team report, because this game ended at nearly 1:00 AM local time. Andy Wilkins had the game-ended RBI single.
- The Iowa Cubs – who will be here on Thursday – hung 17 runs on the scoreboard in Reno and lit up the Aces, 17-2.
- Phenom Julio Urias pitched six more shutout innings and Oklahoma City topped Las Vegas, 1-0. That’s 21 straight shutout innings and a season ERA of 1.25 for the teenager.
- Ryan Casteel hit a three-run homer to help Albuquerque down Round Rock, 8-4. The Express have lost five in a row.
- Nashville trounced Fresno, 9-1, as Chris Smith pitched seven scoreless innings.
- Matt Williams drove in five runs to help Memphis upend Sacramento, 10-3.
Break out your green – it’s Tacoma Tigers day at Cheney Stadium.