Tacoma won the series opener against Iowa on Thursday night, 2-1, in a well-pitched game by both clubs.
The victory was the third in a row for the Rainiers, and it improved Tacoma’s record to 24-16 on the season.
The team is eight games over .500 for the first time this season, and the team has opened up a 5.5-game lead in the Pacific-North division standings.
Key to the Rainiers success has been the team’s play at home: Tacoma has gone 15-5 over the first 20 games at Cheney Stadium.
This is a nice change from recent years, in which the club has struggled at home in the cold months and then warmed up with the weather in June.
It’s been a great first 40 games for the Rainiers. Some stats for you:
- Tacoma’s offense ranks third in the PCL in batting average (.280), second in runs scored (218 – El Paso leads with 232), and fourth in home runs (36 – Omaha is tops with 43).
- The pitching staff ranks fifth in the league with a 4.18 team ERA. Control has been the key: Rainiers pitchers have issued the fewest walks in the PCL, just 99 for an average of 2.5 per game.
- The Rainiers run differential of +30 is best in the league.
- Tacoma batters are putting the ball in play. The Rainiers have the second-fewest strikeouts in the league, with 250 K’s or just 6.25 per game. Only El Paso has struck out less.
Here’s hoping it all continues for the next 104 games (or more!).
Yesterday: Donn Roach had the best start of his year, lasting 6.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits. He struck out a season-high seven and did not issue a walk, and he retired the final 11 batters he faced. Tacoma beat Iowa, 2-1, with Luis Sardinas‘s RBI single in the sixth inning serving as the game-winner. Mike Baxter hit another homer, giving him four this week.
Today: Iowa (18-20) at Tacoma (24-16), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Chicago Cubs.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Jake Buchanan (3-1, 3.86) at RHP Joe Wieland (2-3, 9.10).
Hot Rainiers: Mike Baxter has ten hits and five walks in his last seven games, and he has homered in three straight games with four total dingers… Rob Brantly has gone 10-for-24 over a six-game hitting streak, with three homers… Dario Pizzano has hit safely in ten straight games, going 13-for-33.
Look Out For: Alberto Almora is running hot. He brings a 14-game hitting streak into tonight’s game, with 23 hits during the spree. He also never walks: he’s hasn’t drawn a free pass since April 23, 95 at-bats ago… Dan Vogelbach won the PCL Player of the Week award last week, he went 1-for-3 with a walk last night.
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.
- Christian Caple has the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- TNT Diner reviewed the Cheney Stadium concession stands and found some hits.
- The Mariners used a couple of wall-scrapers to beat the Orioles on Thursday and win the series on the road.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads off with the hot-hitting Kyle Seager.
- The Mariners are about to face the worst bullpen in the majors leagues, John McGrath writes.
- Well how about that. A Mariners pitcher ranks high on this week’s edition of Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet.
PCL Game Reports:
- Omaha’s Hunter Dozier homered twice in a 12-3 win at Reno.
- Jake Smolinski hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning to give Nashville a 6-5 win over visiting Sacramento. A’s prospect Bruce Maxwell is making a return to Nashville.
- Fresno benefited from a good start by Joe Musgrove in a 4-2 win at Memphis.
- The streaking Chihuahuas scored two in the bottom of the ninth to beat Round Rock, 4-3. Rehabilitating Padres infielder Yangervis Solarte had the game-winning hit, and El Paso has won six in a row.
- James Ramsey‘s three-run homer highlighted a five-run eighth inning for Oklahoma City, which beat Salt Lake 7-5 last night. As you can see in this video, Dodgers catcher Jack Murphy has a unique look.
- Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa continued his rehabilitation with Albuquerque, but the ‘Topes lost in the ninth inning to New Orleans, 5-4.
- Las Vegas scored six run in the top of the first inning and eventually emerged with a 7-6 win at Colorado Springs.
Can the Rainiers make it four in a row?