The Rainiers topped Iowa on Friday night, 9-4, for Tacoma’s fourth straight win.
Tacoma scored all of its runs in just two innings: a five-run bottom of the first, and a four-run sixth.
Mike Zunino capped the five-run first inning with a three-run homer, his tenth home run of the season.
While Zunino has hit longer home runs this season, Friday’s may have been his favorite: it was hit to the opposite field, a line drive that cleared the wall in right-center at Cheney Stadium.
Zunino is doing a lot of work to improve his offense while with the Rainiers, and one of the things he’s trying to do is not be so pull-heavy. Try to stay up the middle, which means sometimes hitting the ball to the opposite field.
So it was good to see him drive a pitch to right-center last night – and not just for a base hit, but a liner that cleared the fence some 370 feet from home plate.
Yesterday: Tacoma used two big innings to take down the Iowa Cubs last night, 9-4. Boog Powell and Stefen Romero each had three hits, while Romero and Mike Zunino each drove in three runs. Tacoma is 25-16 and has the best record in the PCL.
Today: Iowa (18-21) at Tacoma (25-16), 5:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Chicago Cubs.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Alex Sanabia (0-1, 47.25) at LHP James Paxton (4-2, 3.75).
Yeah, that’s Sanabia’s ERA. He’s pitched in one game and was hit with seven earned runs in 1.1 innings.
Hot Rainiers: Mike Baxter has a five-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 6-for-18 with four home runs… Dario Pizzano has hit safely in ten straight games, going 13-for-33.
Look Out For: Alberto Almora went 0-for-5 last night, ending his 14-game hitting streak – biut he did make three great plays defensively in center. Almora hasn’t drawn a walk since April 23, 100 at-bats ago… Taylor Davis is 4-for-8 in this series, which is just more of the same: last year in a four-game series against Tacoma, Davis went 8-for-17 with five doubles.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 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.
- The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has reaction from manager Pat Listach.
- The Mariners took apart the Reds “woeful” bullpen in an 8-3 win last night.
- From TJ Cotterill of The News Tribune, here’s a great story on former Rainiers and Mariners outfielder Chris Snelling – now a coach at Auburn High School.
- Larry Stone has a column on the happy and healthy Robinson Cano.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads with an item on the free-and-easy swinging of Leonys Martin.
- Scholarly research by SB Nation reveals that the secret to the St. Louis Cardinals success is their heightened connection to the animal kingdom.
Cross-conference play continues in the PCL, and last night the American Conference beat its Pacific Conference foe in every game except one: the Rainiers-Cubs game. Here are the PCL Game Reports:
- Omaha scored three runs in the ninth to upend Reno, 5-4, and holy smokes the Rainiers have a 6.5-game lead in the division standings and it’s May 21. Ed Lucas reported to Reno and went 0-for-4.
- Memphis scored five runs in the third inning and took down Fresno, 8-7.
- Nashville’s Daniel Mengden dealt again in a 2-1 win over Sacramento. Between Double-A and Nashville, Mengden has allowed four runs in 50 innings this season. Nashville has won six in a row.
- This Julio Urias thing is getting ridiculous. The 19-year-old phenom tossed five more scoreless innings last night, extending his shutout streak to 27 straight frames. He’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA, and Oklahoma City shut out Salt Lake last night, 1-0. Is it time for the Dodgers to let him throw more than 75 pitches?
- Colorado Springs lit up Las Vegas, 14-6. The Sky Sox had 19 hits, none were homers… and four were triples. Wut?
- Albuquerque lefty Harrison Musgrave had an eventful and memorable Triple-A debut. But he lost to New Orleans, 8-1.
- Round Rock scored 12 runs before making four outs in a 14-10 win at El Paso, ending the Chihuahuas six-game win streak. Oooooh… good headline: “Round Rock Cages Chihuahuas.”
The Rainiers will try to keep it rolling at 5:05.