OK, Reno, we see you, we get it, it’s not going to be a runaway. Not yet, anyway.
Tacoma has been in first place all year in the Northern Division. Tacoma won on opening day and hasn’t let go of first place, leading by as many as 7.5 games.
But Reno just came into town and took three-of-four games, pulling within two games of the Rainiers in the standings. It’s a tight race right now.
It’s early, and the Rainiers are going through a stretch of poor play. Tacoma has lost six of its last eight games, and now has to hit the road for four games in Salt Lake City.
The PCL plays a long season – 144 games – and it has ebbs and flows, highs and lows. The Rainiers are definitely in a low right now, but fortunately it is only June 13 and the team still hasn’t spent a day out of first place.
Now the Rainiers will try to turn it around in Salt Lake City. Tacoma is 7-1 against the Bees this year, but have not visited their hive yet. Tacoma has always had trouble in Salt Lake City, and this year’s club has not been strong on the road (13-18 away record).
It’s a quick road trip – the team is back home on Friday, with Fresno coming to town.
Yesterday: Reno scored four times in the top of the fourth inning, and Tacoma couldn’t get much offense against Aces ace Braden Shipley in a 6-3 loss on Sunday afternoon. Tacoma had eight hits, including a two-run single by Patrick Kivlehan.
Today: Tacoma (35-27-1) at Salt Lake (30-31), 6:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 7-1.
The first eight games of the season series have been played at Cheney Stadium, and the Rainiers have cleaned up. Now we play a series in Salt Lake City.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Adrian Sampson (6-4, 3.51) at LHP Chris Jones (3-5, 7.33).
Hot Rainiers: Patrick Kivlehan has hit safely in eight straight games and is 12-for-33 since re-joining the Rainiers… Chris Taylor has reached base with a hit or a walk in 51 of his 56 games this season… Boog Powell has hit .379 (11-for-29) over his last eight games.
Look Out For: Salt Lake just won three of four at Fresno, but they lost the series final on Sunday 1-0, and had only two hits in the game. That ended most hot streaks for Salt Lake hitters… catcher Juan Graterol is 6-for-13 over his last five games, and he had both hits last night.
Ex-Rainiers: Former Rainiers Ji-Man Choi and Lucas Luetge play for Salt Lake. The Bees have a pair of Washington guys, in pitchers Kyle Kendrick (Mount Vernon) and Tim Lincecum (Issaquah).
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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 focuses on the unexpected highlight from Sunday: the stellar inning of work by left-hander Jake Brentz in his Triple-A debut. Expected to go stay home and join the Everett Aqua Sox, Brentz flew with us to Salt Lake City this morning instead.
- The Mariners fell five games behind Texas after yesterday’s loss.
- James Paxton pitched with an edge on Saturday night.
- USS Mariner has some cool tidbits from the draft.
PCL Game Reports:
- Great game in Fresno, where Salt Lake’s Tim Lincecum dealt seven shutout innings of one-hit ball – but lost to Brady Rodgers and Fresno, 1-0.
- Tom Murphy hit a walk-off home run to give Albuquerque a 6-4 win over Las Vegas in the 12th inning on Sunday.
- El Paso smoked the River Cats like they were a Southwestern Texas barbecue treat on Sunday evening, 11-3.
- Recently released by the Mariners, Joel Peralta joined the Iowa Cubs just in time to see them get swept by visiting Round Rock in a four-game series.
- New Orleans finished off a four-game sweep with a 7-4 win over Omaha.
- Colorado Springs got shut out at Memphis for the second day in a row, this time by a score of 5-0.
- Dodgers top prospect Jose De Leon started and was OK in what turned out to be a 7-4 loss to Nashville.
Let’s see if the Rainiers can warm up on the road.