With a bit of a pitching shortage on hand, the Rainiers solved the problem the PCL way: by scoring a lot of runs.
Tacoma had four big extra-base hits and hammered Fresno on Friday night, 10-4. A four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning put the Rainiers in control, and four more runs in the eighth iced the game.
The pitching shortage never actually materialized, thanks to Joe Wieland. Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, Wieland lasted six inning and allowed only one run, while extending his pitch count up to 90.
Kraig Sitton survived a rocky seventh inning, and Blake Parker delivered a clean two-inning save.
The Rainiers are still a little short in the bullpen, but today should be the last day of that. David Rollins is coming back, and I’m hearing that Steve Johnson will accept an assignment to Tacoma if he clears waivers – we should know soon.
Yesterday: Tacoma made it two straight games scoring double-digit runs, with a 10-4 win over Fresno. Boog Powell and Tyler Smith homered, and Joe Wieland lasted six innings to earn the win.
Roster Moves: One day after getting called up, David Rollins was sent back to Tacoma by the Mariners. They needed his roster spot to activate Adrian Sampson for today’s game.
Today: Fresno (30-36-1) at Tacoma (38-29-1), 5:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-2.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Brady Rodgers (5-3, 2.90) at RHP Jarrett Grube (0-0, 5.40).
This will be interesting: Rodgers leads the PCL in ERA, and the Rainiers have scored 10+ runs in each of the last two games.
Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor has reached base with a hit or a walk in 17 straight games, and in 56 of his 61 games this season… Boog Powell has hit .380 (19-for-50) over his last 13 games… Dario Pizzano has gone 6-for-14 during a four-game hitting streak.
Look Out For: First baseman A.J. Reed is considered one of the top hitting prospects in the minor leagues, but he has struggled in his first Triple-A season batting just .249… catcher Tyler Heineman is 9-for-20 during a six-game hitting streak… the Astros optioned first baseman Tyler White to Fresno and he is expected to join the team today.
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 centers on the strong outing by Joe Wieland.
- Franklin Gutierrez went bonkers as the Mariners beat the Red Sox on Friday night.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook has the lowdown on all of the Mariners pitching staff roster moves.
- Matt Calkins writes that Ichiro belongs in the All-Star Game this year. I agree.
- Former Rainiers outfielder Michael Saunders hit three homers and drove in eight runs yesterday. Yowza.
- John McGrath’s MLB Power Rankings are out a day early this week.
PCL Game Reports:
- Braden Shipley was in total command, pitching Reno to a 5-1 victory at Albuquerque. The Aces remain two games behind Tacoma.
- Washington natives Kyle Kendrick and Cal Towey helped Salt Lake to a 7-2 win over Las Vegas.
- Travis Ishikawa – another WA native – had the game winning RBI in Sacramento’s 5-4, eleven inning win over El Paso.
- New Orleans had a good crowd on Star Wars night, but the Zephyrs lost to Oklahoma City.
- Omaha had good pitching in a 5-2 win at Colorado Springs.
- Nashville topped Round Rock, 5-4, winning in the tenth inning on a good old fashioned walk-off wild pitch.
- Memphis outfielder Tommy Pham homered in a 7-6 win over Iowa, and then got called up by the Cardinals.