Outfielder Nori Aoki reported to the Rainiers on Monday night in Fresno, and he made an instant impact.
Leading off the game, Aoki had a 16-pitch plate appearance against Fresno starter Brad Peacock, ending it with a double down the left field line.
Peacock ended up throwing 39 pitches in the first inning – and then another 30 in the second inning, which included a ten-pitch at-bat by Daniel Robertson. Tacoma only scored two runs against him, but Peacock was gone after three innings and 88 pitches.
These prolonged at-bats meant that Fresno had to go to the bullpen early, and their pen is a little bit taxed right now. Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco chose to keep reliever Kevin Chapman in for the eighth inning of a 2-2 tie, even though Chapman had already pitched two innings.
Tacoma rallied against Chapman and scored three runs, with Luis Sardinas getting the big hit, and ended up winning the game 6-2.
Tonight the Rainiers end the road trip – and for the first time this season, we can say it was a really good trip. It’s guaranteed to be Tacoma’s first winning road trip of the season: the Rainiers are 5-2 on the trip going into the last game.
Yesterday: Tacoma rallied late to beat Fresno, 6-2. With the score 2-2 in the eighth, the Rainiers pushed three runs across the plate, with a two-run single by Luis Sardinas snapping the tie. Sardinas was 3-for-5 with three RBI in the game.
Roster Moves: Jesus Sucre joined the team as anticipated last night, he caught seven innings of the Tacoma win. Sucre is on a major league rehabilitation assignment, so he does not count on the Tacoma roster – which means that PJ Jones is still active. Nori Aoki also reported and made an instant contribution.
Today: Tacoma (44-33-1) at Fresno (37-39), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 6-5.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Zach Lee (0-0, 7.50) at RHP Cesar Valdez (4-1, 3.71).
Hot Rainiers: Tyler Smith is 6-for-13 over his last four outings… Zach Shank is always a hot hitter, and right now he’s 8-for-his-last-16… Stefen Romero has gone 12-for-26 over his last six games… Rob Brantly has gone 9-for-24 over his last seven games, but he’s going to be away from the team for a few days.
Look Out For: Jon Kemmer has gone 6-for-10 in this series, raising his season batting average from .238 to .257 in the process… closer James Hoyt has seven saves in the last 14 days.
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.
- We’ll start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Rainiers are getting out of Fresno right before heralded prospect Alex Bregman is set to join the Grizzlies.
- The Mariners were off yesterday. The Times ran a story on James Paxton and the push for consistency.
- Lauren Smith has an article on new Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc, a veteran who has pitched against Tacoma many times in the past.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads with a 16-year-old Domincan the team is reportedly signing next week.
PCL Game Reports:
- Fight! Fight! Fight! New Orleans and Memphis got into a massive brawl at Autozone Park – enjoy the video. That was Jose Urena throwing at Jeremy Hazelbaker to start the fight. There were six ejections, and the music guy should have been the seventh. Who won the game?
Who caresMemphis won, 4-3.
- The El Paso Chihuahuas infested Reno, 13-3, and Tacoma now has a 3.5-game lead over Reno in the standings.
- Albuquerque established a new franchise record by losing its 11th straight game – this one a 5-3 defeat against Salt Lake.
- Sacramento’s Ty Blach pitched a complete game, six-hit shutout against Las Vegas – and did it at Cashman Field. Wow.
- Nashville’s Renato Nunez singled home the winning run in the 12th inning to give the Sounds a 3-2 win over Omaha.
- It took 14 innings and five hours on the dot for Colorado Springs to win at Round rock, 3-2. Kyle Wren had the game winning hit.
- Iowa and Oklahoma City split a doubleheader and each game went to extra innings. Sometimes baseball makes you ask the question, why?
We have a day off on Wednesday and I ain’t blogging. The next update will come prior to Ken Griffey Jr. Night at Cheney Stadium on Thursday!