It’s our biggest day of the year at Cheney Stadium: the annual July 3rd fireworks blowout, and we hope you have a great time if you are coming out to the park.
As always on this date, it’s going to be a massive crowd. Allow yourself some extra time to get in to the ballpark, get your food, etc. Relax and enjoy what will be a really fun night.
Tacoma has played good ball the last two nights, cleaning up Las Vegas with wins by scores of 9-1 and 9-2.
The offense has been terrific the last two games, with Nori Aoki and Guillermo Heredia reaching base repeatedly, and D.J. Peterson showing he belongs at this level by driving in six runs over his first three games.
The Rainiers did lose the series opener on Thursday, so a win today would take the four-game series.
This is the Rainiers last home game until after the all-star break – and then they are home a lot. Tacoma plays 16 of the first 20 games after the break at Cheney Stadium.
Yesterday: Tacoma kept on hitting, collecting 16 more hits in a 9-2 win over Las Vegas on Saturday night. D.J. Peterson led the way with four hits and four RBI. Donn Roach started and went five innings for the win, and Andrew Kittredge was impressive over three perfect innings of relief.
Roster Moves: Catching up on two more moves which happened prior to last night’s game: the Mariners signed RHP Guido Knudson to a Triple-A contract and assigned him to Tacoma; he’s put up good numbers in the International League the last couple of seasons, and briefly reached the majors with Detroit in 2015. Catcher Steve Baron was transferred back to Double-A Jackson.
Today: Las Vegas (42-39) Tacoma (46-35-1), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.
Season Series: Las Vegas leads, 7-4.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Gabriel Ynoa (9-3, 3.77) at RHP Joe Wieland (6-4, 6.89).
Ynoa is the top pitching prospect on the Las Vegas staff, and he is looking to become the first ten-game winner in the PCL this year.
Hot Rainiers: Nori Aoki has gone 6-for-12 with two walks in the first three games against Las Vegas… Stefen Romero has gone 16-for-38 over his last nine games… Rob Brantly has gone 10-for-28 over his last eight games… Guillermo Heredia has three straight multiple hit games, he’s 7-for-13 in this series against Vegas.
Look Out For: Johnny Monell has homered in three of his last six games, and he has a seven-game hitting streak… Gavin Cecchini has hit safely in nine of his last ten games (14-for-39).
Ex-Rainiers and Local Dudes: Las Vegas has former Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly, and Redmond High School product Michael Conforto. Manager Wally Backman is a native of Hillsboro, Oregon.
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. It’s a Sunday home game so Bob Robertson joins me in the booth and will call the middle innings.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- The Rainiers game story includes a bit on the status of catcher Rob Brantly. The version from the Las Vegas paper has some interesting comments from manager Wally Backman.
- My weekly Minor League Notebook for the TNT is on D.J. Peterson‘s improvements at Double-A Jackson, some recent promotions in the organization, and the hottest hitter in the PCL.
- Peterson spoke with MiLB.com about his big game last night, and his recovery from a poor 2015 campaign.
- Mike Zunino made his first appearance since being recalled by Seattle, and he hit two of the Mariners five home runs in a 12-6 blasting of Baltimore.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook includes a projected July 15 date for a Felix Hernandez rehabilitation start at Cheney Stadium. Stay tuned…
- John McGrath’s Sunday baseball column is a fun one on MLB reaching the halfway point – spoiler alert: he doesn’t think Chris Sale is going to win 28 games.
- McGrath also has his weekly MLB Power Rankings.
- Matt Calkins has a column on how the Mariners are relying on Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno is still 3.5 games behind Tacoma – they needed 13 innings and 4 hours, 45 minutes to keep pace with a 5-3 win at El Paso. Have to wonder why it took 4:45 to play 13 innings in a 5-3 game.
- Fresno won in Salt Lake City, 7-1, and goes for a four-game road sweep tonight. The Grizzlies are 16-4 over the last 20 games – and all four losses are to Tacoma.
- Sacramento’s Ty Blach tossed a gem, striking out 10 in a 5-2 win over visiting Albuquerque.
- Iowa and Round Rock finished a suspended game from April, then played a second game, and split the proceedings.
- New Oklahoma City Dodgers starter Trevor Oaks reeled off eight strong innings in a 4-1 win at Nashville.
- Colorado Springs topped New Orleans, 8-6, and have won five in a row. Every time I look at the standings and see the Sky Sox are over .500, I feel like I should visit my doctor.
- Memphis at Omaha was rained out, delaying the Triple-A debut of former first round draft pick Bubba Starling who the Royals promoted despite his .185 batting average in Double-A.
As always, we’re travelling on the Fourth of July – this year, it’s to Reno. Three games in the Biggest Little City in the World, followed by four at Sacramento to reach the all-star break.