Look out Tacoma – the Rainiers are coming in hot!
The team returns home for a nine-game, eight-day homestand starting with Tuesday’s game against El Paso, and this team is scorching:
- The Rainiers just finished a four-game road series sweep at Salt Lake. It was Tacoma’s first sweep at Salt Lake since 2010.
- Tacoma has won 12 of its last 14 games.
- The team is 59-42 on the year – that’s the best record in the PCL.
- At Cheney Stadium, Tacoma is 32-15. That’s the best home record in the league.
The guys are having fun. Being around it every day, I can tell you that the players are enjoying this team success and aren’t wrapped up in individual results.
It’s five games in four days against El Paso – there is a doubleheader on Thursday at 6:05, a makeup from an April rainout – and this series might be a playoff preview. Both teams are in first place, and would face each other in the first round if they hang on and win their respective divisions.
El Paso is good. They have the league’s home run leader, an electrifying leadoff man, a catching prospect having a breakout season, and a dangerous former Tacoma slugger.
It’s going to be a good series.
Yesterday: Rob Brantly had the big hit, a go-ahead three run homer in the sixth inning as Tacoma beat Salt Lake 6-4, completing a four-game series sweep. Cody Martin pitched six innings to earn the win, and Daniel Robertson got things off to a fast start by hitting the first pitch of the game for a very long home run to left. Tacoma finished the season 13-3 against Salt Lake – the best single-season record against Salt Lake in franchise history.
Today: El Paso (58-44) at Tacoma (59-42-1), 7:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 5-2.
The first seven games were all played during the first two weeks of the season, and the Rainiers clearly had the upper hand back then. It’s been a long time since they have seen each other.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Carlos Pimentel (9-5, 6.04) at RHP Jarrett Grube (1-1, 4.15).
Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has a five-game hitting streak in which he has gone 9-for-20 with two homers among his five extra-base hits… Guillermo Heredia has missed two games with a shoulder injury, he’s day-to-day. He has hit safely in 21 of 25 games since joining the Rainiers… Zach Shank went 8-for-16 at Salt Lake… Daniel Robertson was 7-for-20 at Salt Lake.
Look Out For: Manuel Margot has a 15-game hitting streak, going 24-for-68 (.353) during the run… Hunter Renfroe leads the PCL with 25 home runs, including four in his last nine games, but much of his damage is done in his home ballpark. Renfroe might have the best outfield arm in the PCL, and the Rainiers won’t be running on him… catcher Austin Hedges went on an epic home run binge right before the all-star break, but his pace has slowed lately. Still, he has 15 homers in his last 31 games.
Ex-Rainiers: El Paso has popular ex-Rainiers slugger Jabari Blash, who made his major league debut with the San Diego Padres earlier this season.
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.
- Manager Pat Listach pretty much said that the Rainiers swept because they made few mistakes in the series – check out the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Bob Dutton has a piece on the Mariners approach to the trade deadline.
- Ken Griffey Jr. slipped into storytelling mode on Monday, T.J. Cotterill writes.
- Larry Stone has a column reviewing his trip to Cooperstown.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno’s Kyle Jensen homered twice – including the game-winner in the ninth inning – and the Aces won in Las Vegas, 3-2. Reno is still 3.5 games behind Tacoma. The Las Vegas paper has a feature on the life of a minor league player’s wife. The Review-Journal also has a look at the five-day routine of a starting pitcher.
- A.J. Reed hit two doubles and a homer to help Fresno to a 7-3 win over Albuquerque. Fresno remains 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
- Just-traded ex-Rainiers pitcher Jordan Pries earned the win as the Iowa Cubs won in Memphis, 6-2. Efren Navarro homered off him.
- Nashville sucked the Storm Chasers into a cyclone, 12-5.
- Oklahoma City’s Jose De Leon – who stifled the Rainiers over eight brilliant innings in his last start – allowed eight runs and got only four outs in a 9-3 loss to New Orleans last night. What?
- Colorado Springs took down Round Rock in ten innings, 6-5, as Eric Young Jr. broke the franchise record for career stolen bases.
We were only gone for four days, but it’s great to be heading home again!