Las Vegas edged Tacoma last night, 4-3, in the opening game of Tacoma’s quick four-game homestand.
The Rainiers were up 3-0 by the end of the fourth inning, and had nine hits at that point against Las Vegas starter Tyler Pill.
But the Las Vegas pitching staff turned it around, allowing just two hits over the final five innings. Then the Vegas offense got into it, rallying to score three runs with a pair of two-out extra base hits in the fifth.
In the seventh, Brandon Nimmo doubled in a run to put Vegas ahead 4-3. The Las Vegas bullpen held on.
Tacoma has not played well against Las Vegas this year, going just 4-9 against the Mets affiliate. Tacoma went 2-6 at Cashman Field, and is now 2-3 against Vegas here at Cheney.
I’m sure this frustrates manager Pat Listach, because Las Vegas isn’t very good this year. They are eight games under .500 (13 games under against everyone in the PCL but Tacoma). Coming into yesterday’s game, Las Vegas had lost nine of its prior 11 games.
We’ll see if the Rainiers can get even in the series today.
Yesterday: Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-4 with a two-out RBI triple and the go-ahead RBI double, leading Las Vegas to a 4-3 win over Tacoma. The Rainiers are now 4.5 games ahead of second-place Reno, while Fresno remains six games back.
‘Magic Number’: 12. That’s the total number of Tacoma wins + Reno losses needed for the Rainiers to clinch the Pacific-North division title (without resorting to tiebreakers).
Roster Moves: We had a bunch of moves prior to the game last night: Dae-Ho Lee and Joe Wieland reported (both from Seattle), Kraig Sitton was activated from the disabled list, and the team added Marvin Gorgas from Everett. Pitchers Forrest Snow and Isaac Sanchez stayed in Tennessee to help Double-A Jackson for a bit. P.J. Jones was removed from the active roster, but remains as bullpen catcher.
Today: Las Vegas (60-68) at Tacoma (73-54-1), 1:35.
Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.
Season Series: Las Vegas leads, 9-4.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Sean Gilmartin (9-6, 4.80) at RHP Joe Wieland (11-5, 5.38)
Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach is 12-for-31 with four doubles, two homers, and five walks in the last eight games… Daniel Robertson is 7-for-13 over his last three games, and he is hitting .353 since the all-star break.
Look Out For: Michael Conforto has had multiple hits in eight of his last nine games, going 21-for-39 during that stretch… Brandon Nimmo is 17-for-38 over his last eight games… T.J. Rivera leads the PCL with a .347 batting average, and Nimmo is second at .346.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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.
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.
- My weekly minor league notebook takes a closer look at Jackson outfielder Tyler O’Neill‘s pursuit of the Southern League Triple Crown.
- Felix Hernandez pitched like the Felix of old in the Mariners 8-2 win over the Brewers last night, and Seattle moved ten games over .500.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads off with the new role reliever Drew Storen has.
- Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins looks at some of the key questions facing the Mariners playoff push over the final 40 games.
- John McGrath has his weekly MLB Power Rankings.
- The Padres called up Patrick Kivlehan and he homered in his big league debut and look at that big smile.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno picked up a game on Tacoma by beating Sacramento, 7-3. Shelby Miller went eight innings in this game, and is now 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA since the Diamondbacks surprisingly optioned him to Triple-A.
- Outfielder Raimel Tapia turned up on Sportscenter’s top plays – and he had three hits – in Albuquerque’s 7-2 win over Fresno. Fresno is six games behind Tacoma.
- El Paso outlasted Salt Lake’s Tim Lincecum and beat the Bees bullpen for a 5-1 win. El Paso remains 6.5 games ahead of second-place Albuquerque in the Pac-South.
- Nashville beat Omaha in the ninth inning, 8-6, and trimmed its ‘magic number’ to clinch the American-South down to seven.
- Colorado Springs starter Hiram Burgos was dealing in a 2-0 win at Round Rock.
- New Orleans edged Oklahoma City, 3-2, and the Zephyrs have won ten of their last 11 games.
- Ex-Rainiers starter Jordan Pries tossed six scoreless innings in Iowa’s 6-3 win over Memphis.