The Rainiers avoided a Reno disaster by taking the final game of the five-game road series on Sunday afternoon, 4-3.
It was a tension-filled game that Pat Listach managed like it was the seventh game of the World Series. He used five relief pitchers to cover the final 3.2 innings, trying to get the best match-ups possible while protecting a slim lead in a high-scoring environment.
Once Andrew Kittredge struck out Mitch Haniger with the tying runner on base to end the game, the Rainiers had a 3.5 game lead over Reno with eight games remaining.
Tacoma plays all eight remaining games at home: four against Fresno, and four against Reno.
The Aces are on the road for their final eight, travelling to Sacramento before coming to Cheney Stadium.
It sure would be nice to have things locked up before Reno arrives in town on Friday, but one day at a time…
Awards Week started today, when the Pacific Coast League announced its annual All-PCL Team as voted on by league managers and broadcasters.
Tacoma placed two on the team: Dan Vogelbach was named as the designated hitter, and Stefen Romero one of the three outfielders.
It’s the first time Tacoma has placed multiple players on the All-PCL Team since 2001, when three Rainiers made it: Todd Betts (1B), Ramon Vazquez (SS), and Denny Stark (RHP).
Here is the 2016 All-PCL Team:
- C-Austin Hedges, El Paso
- 1B-Kyle Jensen, Reno
- 2B-Carlos Asuaje, El Paso
- SS-Orlando Arcia, Colorado Springs
- 3B-Rob Segedin, Oklahoma City
- OF-Manuel Margot, El Paso
- OF-Hunter Renfroe, El Paso
- OF-Stefen Romero, Tacoma
- DH-Dan Vogelbach, Tacoma/Iowa
- RHP-Brady Rodgers, Fresno
- LHP-Ty Blach, Sacramento
- RP-James Hoyt, Fresno
Awards Week continues with the Rookie of the Year tomorrow. Vogelbach may get some consideration, but Asuaje, Arcia, and Margot are all rookies, too.
Tacoma’s best chance for a major award is probably Listach as Manager of the Year, which gets announced on Friday.
Yesterday: The Rainiers salvaged the final game of the Reno series, using six pitchers to keep the Aces offense in check during a 4-3 win. Tacoma has a 3.5-game lead with eight to play.
‘Magic Number’: Five. That’s the total number of Tacoma wins + Reno losses needed for the Rainiers to clinch the Pacific-North division title.
Today: Fresno (69-66-1) at Tacoma (75-59-1), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tied, 6-6.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Brady Rodgers (12-4, 2.91) at RHP Zach Lee (0-7, 7.04)
Rodgers was just named the right-handed starting pitcher on the All-PCL Team, and he has a good chance of winning the league’s Pitcher of the Year honor on Wednesday.
Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has hit safely in his last ten PCL games, with three home runs… Daniel Robertson has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games. He is hitting .348 since the all-star break… Tyler Smith is batting .316 in August, and he has a five-game hitting streak.
Look Out For: Jon Kemmer has improved as the season has gone on. He’s hit safely in his last four games, and he’s batted .301 with eight home runs and a .982 OPS in the month of August… Max Stassi homered and drove in four runs yesterday against Sacramento… top closer James Hoyt was optioned back to Fresno by the Astros last week.
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.
- The Rainiers game story has reaction from manager Pat Listach.
- The Mariners finished the series in Chicago with a 4-1 loss to the White Sox.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook focuses on the debut of reliever Dan Altavilla.
- Ryan Divish reflected on the one-year anniversary of Jack Zduriencik‘s firing.
PCL Game Reports:
- Oklahoma City became the second team to lock up a playoff spot, clinching the American-North with a 6-1 win over Colorado Springs. Jose De Leon pitched a gem for the Dodgers.
- Sacramento beat Fresno, 8-6, and the Rainiers can eliminate the defending champs with a win today.
- El Paso upended Albuquerque, 8-4, and built a 5.5-game lead in the Pacific-South.
- New Orleans scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to beat Round Rock, 5-4.
- The Iowa Cubs lost at home to Omaha, 7-2. Here’s some speculation on who the Chicago Cubs might call up on Thursday when the rosters expand.
- Nashville slammed Memphis, 14-4, but at least Memphis finished up its home schedule with an attendance increase.