Rainiers Hit Road After Tremendous Homestand

Was that a terrific opening homestand, or what?

Tacoma made it five straight wins and a 6-1 record on the homestand with a 4-3 win over Albuquerque on Monday afternoon.

This win was a comeback victory, as the Rainiers found themselves trailing for only the second time on the seven-game home stretch. Albuquerque had a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth inning.

Dan Vogelbach opened the inning with a single, and then D.J. Peterson clubbed a two-run homer to left field to tie the game, 3-3. A couple pitches later it was Ben Gamel‘s turn, lining a go-ahead solo shot to right field.

The bullpen made the one-run lead stand up, and Tacoma had its fifth win in a row.

The Rainiers hit three home runs in the game, after launching a total of just four over the course of the first ten games. In fact, the Rainiers ranked last in the PCL in homers before Monday’s outburst.

And the pitching staff continued to be amazing. Albuquerque’s three runs were the most anyone scored against Tacoma on the homestand. The Rainiers allowed a grand total of eight runs during the seven games.

Now we hit the road, to hitter-friendly ballparks in El Paso and Albuquerque. It will be interesting to see how the high-elevation ballparks affects the team – the games certainly should be higher-scoring.

The early game in Tacoma on Monday allowed the team to fly to El Paso afterward, and we arrived at the hotel at about 1:45 AM local time. That’s not too late for baseball players – everyone should be well-rested for the start of the Chihuahuas series tonight.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers extended their winning streak to five, taking down Albuquerque, 4-3. Steve Baron, D.J. Peterson, and Ben Gamel homered to account for all of the Tacoma offense.

Roster Moves: Looks like we have a catching carousel in Tacoma. Steve Baron came out of yesterday’s game with a tight hamstring, and Tuffy Gosewish has missed two games with the flu. The hope is that Gosewish will be able to play today. For now, Baron isn’t going on the disabled list. The team has removed bullpen catcher Alexander Capriata from the active roster, and added catcher Ryan Scott from extended spring training.

Today: Tacoma (7-4) at El Paso (5-7), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Sam Gaviglio (0-1, 1.29) at RHP Matt Magill (1-0, 0.75).

This is a rematch of the terrific pitcher’s duel we had in the first game of the doubleheader at Cheney on Thursday, which El Paso won 1-0.

Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach has reached base via hit or walk in ten straight games, and Ben Gamel has reached in nine straight games… Gordon Beckham hit .333 (7-for-21) with two homers on the just-completed homestand… reliever Nick Hagadone has retired all 11 batters he has faced, striking out ten of them.

Look Out For: Outfielder Jose Pirela got hot in Reno, going 6-for-11 with a homer in the three-game series… infielder Cory Spangenberg has a four-game hitting streak, going 7-for-15 during it.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: Former Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom is now a Chihuahua. He signed with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason… ex-Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash was optioned to El Paso on Saturday; let’s try to keep him in the ballpark… El Paso pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers for two years, 1993-1994.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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.

Links:

PCL Reports:

  • Salt Lake nearly matched the Rainiers, finishing a three-game sweep of Fresno and going 5-2 on its homestand.
  • El Paso got drilled in Reno yesterday, 13-2, and had catcher Rocky Gale on the mound to record the final two outs. Zach Borenstein and Oswaldo Arcia each homered twice for Reno, and pitcher Braden Shipley went deep as well.
  • Dominic Smith launched a walk-off homer to give Las Vegas a 7-5 win over Sacramento – and a three-game sweep.
  • Omaha’s Peter O’Brien flattened the Baby Cakes with a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning.
  • Iowa’s Jeimer Candelario continues to hit, but his Cubs lost in the ninth inning to Round Rock, 10-9.
  • Memphis ended a four-game losing streak when Tommy Pham singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning against Oklahoma City.
  • Colorado Springs at Nashville was rained out and they’ll make it up on May 28.
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