Rainiers Need Win Today For Series Split

May 29, 2017

Early game, jump right into it…

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: We had a rare pitcher’s duel in Salt Lake City with the Bees winning in the bottom of the ninth, 2-1. C.J. Cron doubled home Dustin Ackley with the game-winning run. Tacoma had excellent pitching from Dillon Overton and Nick Hagadone, but couldn’t get the offense going other than an Andrew Aplin solo homer.

Roster Moves: Today the Rainiers are activating reliever Jonathan Aro from the suspended list. He has not pitched yet in 2017, but should provide a nice boost to the bullpen.

Today: Tacoma (30-20) at Salt Lake (28-24), 11:05 AM (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: Salt Lake leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Andrew Moore (1-0, 4.01) at RHP Daniel Wright (2-1, 9.35).

Salt Lake was supposed to start Mariners reliever Evan Scribner‘s younger brother Troy, but the Bees changed it to Wright early this morning.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 16 straight games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in ten straight games…  Zach Shank is 11-for-28 over his last seven games, and is batting .290 in May… Danny Muno has gone 8-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak.

Look Out For: Catcher Carlos Perez has gone back-and-forth between the majors and minors this year, but when he’s with Salt Lake he has been a monster. He has 19 hits during an 11-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 17 of his 18 PCL games… C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the New York Mets last Sunday and then was optioned to Salt Lake to “work on his swing”… Dustin Ackley has a six-game hitting streak, and is 6-for-13 in this series against his former team.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Former Mariners and Rainiers infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is with Salt Lake, and so is ex-Rainiers outfielder Ramon Flores… Bees pitcher Troy Scribner is the younger brother of Mariners reliever Evan.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:50 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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:


Rainiers End Skid With Clutch Hits

May 29, 2017

The Rainiers used a bevy of two-out hits in order to end the team’s longest losing streak of the year (three games) with a 9-7 win at Salt Lake on Sunday evening.

Seven of the Rainiers nine runs scored on two-out hits, including all four during the decisive four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning. Tacoma hitters were 5-for-9 batting with runners in scoring position and two outs.

Tacoma also took care of Salt Lake’s running game, which we noted was a problem in the series opener on Saturday. The Bees were 0-for-1 in base stealing attempts on Sunday.

On the radio pregame show yesterday, manager-for-a-minute Denny Hocking said that holding runners was addressed after the game on Saturday, and that Rainiers pitchers would focus on holding runners for the remainder of the series. So far, so good.

Tacoma had some solid relief work in the late innings yesterday. Mark Lowe, Dean Kiekhefer, and Jean Machi protected the lead over the final three innings in a tough ballpark to pitch in.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma connected on four consecutive two-out hits during a four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning, taking the lead for good in a back-and-forth 9-7 win at Salt Lake on Sunday. The Rainiers hit three triples in the game, and each were key hits during scoring innings. Leonys Martin, D.J. Peterson, and Zach Shank hit the triples.

Today: Tacoma (30-19) at Salt Lake (27-24), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: Tied, 1-1.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Dillon Overton (1-0, 7.71) at RHP Alex Klonowski (0-1, 9.90).

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 15 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 9-for-23 with two homers during a six-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has a six-game hitting streak…  Tyler O’Neill has a five-game hitting streak, and he has reached base via hit or walk in 11 straight games.

Look Out For: Catcher Carlos Perez has gone back-and-forth between the majors and minors this year, but when he’s with Salt Lake he has been a monster. He has 19 hits during an 11-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 17 of his 18 PCL games… C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the New York Mets on Sunday and then was optioned to Salt Lake to “work on his swing”… Rey Navarro has an eight-game hitting streak.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Former Mariners and Rainiers infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is with Salt Lake, and so is ex-Rainiers outfielder Ramon Flores… Bees pitcher Troy Scribner is the younger brother of Mariners reliever Evan.

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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

  • Here’s the recap of the Rainiers win.
  • Christian Bergman came to the rescue for the Mariners, tossing seven shutout innings at Fenway as the M’s beat the Red Sox on Sunday, 5-0. Three takeaways from the game.
  • Some fun things happened on the Mariners farm last night. Led by top prospect Nick Neidert, Class-A Modesto pitched nine no-hit innings only to lose the no-hitter and the game at San Jose in the tenth, 1-0. Double-A Arkansas hogged all of the offense – they scored 13 runs in one inning and had 20 hits in a 17-3 win over the Texas Rangers affiliate.

PCL Game Reports:

Day game coming on Tuesday – 11:05 Pacific!


Mariners Summon Listach, Hocking To Fill In

May 28, 2017

Pat Listach has been a winning manager at the helm of the Tacoma Rainiers, but we’re about to find out how the team can fare without him.

The Mariners have summoned Listach to help their major league staff for a few days, and he is going to miss the Rainiers next three games in Salt Lake City. Listach is expected to re-join the Rainiers when the road trip moves on to Fresno on Thursday.

Tacoma coach Denny Hocking will serve as manager for the Rainiers next three games. Hocking has managed in the lower-level minor leagues, and he’s been coaching third base for about half (or more) of the Rainiers games this season.

We’ll see if Hocking can pull the Rainiers out of a little tailspin. Tacoma has lost three straight games for the first time all year, and was even bumped out of first place in the Pac-North division standings last night by Reno.

Hocking is in familiar territory. He played three seasons for Salt Lake, 1994-1996.

One item Hocking will have to focus on these next three games is controlling the running game.

Salt Lake went 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts in the series opener last night, and the Bees now lead the PCL with 67 steals. They have been thrown out 30 times, so they do run into trouble at times. But they’re definitely going to run.

Tacoma is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to throwing out opposing base stealers. The Rainiers rank eighth in the league, gunning down 30.4%. Tuffy Gosewisch has thrown out 36.8%, and Steven Baron is at 28%.

But it doesn’t just come down to the catchers. The pitchers are really the ones in charge of keeping runners close to their bases, and being quick to home plate with their pitches. Managers can help keep running teams in check by calling for pickoff plays.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Despite being last in the PCL in home run hitting, Sale Lake ripped three solo shots in the first five innings and never trailed in an 8-4 win over Tacoma on Saturday night. The reanimated Eric Young Jr. went 3-for-5 with a leadoff homer, a double, two stolen bases, and three runs scored.

Roster Moves: The Mariners called up Rainiers reliever Ryne Harper, and optioned starting pitcher Rob Whalen to Tacoma. We’re very happy for Harper, who spent four years at Double-A without pitching in a Triple-A game until this season.

Today: Tacoma (29-19) at Salt Lake (27-23), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: Salt Lake leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-0, 0.00) at TBA.

It’s another ‘bullpen day’ for Salt Lake, which currently has only three starting pitchers on its roster. We understand, Salt Lake Bees, we understand.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 14 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 8-for-19 with two homers during a five-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has a five-game hitting streak…  Tyler O’Neill has a four-game hitting streak, and he has reached base via hit or walk in ten straight games… Mark Lowe has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Catcher Carlos Perez has gone back-and-forth between the majors and minors this year, but when he’s with Salt Lake he has been a monster. He has 17 hits during a ten-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 16 of his 17 PCL games… C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the New York Mets on Sunday and then was optioned to Salt Lake to “work on his swing”… Rey Navarro has a seven-game hitting streak.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Former Mariners and Rainiers infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is with Salt Lake, and so is ex-Rainiers outfielder Ramon Flores… Bees pitcher Troy Scribner is the younger brother of Mariners reliever Evan.

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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

Programming note: normally we play day games on Memorial Day, but not this year in Salt Lake City where they are trying out a holiday fireworks night, so it’s a 5:35 (Pacific) start on Monday.


Machi Makes Rare Start; Rainiers Lose In Tenth

May 27, 2017

Due to scheduled starting pitcher Chris Heston getting claimed off waivers, and a spent bullpen, the Rainiers found themselves in an unlikely situation on Friday night. The team was short on pitching, and the help from below wasn’t arriving in town until game time.

Apparently the Mariners didn’t think anyone would claim Heston, who was expected to start the game. But the Dodgers grabbed him (and infielder Mike Freeman) on Friday morning, leaving Tacoma in a bind.

The M’s flew in left-handed reliever Lane Ratliff from extended spring training, and right-handed starter Nathan Bannister from Class-A Modesto, but could not be sure either would arrive by game time.

Manager Pat Listach decided to start his most rested reliever: closer Jean Machi.

Making his first start since August 23, 2008, Machi tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a base runner. By the time he was done, Ratliff had arrived – and he followed with two scoreless innings. And by the time the fifth inning came around, Bannister was in uniform and he picked it up from there.

Scoring started in earned in the middle innings, and the Rainiers eventually dropped an 8-7 decision in ten innings.

The loss of Heston and Freeman is concerning for the Rainiers – both are key players when with the club. We’ll just wait and see what the M’s decide to do to fill the gaps.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Fresno scored three runs in the top of the tenth inning and hung on for an 8-7 win at Cheney Stadium on Friday night, earning a split of the four-game series. Fresno was the first team to come into Cheney and get a split this year. Zach Shank, Danny Muno, and Dan Vogelbach each had three hits for Tacoma.

Roster Moves: Yesterday we were surprised to hear that the Dodgers claimed both Chris Heston and Mike Freeman off waivers. The Rainiers added Lane Ratliff from extended spring training and Nathan Bannister from modest – although Bannister went right back to Modesto, seeing how the Rainiers don’t need a fifth starter this week due to an offday on Wednesday. Tacoma has just ten position players.

Today: Tacoma (29-18) at Salt Lake (26-23), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Chase De Jong (2-1, 4.70) at TBA.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 13 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 7-for-15 with two homers during a four-game hitting streak… Zach Shank has a four-game hitting streak, going 8-for-17… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances, covering 8.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Catcher Carlos Perez has gone back-and-forth between the majors and minors this year, but when he’s with Salt Lake he has been a monster. He has 15 hits during a nine-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 15 of his 16 PCL games… C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the New York Mets on Sunday and then was optioned to Salt Lake to “work on his swing”… Rey Navarro has a six-game hitting streak.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Former Mariners and Rainiers infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is with Salt Lake, and so is ex-Rainiers outfielder Ramon Flores… Bees pitcher Troy Scribner is the younger brother of Mariners reliever Evan.

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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

Sorry, that’s it for today. Long game last night + travel day today makes for fewer links.


Triple-A All-Star Voting Begins

May 26, 2017

We understand if you’re not totally worked up about the Triple-A All-Star Game yet. It’s still about seven weeks away, and the sun just recently came out for the summer here in Tacoma.

But today marks a big date in the All Star Experience: fan balloting for the Triple-A All-Star Game is now live online.

Fan ballots account for half of the all-star selection process. There is another ballot for Triple-A managers and media members – that’s the other half. Then the respective league offices make final tweeks, to ensure that all 30 teams are represented.

MiLB.com previewed the ballot, and they make it sound like the International League is loaded with top prospects who are candidates to appear in Tacoma. One of the top prospects in all of the minors is Charlotte infielder Yoan Moncada, and he’s tearing up the IL right now and is a strong candidate to make the all-star team if the White Sox don’t call him up.

You can start voting for the Triple-A All-Stars now. The ballot is right here. Don’t forget to pick some Rainiers!

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Fresno ruined the Rainiers home mojo – at least for a day – by beating Tacoma on Thursday night, 5-2. A three-run rally in the top of the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 tie, with Colin Moran‘s two-out, two-run single the big hit. The Rainiers are now 18-5 at Cheney Stadium this season, and they wrap up the homestand tonight.

Today: Fresno (19-29) at Tacoma (29-17), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Francis Martes (0-2, 5.25) at TBA.

Don’t be fooled by the stats: Martes was ranked by Baseball America as the Houston Astros No. 1 minor league prospect entering the season. However, he’s been wild in his first taste of Triple-A ball, averaging nearly a walk per inning.

We’re waiting to see who Tacoma’s starter will be.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 12 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 6-for-11 with a homer in this series against Fresno… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances, covering 8.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Outfielder Derek Fisher is considered the top prospect among the position players on the club; he’s hitting .313 with ten homers… first baseman A.J. Reed was touted as a top prospect entering the 2016 season but fell off; he’s performing better in the PCL this year.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Casey Coleman was a productive reliever for Tacoma last year; he’s in Fresno’s starting rotation right now… reliever Aaron West was drafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, he’s a product of Snohomish High School.

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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

Saturday we’re on the road again: eight games in nine days, at Salt Lake and Fresno. Tacoma returns home on June 5 to finally play division rival Reno.


O’Neill Leads Rainiers To Win

May 25, 2017

Tyler O’Neill had the big hits as the Rainiers picked up a come-from-behind 5-3 win over Fresno on Wednesday afternoon.

It was nice to see the 21-year-old outfield prospect come through in key situations, as it is no secret that his first Triple-A season hasn’t gone well for the opening seven weeks.

But things might be changing for the Mariners top position player prospect.

O’Neill has reached base via hit or walk in 11 of his last 12 games. His average is up to .221 – which is the highest it has been since the first week of the season.

Yesterday he doubled down the third base line, driving in a pair of runs to tie the game in the fifth inning.

He came up again with the score tied 3-3 in the seventh, and he lined a go-ahead homer to left field. It was his fourth home run of the season, and his first since April 24. He finished the game 2-for-5, with three RBI.

Let’s see if he can keep it going as he continues to adjust to Triple-A pitching.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tyler O’Neill broke out with a pair of big hits and the Rainiers had terrific relief work in a 5-3 win over Fresno on Wednesday afternoon. Kyle Hunter pitched 3.1 shutout innings of relief to earn the win. Danny Muno went 4-for-4, and Tyler Smith was 3-for-4.

Roster Moves: Yesterday the Mariners called up pitcher Rob Whalen and optioned reliever Emilio Pagan to Tacoma. They also claimed outfielder Andrew Aplin off waivers from the Houston Astros, and assigned him to Tacoma. Aplin has played in 248 career PCL games, all with Fresno, and has hit .245/.342/.329 but he is a good defensive outfielder. Pitcher Chris Heston was designated for assignment and is currently on waivers. The Mariners have surprisingly transferred hot-hitting Dario Pizzano and Seth Mejias-Brean to Double-A Arkansas, so more moves must be in the works. These guys have been hitting in the middle of the lineup and got sent down!

Today: Fresno (18-29) at Tacoma (29-16), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Mike Hauschild (0-1, 9.42) at RHP Andrew Moore (1-0, 4.34).

Hot Rainiers: Danny Muno has gone 9-for-17 with five RBI during a four-game hitting streak… Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 11 straight games… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances, covering 8.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone six appearances without allowing a run, spanning 6.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Outfielder Derek Fisher is considered the top prospect among the position players on the club; he’s hitting .314 with ten homers… first baseman A.J. Reed was touted as a top prospect entering the 2016 season but fell off; he’s performing better in the PCL this year… Tyler White is 5-for-7 over the first two games of this series.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Casey Coleman was a productive reliever for Tacoma last year; he’s in Fresno’s starting rotation right now… reliever Aaron West was drafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, he’s a product of Snohomish High School.

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.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • A new pitcher helped Iowa shut out Reno yesterday, 5-0. That gives Tacoma a two-game lead over the Aces.
  • El Paso topped Salt Lake in ten innings, 5-4, with Rocky Gale getting the go-ahead RBI double. Should note that El Paso’s Dinelson Lamet got called up to make his MLB debut tonight – against the Mets.
  • Memphis outfielder Todd Cunningham went 4-for-4 in a 9-5 win at Sacramento.
  • Paul Blackburn and Nashville shut out Omaha, 4-0. Outfielder Terrance Gore is hoping to get hot for the Storm Chasers.
  • Albuquerque trailed Oklahoma City 8-3 in the bottom of the ninth, and walked away with a 9-8 victory after a wild comeback. The tying and winning runs scored on a throwing error by pitcher Brandon Morrow.
  • The Baby Cakes ripped five homers – two by Destin Hoodin a 14-4 win at Colorado Springs. The paper has a feature on Sky Sox first baseman Garrett Cooper.
  • Dillon Gee fanned nine over six shutout innings and Round Rock beat Las Vegas, 3-1.

Up And At ‘Em – Rainiers Play Early!

May 23, 2017

Early action today!

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to an 8-0 series-opening win on Tuesday night. Tyler Cloyd, Nick Hagadone, Ryne Harper, and Mark Lowe combined on a six-hit shutout. Tacoma’s Dan Vogelbach and Tyler Smith hit homers.

Today: Fresno (18-28) at Tacoma (28-16), 11:35 AM.

Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Trent Thornton (1-2, 5.91) at LHP Dillon Overton (1-0, 8.44).

Look for Kyle Hunter to “piggy back” with Overton, who has not settled into a starting pitcher’s routine at any point yet this season.

Hot Rainiers: Mike Freeman has an 11-game hitting streak in the PCL, which is active even though before last night he hadn’t played in the league since May 4… Dario Pizzano has a four-game hitting streak and is batting .306 with four homers in May… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances, covering 8.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone six appearances without allowing a run, spanning 6.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Outfielder Derek Fisher is considered the top prospect among the position players on the club; he’s hitting .320 with ten homers… first baseman A.J. Reed was touted as a top prospect entering the 2016 season but fell off; he’s performing better in the PCL this year.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Casey Coleman was a productive reliever for Tacoma last year; he’s in Fresno’s starting rotation right now… reliever Aaron West was drafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, he’s a product of Snohomish High School.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:20 AM 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 Game Reports: