Express Rolls Into Town

After an off day on Wednesday, the Rainiers homestand continues tonight with the Round Rock Express coming into town for a four-game series.

The Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliate visits Tacoma once every two years, so this is something of a rare series.

Round Rock is scuffling at the moment, having dropped nine of its last 12 games. However, the Express have a potent lineup – particularly from the left side of the plate. They have five left-handed batters who are putting up good numbers this season, so look for the Rainiers left-handed relievers (Dean Kiekhefer and Nick Hagadone) to see a lot of work in this series.

Tacoma is still hot, bringing a three-game win streak into tonight’s game. Tacoma is 10-3 over its last 13 games.

This continues despite the fact that the roster moves keep coming. There will be more moves today, making it nine straight days with a roster change.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Andrew Moore was fairly solid in his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, allowing three runs over 5.2 innings and earning the win in Tacoma’s 11-8 victory over New Orleans. Five Tacoma players had two hits as a part of the Rainiers 14-hit attack, and Mike Zunino homered in his first game with the team.

Roster Moves: On the Rainiers off day yesterday, pitcher Sam Gaviglio was promoted to Seattle. Today the Mariners claimed swing-man RHP Casey Lawrence off waivers from Toronto, and optioned him to Tacoma. They also called up lefty reliever Zac Curtis from Double-A Arkansas, and optioned reliever Dan Altavilla to Tacoma. Furthermore, Steve Cishek‘s rehabilitation is expected to resume tonight with Tacoma, and shortstop Rayder Ascanio has been promoted from Low-A Clinton to temporarily fill Tacoma’s infield.

Today: Round Rock (14-19) at Tacoma (20-11), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Eddie Gamboa (2-2, 5.51) at LHP Kyle Hunter (0-0, 4.50).

Who’s up for some knuckleballing? Gamboa uses the floater. The Rainiers are having a ‘bullpen day’ since Gaviglio was supposed to start this game.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has hit safely in four straight games… Dario Pizzano is 6-for-15 with three doubles and a homer during a four-game hitting streak, and he’s 9-for-27 over his last eight games… Seth Mejias-Brean has hit safely in six of his first seven games for Tacoma, with four multiple-hit games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 22 straight PCL games.

Look Out For: Josh Wilson is a 36-year-old former Rainiers and Mariners infielder, and he carries a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… local guy Travis Snider has hit safely in five straight games, going 8-for-18… PCL slugger Jared Hoying is a notorious streak hitter; he homered five times during an eight-game stretch at the end of April but has not gone deep since 4/30… 21-year-old first baseman Ronald Guzman is considered the top prospect on the club.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Snider was a first round draft pick in 2006 out of Jackson high School in Mill Creek… Wilson played for Tacoma briefly in both 2009 and 2010… the Express coaching staff includes former Mariners third baseman Jim Presley as hitting coach, and ex-Mariners lefty Greg Hibbard as pitching coach.

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.

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