Tacoma wrapped up another great homestand on Sunday with a 6-4 win over Round Rock, and now it’s time to hit the road. In a big way.
The Rainiers begin a stretch of the schedule in which 16 of the next 20 games are on the road tonight at 4:35 (Pacific), with the opener of a four-game series at Omaha.
Tacoma has gone 16-4 at Cheney Stadium – easily the best home record in the Pacific Coast League. The team is 7-8 on the road, which we classify as “just fine.” An old baseball adage says that if a team can play .500 on the road and clean up at home, it’s going to be a good year, and that appears to be the path to success for the 2017 Rainiers.
We’ve got four games in three days here in Papillion, Nebraska. The ballpark – Werner Park – is being used for the state high school baseball championship, and they needed it on Monday. That’s why the Rainiers were off yesterday and have a scheduled day/night doubleheader on Wednesday.
Yesterday: The Rainiers and Omaha were the only teams in the PCL with the day off. On Sunday the Rainiers completed a 6-2 homestand by beating Round Rock in a fun back-and-forth game, 6-4. Tyler O’Neill‘s go-ahead RBI triple that came inches away from hitting the center field wall was the key hit for the Rainiers in the eighth inning.
Roster Moves: Reliever Jean Machi cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma; he’ll rejoin the team on Friday in Des Moines. Zach Shank has been ill and stayed back in Tacoma – the good news is that he is improving and is expected to join the team shortly.
Today: Tacoma (23-12) at Omaha (18-17), 4:35 Pacific.
Opponent Affiliation: Kansas City Royals.
Season Series: 0-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Chris Heston (2-1, 3.25) at LHP Eric Skogland (1-3, 5.16).
Heston hasn’t pitched since May 5 because of a blister on his pitching hand; they’ll be keeping a close eye on it tonight. Skogland is considered one of the Royals pitching prospects and this is his first Triple-A season.
Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 25 straight PCL games, he has homered in the last two games, and he has eight RBI over his last five games… Dario Pizzano is 7-for-18 with three doubles and two homers during a five-game hitting streak, and he’s 10-for-30 over his last nine games… Seth Mejias-Brean has hit safely in nine of his first ten games for Tacoma, with four multiple-hit games.
Look Out For: Speed. Omaha has basepath burners Terrance Gore, Billy Burns, and Raul Mondesi on the club right now… infielder Ramon Torres has a ten-game hitting streak, going 16-for-42 during the stretch… Mondesi has a seven-game streak, and has hit safely in 13 of 15 games since being optioned to Triple-A by the Royals… Dean Anna is always a tough out in the PCL. He’s hit safely in eight of his last nine games.
Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: None.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:20 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.
- With most of the Rainiers starting rotation now in Seattle, John McGrath stopped by Cheney Stadium on Sunday to find out who, exactly, the Mariners had left pitching in Triple-A.
- The Mariners somehow beat the A’s 6-5 on Monday night despite getting only four hits in the game.
- We have a Mariners injury update.
PCL Game Reports:
- In their most recent game on Sunday, Omaha completed a four-game road sweep at Las Vegas. The Storm Chasers had lost seven of their previous eight games before going to Vegas.
- The 51s turned around and snapped a losing streak with a 10-5 win over Iowa yesterday. Amed Rosario ripped a three-run homer.
- Reno scored 12 runs over the first three innings – all charged to Round Rock starter Allen Webster – and cruised to a 12-3 win over the Express.
- Oklahoma City starter Wilmer Font set the franchise record by striking out 15 batters in a 6-4 win over Sacramento in Bricktown. It was the most strikeouts by a pitcher in the PCL since August 27, 2007 when Dallas Braden whiffed 17 hitters in a game for Sacramento. Oklahoma City honored former manager Tony DeFrancesco and the paper ran a Q&A with him.
- Chris Bassitt pitched well as Nashville won in Fresno, 4-1.
- Memphis hit a bunch of doubles and took down Albuquerque on Monday, 6-4.
- Salt Lake topped New Orleans, 6-4, despite a pair of home runs by Baby Cakes outfielder Destin Hood.
- Carlos Asuaje broke through for three of El Paso’s 16 hits in a 10-5 win over visiting Colorado Springs.
Early game on Wednesday: 9:05 AM Pacific start for the first game of the day/night doubleheader. Don’t sleep on it!