The Tacoma Rainiers open a four-game homestand against the Fresno Grizzlies with a 6:05 game on Tuesday evening. This series represents the island in the middle of a stretch in which the club plays 16 out of 20 games on the road.
Normally a force to be reckoned with, Rainiers division rival Fresno comes into town with an unexpected won-loss record of 18-27. Like Tacoma, Fresno just finished a 16-game segment of the schedule facing teams from the American Conference – and Fresno went just 5-11 during that stretch. Tacoma just went 10-6 against the other conference.
The Grizzlies still have future Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame manager Tony DeFrancesco who recently won his 1,000th PCL game. In thirteen years as a manager in the PCL, DeFrancesco has had just one losing season: 2011 with Oklahoma City (68-75).
The weather is supposed to be really nice this week, so hopefully you can make it out to the ballpark.
Yesterday: Tacoma missed out on its chance to log a winning road trip, dropping a 7-6 decision in Iowa and settling for an even record on the eight-game road trip to the Midwest. Steven Baron, Zach Shank, Dario Pizzano, and Tyler O’Neill each had multiple hits in the loss.
Roster Moves: Five players are reporting to Tacoma from the Mariners today: Dan Vogelbach, Chris Heston, Mike Freeman, Dillon Overton, and Tuffy Gosewish. Tacoma has sent Mike Zunino and Emilio Pagan up, placed Paul Paez on the disabled list, sent reliever Kody Kerski back to Clinton, and pitcher Steven Ridings back to extended spring. Got all of that?
Today: Fresno (18-27) at Tacoma (27-16), 6:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: First of 16 meetings between the teams.
Starting Pitchers: RHP David Paulino (0-0, 3.00) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (0-0, 0.00).
Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin’s eight-game hitting streak, ended yesterday, but he did draw two walks… Mike Freeman has a ten-game hitting streak in the PCL, which is active going into tonight’s game even though he hasn’t played in the league since May 4… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last six appearances, covering 7.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone five appearances without allowing a run, spanning 5.1 IP.
Look Out For: Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez has hit safely in ten straight games, going 14-for-42 during the streak… outfielder Derek Fisher is considered the top prospect among the position players on the club; he’s hitting .315 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 5:50 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 Des Moines Register’s story focuses on Iowa reliever Pierce Johnson, who earned a two-inning save against Tacoma yesterday.
- Apparently the Fresno club is close to being sold to a group affiliated with Colorado Rockies ownership. Hmmm.
- The Mariners start a brutal eight-game road trip to Washington, Boston, and Colorado today. It’s tough because of the quality of the opposing teams.
- With this ominous road trip looming, John McGrath wonders if the Mariners season is on the line.
- The Mariners called up Mike Zunino, among other moves, and expect to activate Robinson Cano today.
PCL Game Reports:
- Omaha helped out the Rainiers by beating Reno, 5-3, on Cam Gallagher‘s two-run homer in the eighth inning. This keeps Tacoma in first place with a one-game lead over the Aces.
- Memphis shut out Fresno on four hits yesterday, 9-0.
- Daniel Gossett tossed eight shutout innings for Nashville in a 9-3 win at Sacramento.
- New Orleans closed out a rough homestand (2-6) on a positive note, taking down Las Vegas 5-1.
- Colorado Springs hammered Albuquerque, 11-2. Sky Sox first baseman Garrett Cooper went 5-for-6.
- Fabio Castillo tossed five scoreless innings to help Oklahoma City edge El Paso, 4-3.
- Round Rock’s Jurickson Profar went 4-for-5 with four RBI in an 11-3 waxing of the Salt Lake Bees.
Heads up: we’ve got another weekday day game tomorrow – our second this week – starting at 11:35.