Machi Makes Rare Start; Rainiers Lose In Tenth

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.

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