Rainiers Needs Wins In A Tough Place To Get Them

The Rainiers dropped the opening game of the Reno series on Thursday night, 4-3, and fell eight games behind the division leading Aces.

It was the first of seven games that the Rainiers will play at Greater Nevada Field this season – all within a two-week span. It’s an opportunity for the Rainiers to pick up some ground head-to-head against the first place team. Alternately, it’s an opportunity for Reno to bury the Rainiers in the standings.

Tacoma has not played well historically in Reno, although it’s not as bad as it once was. Reno joined the league in 2009, and over the first four years of the Tacoma-Reno rivalry the Aces went 26-6 against the Rainiers in Reno.

The Rainiers finally started picking up a few wins in Reno in 2013, and even went 4-4 at (then-called) Aces Ballpark in 2014. Tacoma won its first series at Reno in 2015 (the seventh year of the rivalry!), taking two-out-of-three.

Still, Tacoma has never won a four-game series on the road in Reno. The team has an all-time record of 18-47 at Greater Nevada Field/Aces Ballpark.

It’s gotta change eventually, right?

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: True to the Rainiers history when playing Reno on the road, Tacoma took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, only to see Reno score twice off Jean Machi and win it, 4-3. The game ended on an error by – of all people – Leonys Martin, who dropped a fly ball allowing the winning run to score from second base.

Roster Moves: Prior to yesterday’s game, the Mariners released Tacoma shortstop Ryan Jackson, and promoted pitcher Rob Whalen to Tacoma from Double-A Arkansas.

Today: Tacoma (37-34) at Reno (46-27), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks.

Season Series: Reno leads, 4-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Casey Lawrence (0-0, 4.09) at LHP Aaron Laffey (4-0, 3.35).

Hot Rainiers: Andrew Aplin is 8-for-24 with seven RBI over his last nine games… Boog Powell has back-to-back three-hit games, and he homered yesterday… Zach Shank has reached base in ten straight games.

Look Out For: Jack Reinheimer has a seven-game hitting streak, going 12-for-29 during the streak… Ildemaro Vargas is 13-for-24 with two homers and nine RBI against Tacoma pitching this season… Christian Walker has a five-game hitting streak, going 10-for-19.

Ex-Rainiers and Local Guys: Reno has former Rainiers infielder Ketel Marte. Catcher Hank Conger spent much of his youth growing up in Federal Way.

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:

  • Here’s the blow-by-blow of the Aces 4-3 win over Tacoma from the team’s PR department.
  • Andrew Moore won his MLB debut, and the Mariners beat Detroit 9-6 for their fifth straight victory. Seattle is over .500 for the first time this season. Three takeaways from the game – one of which is the immediate future of Moore, since the M’s don’t need a fifth starter for a couple of weeks.
  • The Mariners welcome back Felix Hernandez tonight. It’s not exactly a ‘soft landing’ – he’s facing Houston.
  • John McGrath has a column on Felix, Justin Verlander, and aging aces.
  • Lookout Landing has a solid State Of The Farm post looking at the M’s system.
  • Baseball America’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet is Marinerless, but here it is anyway.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Kaleb Cowart went 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle in Salt Lake’s 16-2 win at Las Vegas. Three of his hits were doubles, and he got the triple in the eighth inning.
  • Albuquerque starter Barry Enright tossed seven innings of two-hit ball in an 8-1 win over El Paso. The Isotopes and Colorado Rockies are set to extend their Player Development Contract, even though the current one doesn’t expire until the end of the 2018 season. This could be a sign that there is going to be something of a ‘race’ among MLB teams to not get stuck in the ancient San Antonio ballpark when that city joins the PCL in 2019.
  • Sacramento turned a franchise record six double plays in a 9-3 win at Fresno, but don’t go looking for that small piece of news in the online story. You’ll just have to trust me.
  • Colorado Springs jumped all over Adam Conley and the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 8-5.
  • Will Middlebrooks homered twice in a 4-1 win over Iowa.
  • Oklahoma City picked up a pair of wins over Nashville, including a 19-hit attack in a 14-5 game two victory.
  • Three Omaha players had three-hit games in an 11-3 win over Memphis.
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