Even if you watch Triple-A baseball all of the time, sometimes you forget: when major league players are on rehabilitation assignments, it’s because they aren’t ready to return to the majors.
We saw it early this season at Cheney Stadium, when Felix Hernandez got knocked around by Reno in his first rehabilitation start for Tacoma.
Last night in Fresno, the Rainiers were on the other side of the equation.
Houston Astros No. 2 starter Lance McCullers was making his first appearance since being shut down by a back injury in late July, and instead of dominating the Rainiers he looked just plain rusty.
McCullers walked five batters (one was intentional) over three innings, the Rainiers got to him for three runs, and Tacoma went on to beat Fresno 7-3.
Fresno showed some signs of a team that feels like a playoff spot might be slipping away. They played the infield in with a runner at third and one out in the second inning, with a 2-0 lead. An intentional walk was ordered in the third inning of a 2-2 tie. These are some rather extreme strategies in the early stages of a PCL game.
It was a costly loss for Fresno, which fell three games behind Reno with ten to play. Reno holds the tiebreaker (they won the season series), so Fresno has to finish ahead of the Aces to take the division.
Yesterday: Tacoma drew ten walks, Tuffy Gosewisch had two hits and drove in three runs, and the Rainiers won in Fresno on Friday night, 7-3. Evan Marshall was terrific from the bullpen, delivering three scoreless innings.
Today: Tacoma (65-67) at Fresno (72-60), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Fresno leads, 10-4.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Andrew Moore (3-3, 3.52) at RHP Rogelio Armenteros (6-1, 2.38).
Hot Rainiers: Ian Miller has had at least one hit in 27 of his 32 Triple-A games… Mike Marjama has a four-game hitting streak… Kevin Santa lined a double to left-center in his first Triple-A game yesterday. He was the Mariners 19th round draft pick this year out of the University of Tampa.
Look Out For: Tony Kemp has six multiple-hit games during an eight-game hitting streak… Tyler White has ten RBI over his last five games… A.J. Reed has hit four homers during a five-game hitting streak; his OPS since the all-star break is 1.066… Carlos Correa is pretty good.
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.
- The Fresno Grizzlies website has a recap of the Rainiers win last night.
- The Mariners took down the Yankees in 11 innings, 2-1, when Yonder Alonso homered off Aroldis Chapman. Three takeaways from the game.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno starter Taylor Clarke pitched well and the Aces won in Las Vegas, 4-2.
- Albuquerque picked up a crucial win against Salt Lake, 3-1, as Yency Almonte pitched six shutout innings.
- Sacramento at El Paso got rained out, leaving the Chihuahuas a half-game behind Salt Lake in the Pac-South. They’ll try to play two today.
- Colorado Springs lost at New Orleans on an error in the bottom of the tenth inning, 5-4. The Sky Sox magic number to clinch the American-North remains at three.
- Omaha at Oklahoma City was rained out yesterday, they’ll play a doubleheader on Sunday. Tonight Clayton Kershaw makes a rehab start for Oklahoma City.
- Iowa’s Williams Perez pitched well in a 4-2 win over Memphis. It’s starting to look like Memphis isn’t going to reach 90 wins. They’re at 84 with ten games left, but they have lost seven of their last ten.
- Shortstop Franklin Barreto had a huge game as Nashville topped Round Rock in 11 innings, 6-5.