One Last Time: Sky Sox Visit Tacoma

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are on their farewell tour of the Pacific Coast League, as the team is moving to San Antonio in 2019.

The Sky Sox have been in the PCL since 1988, and have played the Rainiers every single season since then – some years as many as 16 times in a season.

The teams meet here in Tacoma in a four-game series starting tonight and running through Tuesday’s afternoon game.

And this series is for all of the marbles.

In the last 30 seasons, Tacoma and Colorado Springs have played to a dead tie. They have played 344 games, going 172-172 against each other.

How about that?

The Rainiers bats broke out in a big way on Friday night, connecting for 19 hits in a 13-1 blowout win over Oklahoma City and avoiding a three-game sweep. It was one of the Rainiers top offensive performance of the entire season.

Coincidentally, Colorado Springs also scored 13 runs yesterday in a win at Reno. The Sky Sox also avoided being swept by putting together a big offensive showing.

Tacoma reliever Tyler Higgins was surprisingly sent to Double-A Arkansas after Thursday’s game, to make room for recently optioned Chasen Bradford.

Higgins was set to fly to Tulsa yesterday, where Arkansas is playing a road series. His flight plans included a layover in Minneapolis on Friday afternoon.

Upon landing in Minneapolis, Higgins learned that his connecting flight to Tulsa was delayed by a couple of hours.

While sitting around in the airport, he received a phone call: Juan Nicasio went on the disabled list, Chasen Bradford was recalled by Seattle, and we need you back in Tacoma. Don’t get on the plane to Tulsa! Here’s a new ticket for a flight back to SeaTac.

Higgins should be back with the Rainiers today. As for his baggage, who knows?

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: It was the offensive uprising Tacoma has been looking for since mid-July, as the Rainiers hit four homers, had 19 hits, and hammered Oklahoma City, 13-1. David Freitas led the way with three hits, a homer, and four RBI. Seven other Tacoma players had multiple hits, including Andrew Aplin who hit an inside-the-park home run to the right field corner.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday Tacoma added RHP Chasen Bradford and infielder Gordon Beckham to the roster, released LHP Dario Alvarez, and sent RHP Tyler Higgins to Double-A Arkansas. But before the game started Bradord was recalled by the Mariners, and Higgins was told to turn around and come back to Tacoma.

TODAY: Colorado Springs (58-50) at Tacoma (54-56), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Milwaukee Brewers.

SEASONS SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Adrian Houser (1-1, 4.61) at RHP Casey Lawrence (6-3, 2.81).

HOT HITTERS: Seth Mejias-Brean has a 13-game hitting streak, and he was 11-for-21 on the last road trip… John Andreoli has reached base in 29 of his last 30 games… Dan Vogelbach has a nine-game hitting streak and has reached base in 24 straight PCL games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Colorado Springs is in a race with Oklahoma City to defend its American-North division title; the Sky Sox are two games behind… they have struggled since the All-Star Break, going 9-11 with the team constantly affected by Milwaukee Brewers roster moves… catcher Christian Bethancourt is on a home run spree, hitting three in his last four games and eight in 19 games since July 1… Domingo Santana has a six-game hitting streak… Dylan Moore homered twice yesterday and has a four-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only local tie with the Sky Sox is manager Rick Sweet, who is from Longview and is a former Mariners catcher.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 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.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story in The News Tribune includes a section on Ben Gamel, who says all of the right things.
  • The Mariners lost their fourth in a row last night, and are now 1.5-games behind Oakland for the last wild card spot.
  • It’s the final season of baseball at Cashman Field in Las Vegas before the new ballpark opens, so the paper has a fun story on Five Times Things Went Wrong At Cashman. The Easter Egg Hunt story is an all-timer.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Colorado Springs 13, RENO 3 – a six-run second inning gave the Sky Sox an 8-0 lead as the Sky Sox ended Reno’s seven-game winning streak. Dylan Moore homered twice, while Christian Bethancourt doubled and homered.

NASHVILLE 6, Fresno 2 – Frankie Montas pitched six shutout innings as the Sounds completed the three-game sweep.

MEMPHIS 7, Sacramento 3 – catcher Carson Kelly went 3-for-3 with a double, a homer, and three RBI to support a strong effort from new Memphis starter Austin Warner (seven innings, one run).

Las Vegas 12, OMAHA 11 – 23 runs, 32 hits, nine homers. Bryce Brentz went deep twice for Vegas. Omaha pulled off the difficult trick of hitting five homers and losing. Story from Omaha.

EL PASO 5, New Orleans 4 – recently traded top prospect Francisco Mejia hit his first PCL home run for the Chihuahuas.

Salt Lake 6, IOWA 4 – the Bees had two-run homers from both Jared Walsh and Joe Hudson.

ALBUQUERQUE 8, Round Rock 6 – Noel Cuevas hit a grand slam, and 38-year-old Matt Holliday had two hits in his Isotopes debut. The Rockies recently signed Holliday in a comeback bid – he played for the Yankees last year. Story from Albuquerque.

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