Rainiers Drop A Salt Lake Classic, Hope To Dodge Weather Tonight

April 30, 2019

The Rainiers lost the opener of the four-game series in Salt Lake City on Monday night, 7-6, in a game that feels like something we’ve seen 40 times in the last twenty years.

Tacoma took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, only to see the Bees scratch for two runs and a walk-off win.

Salt Lake broadcaster Steve Klauke has witnessed (almost) every game played by the Bees since Salt Lake re-joined the PCL in 1994, and he is a diligent keeper of records. He told me that today we’ll check his all-time list of Bees walk-off wins and see how many have come against Tacoma. It’s not going to be 40, but I bet it’s going to be a lot.

Moral of the story is that the Rainiers need to take a healthier lead into the bottom of the ninth here.

We could have weather issues affecting tonight’s game. As I type this at 12:20 local time, we have foreboding skies outside my hotel room window but no rain. But somebody who would know here in SLC – specifically, the groundskeeper – said yesterday that not only rain but also snow is a possibility tonight.

So, if you tune in to 850 AM tonight and there is no baseball, you’ll know what happened. Check my twitter feed for updates as well (@curtoworld and the Rainiers official account will have updates as well, @rainiersland).

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma lost a tense one in Salt Lake City on Monday night, 7-6. Trailing 4-2 going to the eighth, Tacoma scored three runs with Shed Long hitting a go-ahead RBI triple. But Salt Lake tied it in the bottom of the inning on Cesar Puello‘s home run, so it was 5-5 to the ninth. Joey Curletta hit an RBI double and the Rainiers had a 6-5 lead with runners at second and third an no outs, but could not add on. That was costly, as Salt Lake drew a one-out walk and hit a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth before Jose Rojas won it with a two-out, two-strike, two run ground ball single to left field.

ROSTER MOVES: Expect some moves before tonight’s game.

TODAY: Tacoma (9-16) at Salt Lake (8-15), 5:35 PT.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.

SEASONS SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: LHP Tommy Milone (1-2, 5.61) at RHP Forrest Snow (0-2, 6.52)

Yup, that’s Seattle native, UW alum, former Rainiers pitcher, and all-around good dude Forrest Snow pitching against Tacoma tonight. Let’s hope he pitches a complete game and loses, 1-0.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 22 straight games, and he has a five-game hitting streak… Austin Nola has hits in 14 of his 18 games this season, with seven multiple-hit games… Kristopher Negron has hit safely in nine of his last ten games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just went 2-3 during a five-game home series against Albuquerque… veteran outfielder Cesar Puello has an 11-game hitting streak, going 17-for-38 during the streak… Matt Thaiss has a nine-game hitting streak… Jose Rojas has 11 RBI over his last four games… Wilfredo Tovar has both a hit and an RBI in each of his last five games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Salt Lake has former Rainiers players Ty Kelly and Forrest Snow on its roster.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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:

  • Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has an analysis of the Mariners defensive woes. The story explains why J.P. Crawford remains with Tacoma even though he would be an obvious defensive improvement at shortstop.
  • Coincidentally, The News Tribune has a feature on Crawford’s progress this season.

In the PCL we had a night of normal baseball scores!

  • Albuquerque’s Jeff Hoffman was dealing, allowing one run in seven innings to earn a 3-2 win over Sacramento. This game was at Isotopes Park.
  • Las Vegas starter Paul Blackburn reeled off six shutout innings and Seth Brown hit his ninth homer as the Aviators won at Reno, 6-3. The Las Vegas paper has a story on Aviators manager Fran Riordan.
  • El Paso and Fresno were tied 4-4 after nine innings, and then the automatic runners came into play. El Paso won it, 7-6, in ten. A 31-year-old outfielder from Cuba named Yadiel Hernandez went 4-for-5 with two homers for Fresno.
  • Adrian Houser allowed one earned run in five innings to help San Antonio win at Iowa, 4-3. Iowa has a converted catcher in the bullpen.
  • PCL veteran Nolan Fontana went 3-for-3 with a homer and three runs scored for Nashville in a 5-4 victory over Omaha.
  • New Orleans starter Ben Meyer and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout of Memphis, 3-0.
  • Round Rock and Oklahoma City couldn’t stomach the idea of playing a low-scoring game so they took the night off. Actually, they were rained out.
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Rainiers Hit The Road: Four Days In Salt Lake City

April 29, 2019

After a five-game homestand that featured some normal baseball scores for a nice change of pace, we are back in the land of high-scoring action as the Rainiers play four games at high-elevation Salt Lake City this week. It starts with a 5:35 (Pacific) game tonight.

The scores in the five-game Sacramento series were 4-1, 8-2, 5-0, 4-3, and 4-3. That’s 34 total runs between the two teams over the course of five games.

We could surpass that total by the end of the second game here in Salt Lake City.

The new juiced baseballs have had a massive effect in the high-elevation parks in the PCL, and they are even causing some haywire scores in the American Conference cities.

One positive we have seen in the opening month is that the new baseballs seemingly have made big comebacks more frequent, which is fun. Reno came back from a 13-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday, and yesterday Omaha trailed 10-4 with two innings to go and pulled out a victory.

League records are being wiped out on a regular basis, which is concerning in a 115-year-old league. Two were tied just yesterday: most runs in the first inning (15, by Iowa) and most home runs hit by one player over two games (5, Luis Urias of El Paso). I wonder if the league will have to create a new era to preserve the record book – they already have a “modern era” designated as 1958-current. Maybe we’ll need a “MLB baseball” era, 2019-.

Anyway, those are just some general thoughts as we near the end of the season’s opening month. We’re in Salt Lake City now, let’s get ready for some dingers!

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma won the final game of the Sacramento series on Sunday afternoon, 4-3. Braden Bishop‘s early three-run homer gave Tacoma the lead it held for eight innings, but Stephen Vogt pulled a solo shot to right field in the top of the ninth to tie the score, 3-3. Tacoma won it in the bottom of the ninth when Eric Young Jr. singled with one out, and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Bishop. Bishop hit a shallow fly ball to right-center, and on a daring send Young tagged and scored the winning run, barely eluding the sweeping tag attempt of the catcher Vogt. The Rainiers won two of the five games against Sacramento.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to yesterday’s game, pitcher Reggie McClain was removed from the active roster and replaced by Anthony Misiewicz from Double-A Arkansas. Misiewicz pitched four shutout innings, hopped on a plane, and flew back to Arkansas. The Mariners announced that reliever Shawn Armstrong was claimed off waivers by Baltimore.

TODAY: Tacoma (9-15) at Salt Lake (7-15), 5:35 PT.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.

SEASONS SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (0-2, 6.43) at RHP Alex Klonowski (0-2, 10.03)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 21 straight games… Austin Nola has hits in 14 of his 18 games this season, with seven multiple-hit games… Kristopher Negron has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just went 2-3 during a five-game home series against Albuquerque… veteran outfielder Cesar Puello brings a ten-game hitting streak into the series. He has gone 15-for-34 during the streak… Matt Thaiss has an eight-game hitting streak…  Taylor Ward has a five-game streak… Wil Tovar has both a hit and an RBI in each of his last five games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Salt Lake has former Rainiers players Ty Kelly and Forrest Snow on its roster. Snow is expected to start Tuesday against his former team.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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:

In the PCL:

  • Salt Lake hit four home runs in a big offensive showing against Albuquerque. Matt Thaiss homered, drove in three runs, and scored four runs in the win. Brendan Rodgers had a big game for the ‘Topes.
  • Anthony Vasquez managed to keep Fresno in check as Reno beat the Grizzlies, 6-2.
  • Luis Urias homered three times and drove in six runs as El Paso beat Las Vegas again, 10-6. Ex-Rainiers reliever Tyler Higgins pitched two shutout innings for the win. El Paso is 15-1 over the last 16 games.
  • Matt Beatty‘s three-run homer in the third inning stood up as Oklahoma City won in San Antonio, 4-1. The pitching of starter Daniel Corcino had a lot to do with it.
  • New Orleans starter Zac Gallen was on cruise control for eight innings in a 9-2 win at Round Rock. Austin Dean hit three doubles and a homer for the Baby Cakes.
  • Omaha split a home doubleheader against Memphis, but it wasn’t easy. Memphis won the first game behind the pitching of Jake Woodford, 5-1, and the Redbirds led the second game 10-4 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. But Omaha scored five runs in the sixth to make it 10-9, and two in the seventh to win it on Erick Mejia‘s walk-off two-run single.
  • Nashville won the opener of a doubleheader at Iowa, 7-3, apparently angering the Cubs who proceeded to tie the PCL record by scoring 15 runs in the first inning of the nightcap. The I-Cubs sent 18 batters to the plate in an inning that included two grand slams and required three Nashville pitchers. Phillip Evans and Johnny Field hit the salamis.

Homestand Ends As A Comeback Begins

April 28, 2019

The Mariners have been searching everywhere for starting pitching help to send to Tacoma, and we are going to see their latest find today at Cheney Stadium. Left-hander Jon Niese, a fixture in the New York Mets starting rotation from 2010 to 2016, will begin a comeback bid for Tacoma today.

Niese, 32, has not pitched in a game at any level since August 23, 2016, when he started for the Mets at Busch Stadium and got knocked out by the Cardinals in the first inning. The Mets would go on to win that game, but Niese’s career went on hiatus… until today.

The lefty attended an Atlantic League tryout camp and caught the attention of Long Island Ducks manager Wally Backman, who drafted Niese for his Ducks. However, before the Atlantic League schedule even started, the Mariners called and inquired about Niese. Seattle signed him to a minor league deal and here he is, pitching at Cheney Stadium in the last game of the five-game homestand.

Looks like we are going to have a nice, sunny day for the Tacoma Giants throwbacks. Maybe Niese can throw it back to the 2012 New York Mets, when he went 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: It was a good, tight game at Cheney Stadium but the Rainiers finished on the short end of a 4-3 loss to Sacramento. Tacoma scored in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the tying and winning runners on base with one out before the rally fizzled out.

ROSTER MOVES: Today the club will add Jon Niese, and he will be the starting pitcher against Sacramento. Pitcher Jusutus Sheffield was optioned to Tacoma and will re-join the starting rotation.

TODAY: Sacramento (12-10) at Tacoma (8-15), 1:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage. Brundage managed the Rainiers in 2006 and was the team’s hitting coach in 1998-99.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 7-2.

PITCHERS: RHP Shaun Anderson (1-1, 3.86) at LHP Jon Niese (–)

Niese, 32, was about to start a comeback bid in the independent Atlantic League when the Mariners signed him. He has a career record of 69-68, 4.07 in the major leagues, but has not pitched since 2016. This will be his first game in three years.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 20 straight games… Austin Nola has hits in 14 of his 17 games this season, with seven multiple-hit games… Orlando Calixte has hit safely in seven of his first ten games for Tacoma.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has won six of its last eight games… Mac Williamson is swinging a hot bat, going 20-for-42 with four homers during a ten-game hitting streak… Donovan Solano is 14-for-27 during a seven-game hitting streak… Zach Green homered twice against Tacoma when these teams played the season-opening series at Raley Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte spent a couple weeks with Tacoma in 2017… veteran MLB catcher Stephen Vogt is with Sacramento; he and his family live in Tumwater and he’ll probably have a cheering section at Cheney this weekend… Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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:

In the PCL:

  • Madness in Reno, where the Aces trailed Fresno 13-5 going to the bottom of the ninth inning and scored nine runs to win, 14-13, in one of the biggest single-inning comebacks you can imagine. Andrew Aplin started the rally with a pinch-hit walk, and ended it with a walk-off grand slam. Reno sent ten batters to the plate and scored nine runs – there was only one out when Aplin ended it.
  • El Paso hit seven home runs in a 12-3 wipeout of Las Vegas. Luis Urias and Jacob Scavuzzo each hit two homers. Scavuzzo has had three two-homer games this week!
  • Albuquerque swept a high-scoring doubleheader at Salt Lake, 10-7 and 14-12. The ‘Topes had a six-run inning in each game.
  • Yordan Alvarez had four hits including his 11th home run as Round Rock out-slugged New Orleans, 11-7.
  • And on this day of double digits and dingers, we had a shutout in San Antonio. Corbin Burnes and two relievers combined to whitewash Oklahoma City, 6-0.
  • It rained in the midwest, as both Memphis at Omaha and Nashville at Iowa were postponed. Both are hoping to play two today.

Rainiers Pitch Shutout, Head Into Throwback Weekend

April 27, 2019

Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together?

The Tacoma Rainiers had shutout pitching and hit three home runs in a 5-0 victory over Sacramento on Friday night at Cheney Stadium.

Tyler Cloyd, Ryan Garton, Aaron Northcraft, Matt Tenuta, and Parker Markel combined on a seven-hit shutout, which was the second shutout pitched by Tacoma this season. The victory improved Tacoma’s record in home games to 5-5 on the year.

This evening the Rainiers begin the annual Throwback Weekend with a new twist: a salute to the long-running Cheney Studs amateur team from Tacoma. The first 1,000 fans through the gates get a free hat.

Tomorrow we’re throwing it back to the Tacoma Giants of 1960-1965, and once again the first 1,000 fans get a free hat.

Each day the Rainiers players will be wearing throwback jerseys during the game, and fans have the ability to purchase the game-worn jersey’s via online auction. The website to bid on the jerseys is: rainiersauctions.com.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma hit three home runs and pitched a shutout in one of the team’s best showings of the season, a 5-0 win over Sacramento on Friday night. Helping out in a big way was the Rainiers middle infield, which turned four double plays as five pitchers combined on the seven-hitter. Braden Bishop, Joey Curletta, and Austin Nola hit home runs to account for all five Tacoma runs.

ROSTER MOVES: The Rainiers have added reliever Reggie McClain from Class-A Modesto and he will make the start for Tacoma today. Reliever Ruben Alaniz has been placed on the 7-day injured list with shoulder soreness.

TODAY: Sacramento (11-10) at Tacoma (8-14), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage. Brundage managed the Rainiers in 2006 and was the team’s hitting coach in 1998-99.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 6-2.

PITCHERS: RHP Tyler Beede (0-1, 2.04) at RHP Reggie McClain (–)

Beede, the Giants first round draft pick in 2014, has gone to a more simplified approach on the mound this year and has had great results to start the season. Not sure why the Mariners sent a Class-A relief pitcher to make a spot start for the Rainiers, but here we are. McClain has been throwing very well for Modesto, posting a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings of work.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 19 straight games… Kristopher Negron has the longest active hitting streak on the club, seven straight games… Eric Young Jr. has reached base safely in 15 straight games… Orlando Calixte has hit safely in seven of his first ten games for Tacoma.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has won five of its last seven games… Mac Williamson is swinging a hot bat, going 17-for-38 with three homers during a nine-game hitting streak… Donovan Solano is 13-for-24 during a six-game hitting streak… Zach Green homered twice against Tacoma when these teams played the season-opening series at Raley Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte spent a couple weeks with Tacoma in 2017… veteran MLB catcher Stephen Vogt is with Sacramento; he and his family live in Tumwater and he’ll probably have a cheering section at Cheney this weekend… Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 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:

In the PCL:

  • Kevin Cron hit his tenth homer, added a double, and drove in four runs as the Reno Aces took care of Fresno, 10-6.
  • El Paso scored six runs in the top of the first inning with newcomer Connor Panas hitting a grand slam in an 8-6 win at Las Vegas. That’s 13 wins in the last 14 games for the Chihuahuas. The Las Vegas newspaper has a fun column on the juiced-up baseballs.
  • Albuquerque at Salt Lake was rained out; they are going to try to play two today.
  • Willie Calhoun had bookend hits in Nashville’s 2-1 victory at Iowa: a solo homer in the first inning, and an RBI double in the ninth.
  • Memphis was a 7-3 winner at Omaha thanks to a go-ahead three-run homer by Rangel Ravelo. Omaha has lost six in a row.
  • Top prospect Keston Hiura went 3-for-3 with a double, two homers, and three RBI in San Antonio’s 4-3 victory over Oklahoma City.
  • New Orleans picked up a 5-2 win at Round Rock as Austin Dean went 3-for-3 and scored twice.

Lineup Looks To Heat Up Before Fireworks Show

April 26, 2019

The Rainiers hope to put up some pyrotechnics of their own prior to tonight’s fireworks show at Cheney Stadium. They really could use a big offensive game.

Tacoma was held to seven hits and two runs on Thursday night in an 8-2 loss to Sacramento. The Rainiers offense has been spotty lately, with the total number of runs scored over the last six games looking like this: 0, 4, 2, 8, 1, 2.

That’s 17 runs over the last six games, for an average of 2.8 runs per game.

Prior to this stretch the club was averaging roughly six runs per game, and it certainly seems like it’s a good lineup that shouldn’t have trouble scoring over the long run. The team is just in a little hitting funk right now.

Tonight Tacoma faces a starting pitcher making his Triple-A debut in right-hander Yoanys Quiala. He has only pitched eight innings in Double-A this year. He missed half of last season on a PED suspension. He’s a mystery man, we have no idea what to expect.

Hopefully the Rainiers lineup will give him a nice welcome to the high-scoring Pacific Coast League, and then we’ll enjoy the explosions in the sky.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma’s bats were quieted once again, this time at the hands of Sacramento starter Enderson Franco. Jose Lobaton‘s two-run homer was the only offensive output in an 8-2 loss to Sacramento. Dave McKay threw well from the bullpen, tossing two perfect innings of relief.

ROSTER MOVES: Today the Mariners called up pitcher Justus Sheffield, and designated reliever Shawn Armstrong for assignment. If Armstrong clears waivers he will be outrighted to Tacoma. There are many reports on the internet that the Mariners are signing former New York Mets starter Jon Niese to help fill the Tacoma rotation. Niese has not pitched since 2016; he was set to begin a comeback attempt in the independent Atlantic League.

TODAY: Sacramento (11-9) at Tacoma (7-14), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage. Brundage managed the Rainiers in 2006 and was the team’s hitting coach in 1998-99.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 6-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Yoanys Quiala (–) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (–)

Quiala is up from Double-A Richmond and is making his Triple-A debut, and Cloyd is back with the Rainiers and making his season debut today. Cloyd is not stretched out to start and is expected to pitch just two or three innings.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 18 straight games… Kristopher Negron has the longest active hitting streak on the club, six straight games… Eric Young Jr. has reached base safely in 14 straight games… Orlando Calixte has hit safely in seven of his first nine games for Tacoma.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has won five of its last six games… Mac Williamson is swinging a hot bat, going 17-for-38 with three homers during a nine-game hitting streak… Donovan Solano is 11-for-20 during a five-game hitting streak… Zach Green homered twice against Tacoma when these teams played the season-opening series at Raley Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte spent a couple weeks with Tacoma in 2017… veteran MLB catcher Stephen Vogt is with Sacramento; he and his family live in Tumwater and he’ll probably have a cheering section at Cheney this weekend… Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

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:

In the PCL:

  • El Paso slugger Jacob Scavuzzo enjoyed his second consecutive two-homer game as the Chihuahuas won again in Las Vegas, 9-8. El Paso has won 12 of its last 13 games and leads all of minor league baseball in several hitting categories.
  • Reno has not one but two players hit three home runs in a 15-5 blowout of Fresno. Kevin Cron went 3-for-4 with three homers and seven RBI, while leadoff man Tim Locastro was 4-for-5 with three homers and six RBI.
  • Salt Lake’s Wil Tovar hit a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Bees an 8-7 win over Albuquerque.
  • Round Rock shut out New Orleans 2-0 behind the pitching of Corbin Martin.
  • Iowa picked up an 8-4 win over Nashville despite a home run by rehabilitating Texas Rangers infielder Roughned Odor.
  • Memphis scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to stun Omaha, 6-4. Tommy Edman had three hits including a homer.
  • San Antonio swept a doubleheader from Oklahoma City, as Jake Hager homered in both games of the twinbill. Former Rainiers catcher David Freitas had two hits and two RBI in a 3-0 shutout win in the nightcap.

Rainiers Look To Get Offense Going Tonight

April 25, 2019

Very busy today, gotta just dive right in to the Rainiers Daily….

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The Tacoma lineup was snuffed out by crafty lefty Ty Blach, who worked six innings of two-hit ball in Sacramento’s 4-1 win on Wednesday night. The Rainiers bullpen continues to show improvement, as Robinson Leyer escaped an inherited jam and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, while Matt Festa had his best Triple-A outing with two perfect innings including four strikeouts.

ROSTER MOVES: Before yesterday’s game the Rainiers added newly-signed Tyler Cloyd to the active roster, and transferred starter Tyler Danish and reliever Penn Murfee to extended spring training. Cloyd joins the rotation and will start tomorrow.

TODAY: Sacramento (10-9) at Tacoma (7-13), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage. Brundage managed the Rainiers in 2006 and was the team’s hitting coach in 1998-99.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 5-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Enderson Franco (0-0, 6.55) at LHP Tommy Milone (1-1, 4.95)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford went 0-for-4 on Monday, ending his 15-game hitting streak. He went 21-for-60 during the streak… Austin Nola has hit safely in 12 of his 14 games, and he leads the league with ten doubles… Kristopher Negron has the longest active hitting streak on the club, five straight games… Eric Young Jr. has reached base safely in 14 straight games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento was going for a four-game home sweep of Salt Lake, but they lost the last game of the series on Monday. In the series prior to that, the River Cats were swept by Las Vegas (just like everybody else who plays Vegas, except for Fresno)… Mac Williamson is swinging a hot bat, going 13-for-33 with three homers during an eight-game hitting streak… Donovan Solano is 9-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak… Zach Green homered twice against Tacoma when these teams played the season-opening series at Raley Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte spent a couple weeks with Tacoma last year… veteran MLB catcher Stephen Vogt is with Sacramento; he and his family live in Tumwater and he’ll probably have a cheering section at Cheney this weekend… Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

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 Mariners received a classic Felix Hernandez performance in San Diego yesterday, with a classic 1-0 Felix loss.
  • The M’s traded a Class-A infielder for struggling Baltimore Orioles reliever Mike Wright. It will be interesting to see the roster moves when he reports.
  • Lookout Landing has a State of the Farm report.

In the PCL:

  • Fresno’s Carter Kieboom homered and Brad Snyder went 4-for-4 in a 9-5 win at Reno last night.
  • Jacob Scavuzzo tripled, homered twice, and drove in six runs as the Chihuahuas mauled the Aviators, 15-7.
  • Albuquerque won a thriller at Salt Lake on Sam Hilliard‘s two-run double in the ninth, 5-4.
  • Rehabbing shortstop Addison Russell had a hit and a walk to support a strong start by Iowa’s Matt Swanson in a 6-4 win over Nashville.
  • Memphis picked up a 7-5 win at Omaha as John Nogowski homered and drove home three runs.
  • New Orleans was down 7-0 in Round Rock after six innings, made a huge comeback and took an 8-7 lead into the bottom of the ninth, saw Kyle Tucker homer to tie it up, and then won in the tenth inning 11-8 when Austin Dean hit a three-run homer. Wild game!
  • Oklahoma City at San Antonio played none yesterday and will try to play two today.

Rainiers Open Five-Game Homestand Tonight

April 24, 2019

The Tacoma Rainiers begin a five-game homestand this evening at Cheney Stadium, with the Sacramento River Cats in town through the weekend.

After a league-wide off day on Tuesday, the club should be rested and ready for some home field advantage after going 2-5 on the road trip to El Paso and Albuquerque.

Tacoma was able to salvage a win on the final day in Albuquerque, using a five-run rally in the ninth inning to overcome the Isotopes, 8-6. The Rainiers had just two hits in the five-run rally, as the ‘Topes were on the verge of a sweep when they started making errors, issuing walks, and throwing important wild pitches. Some would say that the Isotopes had a nuclear meltdown, but we’re above that here.

One development from the Albuquerque series to keep an eye on: the two relief pitchers summoned from Double-A Arkansas each pitched two scoreless outings against a team that otherwise was hitting rockets all around the ballpark. It was only two appearances for each, but Aaron Northcraft and Parker Markel have been a big lift and may be called upon in high-leverage situations moving forward. Markel pitched the bottom of the ninth and earned the save on Monday.

On the hitting side on Monday, shortstop J.P. Crawford had his 15-game hitting streak come to an end. That’s a good streak – it wouldn’t be unusual at all if that turns out to be the Rainiers longest streak of the season.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Monday, Kristopher Negron‘s two-run double was one of only two hits during the Rainiers five-run ninth inning rally that led to an 8-6 win in Albuquerque. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch, and the insurance run scored on a passed ball.

ROSTER MOVES: We are going to have some prior to today’s game. Yesterday the Mariners activated reliever Chasen Bradford from the Injured List and optioned reliever Ruben Alaniz to Tacoma.

TODAY: Sacramento (9-9) at Tacoma (7-12), 6:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage. Brundage managed the Rainiers in 2006 and was the team’s hitting coach in 1998-99.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 4-1.

PITCHERS: LHP Ty Blach (0-0, 5.68) at RHP Christian Bergman (0-1, 6.75)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford went 0-for-4 on Monday, ending his 15-game hitting streak. He went 21-for-60 during the streak… Austin Nola has hit safely in 12 of his 14 games, and he leads the league with ten doubles… Tim Lopes saw his eight-game hitting streak end Sunday… Eric Young Jr. has reached base safely in 13 straight games… Braden Bishop has reached safely in all 15 games he has played in.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento was going for a four-game home sweep of Salt Lake, but they lost the last game of the series on Monday. In the series prior to that, the River Cats were swept by Las Vegas (just like everybody else who plays Vegas, except for Fresno)… Mac Williamson is swinging a hot bat, going 12-for-29 with two homers during a seven-game hitting streak… Donovan Solano is 9-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak… Zach Green homered twice against Tacoma when these teams played the season-opening series at Raley Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte spent a couple weeks with Tacoma last year… veteran MLB catcher Stephen Vogt is with Sacramento; he and his family live in Tumwater and he’ll probably have a cheering section at Cheney this weekend… Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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 Albuquerque Journal has a wrap-up of the Rainiers win (and the Isotopes collapse) on Monday, with commentary from ‘Topes skipper Glenallen Hill.
  • It really looks like Justus Sheffield will get the call to follow Mariners starter Yusei Kikcuhi‘s upcoming one inning start, Ryan Divish writes. The Mariners said that Kikuchi’s one-inning start will be on Friday. If Sheffield does get the call to pitch that game, he’ll be working on only three days rest.
  • The Mariners lost the first of a two-game series in San Diego on Tuesday night, 6-3. For just the second time this season, they did not hit a home run. They have a noon game today.

In the PCL, the whole league was off yesterday. A couple items from Monday:

  • Salt Lake third baseman Jose Rojas went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI in an 8-4 win at Sacramento as the Bees avoided being swept by the River Cats.
  • El Paso finished a four-game sweep of Reno with a 4-3 victory. Dietrich Enns tossed five scoreless innings. Ty France is one of the league’s best hitters.
  • Fresno became the first team to give Las Vegas some trouble, but the Aviators won on Monday, 9-7, to salvage a split of the four-game series. Outfielder Skye Bolt went 4-for-4.
  • Longtime prospect Bubba Starling – he was a first round draft pick all the way back in 2011 – is off to the best start of his career for Omaha.
  • Suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is starting a seven-game rehab stint with Iowa. This situation is similar to when Robinson Cano played a few games for Tacoma and Everett last year.