Aces Take Opener Despite Three More Hits For Mallex

After winning four out of five games, the Rainiers dropped the series opener to Reno on Tuesday night, 4-3. It was a good, close game that saw the Rainiers put the tying runner in scoring position in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Mallex Smith continues to swing it well as he tries to regain his stroke (and confidence) in the batters box. He had three hits yesterday, and he stole another base. His elite speed and desire to use it seems to be rubbing off on his teammates, as the other quick Rainiers players have been stealing more frequently since Mallex got here. Both Tim Lopes and Ian Miller stole bases last night, and the team had five stolen bases on Monday.

Tonight the Rainiers are starting veteran lefty Jon Niese, who officially announced his comeback attempt by earning his first win since 2016 in his last start five days ago. Let’s see what he’s got tonight.

Looks like I’ll return to the air today, as my voice is finally bouncing back. When your job is literally to talk, and you can’t talk, it’s a real bummer. Sheesh. Big thanks to Tacoma Rainiers Director of Media Relations AJ Garcia for filling in for eight innings yesterday; he did a great job.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma had trouble getting the offense going and lost the series opener to Reno on Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium, 4-3. Aces slugger Kevin Cron belted a long two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning, and Reno never gave up the lead. New Rainiers first baseman Ryan Court hit a homer in his Tacoma debut, Mallex Smith had three hits, and reliever Tayler Scott escaped an inherited jam and pitched two scoreless innings.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday Ryan Court was added to the active roster, and infielder J.R. Davis was transferred to Class-A West Virginia.

TODAY: Reno (14-18) at Tacoma (14-19), 6:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Chris Cron.

SEASONS SERIES: Reno leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Matt Koch (–) at LHP Jon Niese (1-0, 3.24)

Koch (pronounced “cook”) is down from the big leagues, where he has been working as a relief pitcher for the Diamondbacks. He pitched 4.1 innings in long relief in his last outing on April 27 against the Cubs, so he might be able to pitch into the middle innings tonight.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has reached base via hit or walk in 31 straight games, and he has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games… Austin Nola has hits in 19 of the 24 games he has batted in this season… Mallex Smith has a four-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Reno just split a high-scoring four-game series at Sacramento… Triple-A rookie Domingo Leyba has a seven-game hitting streak… Kevin Cron is tied for the PCL lead in home runs (13) and RBI (38); his father is the Reno manager.

FAMILIAR FACES: Lots of ’em on this club. Reno has former Rainiers in outfielder Abraham Almonte and pitchers Anthony Vasquez and Marc Rzepczynski, and they have a local guy in Mill Creek native Travis Snider.

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:

  • Justus Sheffield spoke to The News Tribune about his best start of the year, on Monday night against Albuquerque.
  • The Mariners took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth at Yankees Stadium, and… well, they fell to the .500 mark for the season.
  • The Times caught up with former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher James Paxton. Pretty cool that he lives in Manhattan and takes the subway to the ballpark (for now).

In the PCL:

  • El Paso continues to be the class of the Pacific Conference. Dietrich Enns allowed one earned run over seven innings as the Chihuahuas took down Albuquerque last night, 6-3.
  • Fresno infielder Jacob Wilson had three hits – including his 11th home run – and three RBI in a 7-3 win at Sacramento. Red-hot River Cats outfielder Mac Williamson was called up to the big leagues yesterday.
  • Daniel Mengden allowed just one run in six innings as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake in a rare low-scoring game, 3-1. This might be the lowest-scoring game in the brief history of the Las Vegas Ballpark.
  • Iowa is the hottest team in the league right now. The I-Cubs made it eight straight wins when Wynton Bernard‘s bases loaded triple in the eighth inning led to a 6-5 win at Memphis yesterday.
  • Round Rock’s Corbin Martin and Omaha’s Heath Filmeyer got into a pitcher’s duel, with Omaha emerging as a 2-1 winner.
  • Zack Granite had three hits and drove in two runs as Nashville picked up a 4-2 road win over Oklahoma City. Popular Nashville veteran Tim Dillard pitched six shutout innings.
  • Apparently using last year’s baseballs, San Antonio needed ten innings to beat New Orleans, 1-0. An infield single by Jake Hager brought in the game’s only run.
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