This is the Tacoma Rainiers first-ever series at the newest stadium in Triple-A Baseball, the not-so-creatively named Las Vegas Ballpark. Let’s take a look.
And that, my friends, is the greatest air conditioner in all the land. After all of those years broadcasting outdoors at Cashman Field with no air conditioner, just sitting there sweating for nine innings, we now have this baby pumping out 40-degree air 24/7. I’ve actually had to wear a sweatshirt the first two days while calling the games. This blessed machine is phenomenal, and it deserves to be honored in Cooperstown.
The park is fantastic, and you can really tell that a long-time baseball man (Aviators team president Don Logan) was involved in the design. The amenities for the teams are terrific – easily the best in the league. Crowds have been outstanding – they have sold out 19 of the first 22 home games.
YESTERDAY: Tim Lopes hit a go-ahead three-run homer to give Tacoma a 4-2 lead in the third inning, and the team kept adding on runs to eventually beat Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, 10-6. Kristopher Negron, Ian Miller, and Connor Kopach each had three hits, and Tyler Cloyd pitched 5.2 innings allowing two runs to earn the win.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers activated reliever Matt Festa from the disabled list. Reliever Austin Adams was called up by Seattle today (they sent Dan Altavilla to Double-A Arkansas). Rehabilitating Wade LeBlanc and Kyle Seager are expected to arrive today.
TODAY: Tacoma (18-20) at Las Vegas (22-16), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
PITCHERS: LHP Wade LeBlanc (–) at RHP Parker Dunshee (–)
LeBlanc last pitched April 12 against the Astros, when he strained his right oblique. Dunshee is making his Triple-A debut, he went 2-2 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts for Double-A Midland.
HOT HITTERS: Ian Miller has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, going 13-for-31 with 11 runs scored during that stretch. He is leading the PCL with 15 doubles… Tim Lopes has hit safely in his last seven games, drawing six walks and scoring eight runs during the stretch. He has homered in back-to-back games… Mallex Smith has hit safely in seven of his nine games for Tacoma, with multiple hits in five games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas just took three-of-four from Salt Lake. After starting the season 13-2, the Aviators have cooled off and gone 9-14 since… Julio Mateo is one of the most exciting players in the league because he runs like his hair is on fire and thinks triple any time he makes contact. He’s red hot at the moment with a ten-game hitting streak… Seth Brown has a five-game hitting streak.
FAMILIAR FACES: The only former Rainiers player on the Vegas roster is reliever Dean Kiekhefer, who is currently on the injured list.
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.
- The Mariners suffered their third straight blowout loss in Boston, and ended the ten-day road trip with a 2-8 record.
- Felix Hernandez has been placed on the ten-day injured list. Good stuff in here on Parker Markel getting the call to the big leagues.
- Several PCL players appear in this week’s Baseball America Hot Sheet.
In the PCL:
- Fresno shut out Albuquerque, 3-0, behind the possibly illegal pitching of starter Kyle McGowin. He was working on a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the sixth inning when he was searched on the mound by umpire John Libka, who ejected him and confiscated his glove. The PCL policy is to not announce suspensions but this is going to be a good one.
- Sacramento had a strong start by Yoanys Quiala, Anthony Garcia homered twice, and the River Cats disposed of the Chihuahuas, 6-1.
- Salt Lake won at Reno, 9-3, as Cesar Puello hit a grand slam and Luis Rengifo hit an inside-the-parker.
- New Orleans scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning to beat San Antonio 10-9 on the ol’ walk-off passed ball. Corey Ray homered in his third straight game.
- Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Round Rock beat Oklahoma City, 4-2. Alvarez is currently on a triple crown pace leading the league in batting average (.402), homers (15), and RBI (47).
- Omaha was a 5-2 winner at Iowa, with Jorge Bonifacio knocking a pair of dingers. The Des Moines paper has a story on how the I-Cubs became the top team in the American Conference.
- Memphis took down Nashville, 7-2, as Rangel Ravelo had three hits and Tyler O’Neill homered.