The Rainiers lost to Nashville in the series opener on Friday night, 7-5, and Tacoma is in something of a funk right now. The club has lost five of the last six games, and has fallen two games below the .500 mark.
Three new, experienced players have joined the position player mix: Kelby Tomlinson, John Andreoli, and Jaycob Brugman. Two of them have come off a hiatus in which they have not played in at least three weeks. It’s going to take a little bit of time before they get into a groove (note: not Brugman – he came in on a tear!).
Rainiers manager Daren Brown has to learn his new personnel on the fly. He’s been trying different lineups each day to figure out how to best fit these guys in.
Even after adding three experienced players with major league experience, Tacoma still has two players from extended spring training among its 11 position players. There is room for prospects to come up from Double-A Arkansas once they clinch the first half title in the Texas League, which should happen in about a week. We don’t know if the Mariners Player Development Department decision makers plan to do this.
Tacoma will get to enjoy the speed game of Dee Gordon for the remainder of the weekend. He went 1-for-4 in his first rehabilitation game yesterday, and we saw that speed game when he… got picked off? Yup, he got picked off by tricky right-hander Tim Dillard. Well, it was Dee’s first game in a couple of weeks. We’ll give him a mulligan.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma starter Justus Sheffield couldn’t get through three innings, issuing four walks in the third inning alone and allowing Nashville to score five runs. The Sounds never gave up the lead and went on to win, 7-5. Tacoma threatened to come back multiple times in the late innings, and ended the game with the tying runners on base.
ROSTER MOVE: Tacoma has added reliever Matt Carasiti, who was recently let go by Iowa despite posting a 2.67 ERA in 16 appearances. He has a career 2.80 ERA in 68 appearances in the PCL, all with Iowa and Albuquerque. Mariners infielder Dee Gordon started a rehabilitation assignment last night, going 1-for-4 in his first game. It has been reported that the Mariners have signed lefty starter Sean Nolin to a minor league deal; don’t know yet if he is reporting to Tacoma.
TODAY: Nashville (23-38) at Tacoma (30-32), 5:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Jason Wood.
SEASON SERIES: Nashville leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Esmerling Vasquez (–) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-4, 5.65)
Vasquez is a 35-year-old former major league reliever who the Rangers recently signed as a free agent. He pitched in five games for Double-A Frisco and was just promoted to Triple-A. He last pitched in the majors in 2012, since then he has pitched in China, Japan, and Mexico.
HOT HITTERS: Robert Perez had his streak of hitting safely in seven straight and ten of his last 11 games end when he struck out as a pinch-hitter last night… Jaycob Brugman has homered in three of his first six games for Tacoma… Chris Mariscal has a seven-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville ended a five-game losing streak last night… Andy Ibanez has a seven-game hitting streak… MLB veteran Matt Davidson has reached base in 14 straight games, has a six-game hitting streak, and ranks sixth in the PCL with 17 home runs.
FAMILIAR FACES: Nashville catcher Adam Moore played for Tacoma in 2009-2010, and 2012. Good to see him still getting after it… reliever Josh Fields was briefly with Tacoma in 2011… Nashville hitting coach Howard “HoJo” Johnson served as Tacoma hitting coach in 2013.
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.
- Domingo Santana homered twice and the Mariners won in Anaheim last night, 6-2.
- But, for the shame of it all, the Mariners lost the pregame cow milking contest.
- Mariners Double-A Arkansas infielder Donnie Walton connected for seven hits in a doubleheader last night.
In the PCL:
- Sacramento hit four home runs and pitched a shutout in a 10-0 whitewashing of New Orleans last night. Yoanys Quiala tossed six scoreless innings.
- Andrew Stevenson‘s tenth inning RBI single stood up for Fresno in a 9-8 win at Oklahoma City.
- Memphis No. 3 and 4 hitters John Nagowski and Rangel Ravelo each had four hits in a 10-4 takedown in Reno.
- El Paso brought up catcher Webster Rivas from Double-A, and he had two hits with a two-run homer to help the Chihuahuas to a 6-2 win at Omaha.
- Albuquerque first baseman Roberto Ramos went deep and drove in two runs as the Isotopes won at Iowa, 8-4.
- Round Rock coasted to a 10-0 win at Salt Lake, as Jose Urquidy tossed six scoreless innings. Yordan Alvarez hit a garbage time homer and he now has 23 dingers and 71 RBI on the year.
- All of your favorite Las Vegas Aviators homered in an 8-2 win over San Antonio.