After A Pair Of Lobo-Bombs, Rainiers Open Key Series Tonight

Tonight marks the start of a big series at Cheney Stadium, and an important ten-day stretch of schedule with regards to the fate of the 2019 Tacoma Rainiers.

First place Sacramento comes to town to open a three-game series tonight. After an off-day on Monday, the Rainiers hit the road and play three games in Reno, followed by three more at Sacramento. Six of the next nine games are against the River Cats.

Tacoma is three games behind Sacramento. Manager Daren Brown said he is looking at the entire six-game stretch against Sacramento, and not just the three here at home. Realistically, he’d like to see four wins in the six games, and a split is acceptable since there is still over a month of season left. As you can imagine, he’s not particularly interested in losing more than three games to the Cats.

The Rainiers caught the first break of the series, with the River Cats having pitching problems. They played a doubleheader in Salt Lake on Tuesday. Last night their parent club, the Giants, played a 16-inning game and have to make roster moves – one of which caused the scratching of tonight’s listed starter for Sacramento, Ty Blach. An emergency fill-in from Class-A San Jose named Aaron Phillips is flying in to Tacoma to make his Triple-A debut for the River Cats.

It’s going to be fun these next few days. Hopefully you can make it out to the park this weekend!

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Jose Lobaton hit a pair of three-run homers as the Rainiers knocked out Las Vegas, 9-3, and earned a split of the four-game series. It was Lobaton’s first multi-home run game since August 25, 2008 when he was playing for (then) Double-A San Antonio. Tacoma’s bullpen delivered four scoreless innings to seal the win.

ROSTER MOVES: Mac Williamson, who was was outrighted to Tacoma on Wednesday, is expected to arrive in town late tonight and be activated on Saturday.

TODAY: Sacramento (51-47) at Tacoma (48-50), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.

SEASON SERIES: Sacramento leads, 7-3.

PITCHERS: RHP Aaron Phillips (–) at LHP Sean Nolin (3-0, 2.45)

HOT HITTERS: Tim Lopes has an 11-game hitting streak… John Andreoli has a nine-game hitting streak… Ian Miller leads the PCL in stolen bases with 25.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento went 3-2 in a five-game series at Salt Lake, and is 5-4 since the all-star break… Zach Green has hit 23 home runs, and he missed a month with an injury and has only played in 64 games… Francisco Pena has a seven-game hitting streak, and he has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games… Joey Rickard has reached base safely in 14 straight games… Chris Shaw went 11-for-22 in the series at Salt Lake.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento has former Rainiers switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. River Cats manager Dave Brundage played, coached, and managed (2006) for Tacoma.

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 from The News Tribune includes a detailed section on reliever Gerson Bautista.
  • The Mariners start a long homestand tonight and Lauren Smith has a preview.
  • It’s trade season (Jerry Dipoto scoffs and says “it’s always trade season, you imbeciles!”) so Ryan Divish has a look at the Mariners trade chips.

In the PCL:

  • Salt Lake beat Sacramento, 9-6, as former Rainiers infielder Nick Franklin drove a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning for the Bees. Wilfredo Tovar added a three-run blast. Brennon Lund has been playing better for the Bees.
  • Fresno overcame an 8-2 deficit by scoring seven runs in the top of the sixth inning and went on to beat Albuquerque, 10-9. Andrew Stevenson had three hits for the Grizzlies.
  • El Paso hit four homers and had solid pitching in a 7-4 win at Reno. The Chihuahuas crossed the 200 home run mark – only one PCL team had hit 200 home runs in a season since 2000, and that was Fresno in 2017 with exactly 200.
  • Erick Mejia‘s sac fly in the bottom of the tenth inning gave Omaha a 10-9 win over New Orleans.
  • Red-hot Trent Grisham and Hernan Perez each hit three doubles as San Antonio won its eighth straight game, 5-3 over Nashville.
  • Memphis doubled up Round Rock, 10-5, as John Nogowski hit a pair of homers for the Redbirds.
  • Oklahoma City scored nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Iowa, 18-5. Iowa catcher Taylor Davis pitched the top of the ninth and gave up three homers. Kyle Garlick homered three times for the Dodgers (two off real pitchers), and Gavin Lux went 5-for-6 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

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