Tacoma rolled into Las Vegas and took down the Aviators on Friday night, 4-2, getting terrific relief pitching from Zac Grotz and Matt Festa to seal the win.
The victory slowed down the playoff clinching plans of the Aviators, who have a two-game lead over El Paso in the Pacific-South division with three games to play. Because El Paso will win the tiebreaker if they reach that point, Las Vegas’s “magic number” to clinch is two.
The winner of the Pac-South will play Sacramento in the best-of-five Pacific Conference playoffs starting on Wednesday night at Raley Field.
Both American Conference divisions were clinched last night: Iowa won the American-North after a surprisingly long battle with Memphis, and Round Rock clinched the American-South over a San Antonio team that had been in first place for much of the summer.
Let’s see if the Rainiers can continue to annoy Las Vegas tonight!
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers rallied to score three runs in the top of the eighth inning and beat Las Vegas in the series opener on Friday night, 4-2. Jaycob Brugman hit the go-ahead two-run single, and John Andreoli had four hits. The Rainiers had two scoreless innings of relief from both Zac Grotz and Matt Festa.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers activated Shed Long from the injured list and transferred Kevin Santa to Everett.
TODAY: Tacoma (60-76) at Las Vegas (81-56), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan. Riordan was voted the PCL Manager of the Year earlier this week.
SEASON SERIES: Las Vegas leads, 8-5.
PITCHERS: LHP Anthony Misiewicz (7-6, 5.62) at RHP Grant Holmes (–)
HOT HITTERS: Jaycob Brugman has hit seven homers and driven in 27 runs over his last 16 games… John Andreoli is 11-for-18 with six RBI on this road trip… Eric Filia has reached base safely in 14 straight games, and 21 of the last 22, and he is 8-for-14 on the road trip
OPPONENT NEWS: After sweeping Tacoma last weekend, Las Vegas went to Albuquerque and lost three of four. They also lost three key players: Seth Brown and Sheldon Neuse got called up, and Nick Martini was lost on waivers… Mark Payton and Alfonso Rivas have five-game hitting streaks.
FAMILIAR FACES: Las Vegas pitching coach and PCL veteran Rick Rodriguez pitched for the Tacoma Tigers from 1983 to 1987. Catcher Cameron Rupp played for Tacoma last year.
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.
- Because top prospect Jesus Luzardo of Las Vegas had a terrific outing last night, we have an MiLB.com write-up of the game.
- The Mariners lost in Texas last night.
- All of the guys who have been rehabbing with the Rainiers recently flew to Texas and will be activated when the roster expands tomorrow.
- Erik Swanson has been doing a nice job in the bullpen recently, Lauren Smith writes.
In the PCL:
- Sacramento beat El Paso in ten innings, 2-1, to keep the Chihuahuas two games behind Las Vegas in the Pac-South with three games to play. Jaylin Davis had the game-winning RBI.
- Raudy Read went 3-for-3 with a double, a homer, and three RBI as Fresno took down Albuquerque, 6-5.
- Reno took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning at Salt Lake, blew it, but then scored five runs in the top of the tenth and took down the Bees, 13-9. Kevin Cron had four hits and somehow they were all singles (wut?). Jared Walsh hit two home runs for the Bees, giving him 36 on the year.
- Iowa clinched the American-North with a 5-1 win over Memphis. The Cubs scored all five runs in the bottom of the first inning, with Robel Garcia hitting a grand slam.
- Round Rock backed into the American-South title. They were shut out by Jake Kalish and Omaha, 4-0, but won the division because…
- San Antonio lost in Nashville, 6-5. Patrick Wisdom snapped a 5-5 tie with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, knocking the Missions out of playoff contention.
- New Orleans starter Joe Gunkel was dealing as the Baby Cakes picked up a 6-1 win at Oklahoma City.