The Tacoma Rainiers open a seven-game road trip tonight in Oklahoma City, where the first three games will be played. Oklahoma City is in the Central Time Zone, so we are two hours off and first pitch will be at 5:05 (Pacific).
Temperatures here will be in the low-100s all week. Today we are supposed to top out at 103, and cool off to 101 by game time.
Tacoma will also be dealing with the hottest hitter in professional baseball. Oklahoma City Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux was promoted to Triple-A at the end of June, and he has been on a crazy tear every day since then.
The 21-year-old shortstop has played in 30 games, and he has reached base in all of them. He has hit safely in 28 of the 30 games. Lux has multiple hits in 17 of the 30 games. His batting average is .452, and his on-base percentage is .537. He’s hit nine homers in the 30 games. He gets even better when the situation is important: he’s hitting .615 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The whole thing is just ridiculous, how hot he is. Apparently Los Angeles is going to wait until September to call him up – and there is no guarantee they will do it then.
It’s OK to do a little celebration every time Tacoma gets him out this week.
YESTERDAY: The entire PCL was off yesterday. On Monday the Rainiers lost to Iowa, 10-1, as the Cubs had 16 hits. Tacoma allowed 10+ runs for the 24th time this season, but in this game it came out of the blue: the score was 1-1 going to the sixth inning. Iowa won the series, 3-1, and the Rainiers went 3-4 on the homestand.
ROSTER MOVES: On Monday the Rainiers placed outfielder Jake Fraley on the 7-day injured list with a tight quad. Outfielder Billy Cooke joined the Rainiers from Everett on Monday, and was sent right back to Everett after the game. The M’s ended the rehabilitation assignments of Tim Lopes and reliever Brandon Brennan, adding both to the major league roster. Reliever Gerson Bautista was optioned to Tacoma. The Rainiers lost reliever David McKay on a waiver claim by the Detroit Tigers.
TODAY: Tacoma (52-62) at Oklahoma City (52-61), 5:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Dodgers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Travis Barbary.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Nabil Crismatt (0-3, 8.24) at RHP J.D. Martin (2-0, 4.08)
Martin, who has spent the majority of the season with Double-A Tulsa, has not pitched in the majors since 2010. It would be quite a story if he gets called up.
HOT HITTERS: Ian Miller has reached base safely in 11 straight games. He leads the PCL in stolen bases with 27, and he ranks third on the Tacoma all-time list with 73 career steals… John Andreoli has a five-game hitting streak, going 7-for-16 with seven walks during the stretch.
OPPONENT NEWS: Oklahoma City just lost three-of-four in a series at Las Vegas, allowing ten or more runs in all three losses… however, after a dismal first three months of the season, the Dodgers have gone 18-11 since July 4th… since being promoted to Triple-A on June 27, highly-ranked prospect Gavin Lux has batted .452 with a .537 OBP and nine homers in 30 games… Edwin Rios has a 13-game hitting streak.
FAMILIAR FACES: The only active ex-Rainiers player on the OKC active roster is pitcher Logan Bawcom. They have outfielder Cameron Perkins on the injured list, and their pitching coach Bill Simas briefly played for Tacoma in 2004.
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.
- Uh-oh. In this News Tribune story about Rainiers reliever Ryan Garton, Garton accuses pitching coach Lance Painter of cheating at golf. Drama!
- MiLB.com has a story on Gavin Lux reaching base five times on Monday night. That’s just another day at the office for him – he’s on a super mega tear.
- The Mariners lost to the Padres last night, but Tim Lopes connected for his first major league home run.
- Ryan Divish has a thorough report on all of the Mariners roster moves and players about to start rehabilitation assignments.
- Mariners infielder Tim Beckham picked up an 80-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, effectively ending his time with the organization.
- Baseball America has a story on the amazing effect the MLB baseball has had on Triple-A this year. Two Rainiers pitchers appear in this story (and would probably rather not). Fangraphs has a story more focused on the difficulty of evaluating Triple-A players because of the new baseball.
In the PCL:
The whole league was off yesterday for travel purposes. The big news on Monday night was that Las Vegas pulled into a tie for first place with El Paso in the Pac-South. Vegas scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Oklahoma City, 10-9, while El Paso was getting walloped by a rehabilitating Yadier Molina and Memphis, 10-4.