When Jaycob Brugman launched his 21st home run of the year on Monday night in Fresno, he pushed himself into rare territory in recent Tacoma Rainiers history.
Brugman became the first Tacoma player to hit 21 homers in a single season since 2016, when Stefen Romero did it.
Since 2011, only three Tacoma players have hit more than 21 homers in a single season: Jabari Blash and Patrick Kivlehan each hit 22 home runs in 2015, and Alex Liddi had his massive 30-homer season in 2011.
If you want to take it back to the start of the decade, the PCL champion Rainiers had two sluggers in 2010: Greg Halman hit 33 homers, and Mike Carp had 29.
Brugman has joined these Rainiers power hitters while playing in just 72 games. He did not join the team until June 1, when the Mariners signed him.
As an aside, I can’t help but wonder how many homers Blash would hit in a full season of 140 PCL games with these juiced-up major league baseballs we are playing with this season. He’d reach forty for sure, right?
Awards Week continues in the PCL, and today the league announced its Rookie of the Year.
Ty France, come on down!
The El Paso third baseman – who is also the favorite to win the MVP award later this week – was called up by the no-fun San Diego Padres with his batting average sitting at .399. He was bidding to become the first PCL player to hit .400 since Ox Eckhardt in 1933. Instead, he was pitching in a blowout for the Padres last night.
Apparently he beat Albuquerque’s Sam Hilliard in a close vote. Read more about the PCL Rookie of the Year here.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma ended its six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win in Fresno on Tuesday night. Starting pitcher Sean Nolin was terrific, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing just two singles and a walk. Nolin retired the final 12 batters he faced and had thrown only 83 pitches when the Rainiers went to the bullpen in the eighth inning.
TODAY: Tacoma (59-74) at Fresno (59-75), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Washington Nationals.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Randy Knorr.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 9-5.
The Rainiers clinched a win of the season series against Fresno.
PITCHERS: RHP Andrew Moore (0-4, 8.08) at RHP J.J. Hoover (5-6, 8.08)
We are 133 games into the season and each starter has an ERA of exactly 8.08. Weird.
HOT HITTERS: Jaycob Brugman has hit six homers and driven in 18 runs over his last 13 games… Eric Filia has reached base safely in 12 straight games, and 19 of the last 20, and he has five hits over the first to games of this series in Fresno.
OPPONENT NEWS: Fresno is back home after a three-city, 11-game road trip. They got swept in Tacoma, lost two-of-three in El Paso, and split in Albuquerque for a 3-8 record on the lengthy journey… Fresno was 52-49 on July 21st and then lost 22 of the next 25 games to fall into last place… Yadiel Hernandez homered three times in Albuquerque and has a six-game hitting streak… Raudy Read has a six-game hitting streak with three homers… Taylor Gushue has a five-game hitting streak.
FAMILIAR FACES: Fresno infielder Luis Sardinas played for Tacoma in 2016… Grizzlies reliever Joan Baez is not the folk singer.
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 got shut out by the Yankees last night, 7-0.
- James Paxton makes his return to the mound at Safeco err T-Mobile Park today.
In the PCL:
- Those Reno Aces are like cockroaches, they just can’t be eliminated. Sacramento’s magic number to clinch the Pac-North is still one (and has been for three straight days), because Reno beat ’em again last night 5-4. The Aces had a terrific start from Bradin Hagens, who allowed one hit over seven innings. Josh Prince and Domingo Leyba hit back-to-back homers in the sixth.
- El Paso closed the gap on first place Las Vegas in the Pac-South. The Chihuahuas topped Salt Lake, 7-6, using a go-ahead home run by Peter Van Gansen in the sixth inning. El Paso is now only two games out.
- Las Vegas lost in Albuquerque, 10-6. Elliot Soto and Pat Valaika each had three hits, and Brian Mundell hit a three-run homer.
- Round Rock opened up a three game lead in the American-South by beating San Antonio again, 4-3. It was 4-0 after Express starter Kent Emmanuel delivered eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Pressure is on the Missions; they need to start winning now.
- Iowa lost at Oklahoma City, 5-2, as Kyle Garlick homered twice for the Dodgers. Logan Bawcom had a terrific start, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing one run. Iowa leads Memphis by five games with six to play, and they finish the season with a four-game series against one another in Iowa.
- Memphis split a doubleheader in New Orleans, making up for Monday’s rain out. The Redbirds won the first game 3-2 behind the pitching of Jake Woodford. The second game was a thriller, with Memphis tying the game 4-4 in the top of the seventh on a three-run homer by Randy Arozarena, only to get walked off in the bottom of the inning on Magneuris Sierra‘s RBI single.
- Omaha took down Nashville, 8-5. Storm Chasers starter Foster Griffin allowed two runs over six strong innings to earn his eighth win.