Early Game Today As Rainiers Look To Even Series With Sheffield On Mound

April 17, 2019

This is an early one. Let’s get right to it.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The Rainiers opened the seven-game road trip with a dud in El Paso, falling by a score of 13-5. The bright spot was the newly added Orlando Calixte, who started at third base and went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Concerningly, Tacoma has allowed 10+ runs in three of the last four games, and six of 13 overall.

ROSTER MOVES: There are online reports that the Mariners are signing Christian Bergman to boost the Tacoma rotation, which jives with things I’m hearing. I’ll let you know if/when it becomes official – there is no guarantee; there were recent reports they were signing Neftali Feliz and that ended up not happening.

TODAY: Tacoma (5-8) at El Paso (6-6), 10:05 AM (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Edwin Rodriguez.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 2-2.

PITCHERS: LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.19) at LHP Dietrich Enns (1-0, 5.63)

Sheffield is hoping to show some improved fastball command in this third start for the Rainiers. Dietrich Enns should have a lot more than two “n”s in his name, don’t you think? Dietrich Nnnnnnnnz would be way cooler.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has an 11-game hitting streak, going 15-for-44 during the stretch… Austin Nola has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, and he leads the team with 11 RBI… Ian Miller has four hits and seven RBI in his last two games.

OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso has won five in a row… Jose Pirela has been red-hot, collecting 16 hits and 14 RBI during an eight-game hitting streak… former Rainier Seth Mejias-Brean has a nine-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: Seth Mejias-Brean – the Rainiers third baseman for the last season-and-a-half – is now with El Paso after signing with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason. They also have former Rainiers outfielder Boog Powell on the injured list.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 9:50 AM 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 Mariners lost their fifth straight game, a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. They did homer, making it 20 straight games with a dinger. Three takeaways from the game.
  • MiLB.com has a story on the suddenly hot-hitting Jarred Kelenic of the Mariners Low-A West Virginia affiliate.
  • The website also has some PCL Notes.

In the PCL:

  • Mill Creek’s Travis Snider homered twice in Reno’s 10-1 win at Albuquerque. ‘Topes manager Glenallen Hill is trying to stay positive.
  • Las Vegas scored five runs in the top of the ninth sand took down Sacramento, 8-4. The Aviators are 11-2.
  • Fresno’s nine-run third inning propelled the Grizzlies to a 16-9 victory over visiting Salt Lake. Top prospect Carter Kieboom doubled, homered, and drove in four runs.
  • Oklahoma City scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and stunned Omaha, 13-12. What a comeback!
  • Yordan Alvarez hit a grand slam in the first inning – his league leading seventh homer of the season – and Round Rock coasted to an 11-2 win at Nashville.
  • Memphis added Johan Mieses from Double-A, put him in the lineup, and watched him hit a grand slam to help the Redbirds take down San Antonio, 8-7.
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Milone Delivers When Rainiers Really Needed Him

April 15, 2019

Boy, was that ever needed.

Tommy Milone delivered seven shutout innings – walking just one – and the Rainiers whitewashed the Albuquerque Isotopes on Monday afternoon, 10-0.

Milone was in complete command while turning in the best start of any Rainiers pitcher so far this season. He needed just 88 pitches to last seven innings. He had perfect command and kept the Albuquerque hitters off-balance all day. It was all soft ground balls and routine fly outs while Milone was on the hill.

With the big lead, Tacoma turned to 18-year-old Deivy Florido to finish the game – and he did, allowing three hits and a walk but no runs to finish off the combined shutout. It was the US debut for Florido, who was summoned from extended spring training to add a fresh arm to Tacoma’s worn-out bullpen. For farm system watchers, look for Florido to pitch in the Arizona Rookie League or possible Everett when the short-season leagues open in June.

The Milone-Florido duo gave the overworked Rainiers bullpen a much-needed day of rest. The guys in the pen have been used too much for this point in the season, with the short early season starts combined with two ‘bullpen days’ during the last week. The break today was terrific for all of them.

Meanwhile, the Rainiers offense cooked up another ten runs. Speedster Ian Miller decided to act like Mike Trout for a day, ripping a two-run triple and a three-run homer to drive in a career-best five runs. Tito Polo hit two key doubles, and Joey Curletta lined his first Cheney Stadium homer over the left field fence.

Tacoma finished the homestand with a 4-3 record, and salvaged a split of the Albuquerque series. Now it’s on to El Paso to face the suddenly hot Chihuahuas for three games in their little doggie house, and then four more games against the Isotopes – but at their place this time.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: In a beautiful turnaround, the Tacoma Rainiers shut out Albuquerque on Monday afternoon, 10-0. Tommy Milone delivered seven shutout innings, and 18-year-old Deivy Florido finished the combined six-hitter. Ian Miller tripled, homered, and drove in a career-high five runs while Joey Curletta added a three-run homer.

ROSTER MOVE: Infielder/outfielder Orlando Calixte joins the Rainiers today, filling the roster at 25. Calixte was a minor league free agent signed during the winter, but he arrived at spring training very late due to work visa issues. He’s now here, has a little extended spring training under his belt, and is ready to play. After Monday’s game, Deivy Florido was transferred back to extended spring training, and Penn Murfee was added from extended.

TODAY: Tacoma (5-7) at El Paso (5-6), 6:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Edwin Rodriguez.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Tyler Danish (0-2, 18.41) at RHP Cal Quantrill (1-1, 8.31)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has a ten-game hitting streak, going 14-for-40 during the stretch… Austin Nola has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, and he leads the team with 11 RBI… Shed Long leads the league with 15 runs scored.

OPPONENT NEWS: After the Rainiers walked off El Paso twice in a row on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the Chihuahuas beat Tacoma in the final game of the series, then flew to Reno and wiped out the Aces three straight games before the series finale was suspended after ten innings tied 5-5… Jose Pirela has been red hot, collecting 12 hits and 13 RBI during a six-game hitting streak… former Rainier Seth Mejias-Brean has an eight-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: Seth Mejias-Brean – the Rainiers third baseman for the last season-and-a-half – is now with El Paso after signing with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason. They also have former Rainiers outfielder Boog Powell on the injured list.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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:

In the PCL:

  • El Paso and Reno were tied 5-5 after ten innings and suspended the game due to a travel curfew. It will be completed on July 15th lol. Kevin Cron‘s three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning tied it up.
  • Sacramento at Salt Lake was rained out; they’re gonna make it up in July.
  • Seth Brown hit three homers and drove in six runs as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 7-6. Brown, a Triple-A rookie, is from Medford, Oregon.
  • Nashville hit four home runs including a three-run blast by Willie Calhoun and beat San Antonio, 10-5.
  • Elieser Hernandez pitched well for 4.2 innings as he adjusts to the starting rotation and New Orleans took down Omaha, 4-3.
  • Memphis tore up top prospect Forrest Whitley and steamrolled the Round Rock Express, 10-2. Whitley got knocked out in the second inning.
  • One-time Mariners prospect Drew Jackson went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored as the Oklahoma City Dodgers took care of Iowa, 10-5.

That Escalated Quickly

April 15, 2019

That old saying is constantly proven true: if you keep going to the ballpark, you’ll see something you have never seen before.

On Sunday the Rainiers were leading 8-0 going to the seventh inning. Ryan Garton started and pitched four terrific shutout innings, Robinson Leyer followed with two scoreless of his own, and the Rainiers offense was clicking.

Then Albuquerque scored 17 runs in the final three innings, including a ten-spot in the top of the ninth.

Now, the last five runs were scored with a position player on the mound – Kristopher Negron, who was pressed into pitching for his first time this season. But the first 12 runs came against Rainiers relievers, two of whom have pitched in the majors and the other having been Tacoma’s best bullpen performer this season.

Walks, once again, were a big part of the problem.

After issuing ten walks in the 11-2 loss to Albuquerque on Saturday, Tacoma pitchers allowed just two walks over the first six innings on Sunday. Then they walked nine over the final three innings, topping Saturday’s total with 11. The Rainiers lead the league in walks issued, and if that continues we will not be watching a winning team this season.

One positive from Sunday is that the offense keeps producing. The lineup may not have a big home run bopper, but it does have good, patient hitters top-to-bottom with speed and doubles pop. These types of rallies are a lot of fun to watch.

Hours after Sunday’s game, I found myself laughing in wonder at the overall ridiculousness of it. I mean… 8-0 to the seventh, then allow 17 runs? Wut?

It’s not the worst lead I have seen the Rainiers blow. That is still the 6-0, 2 outs in the ninth, nobody on base loss to Oklahoma City in 2013. Hard to top that one, but I’m sure if we wait long enough it will eventually happen.

The Rainiers can still secure a winning homestand and a split of the Albuquerque series with a win today in the early game. First pitch is set for 11:35 – hopefully Tommy Milone and the bullpen can keep the walks to a minimum.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Generally speaking, if you score 17 runs over the last three innings, you’re gonna win. Despite trailing 8-0 going to the seventh inning, the Isotopes beat the Rainiers on Sunday afternoon, 17-9.

ROSTER MOVE: Tacoma added 18-year-old pitcher Deivy Florido from extended spring training yesterday, and transferred pitcher Penn Murfee back to extended. Catcher David Freitas was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Class-A reliever Sal Biasi.

TODAY: Albuquerque (7-4) at Tacoma (4-7), 11:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Glenallen Hill.

SEASONS SERIES: Albuquerque leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Peter Lambert (0-0, 5.19) at LHP Tommy Milone (0-0, 7.00)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has a nine-game hitting streak, going 13-for-36 during the stretch… Austin Nola has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, and he leads the team with 11 RBI… Shed Long leads the league with 15 runs scored.

OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque opened the season by going 4-1 in a homestand against Salt Lake, but then they went to Reno and lost two-of-three… rookie first baseman Roberto Ramos homered in his first three Triple-A games to open the season… Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 with a cycle and two homers on Wednesday, he followed that up by going 2-for-4 with another homer Thursday night.

FAMILIAR FACES: The Isotopes don’t have any former Rainiers or local players on the roster, but they do have David Holman who is part of the Pitching Holman Family that has Mariners ties. His father Brian pitched three seasons for Seattle (1989-1991), and his uncle Brad is a former Mariners minor league pitching coach who had a brief stint in the majors with the club.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 11:20 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 Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep at Seattle with a 3-2 win on Sunday. Three takeaways from the game. Hopefully the Mariners can get it turned around against a Cleveland team that is having trouble scoring and just got swept by the Royals.
  • The Mariners farm system received its reverse-Karma from the Rainiers loss in the form of Double-A Arkansas winning a game with no hits. Not kidding – they got no-hit and won.

In the PCL:

  • Las Vegas finally took its second loss of the season. Fresno got ’em, 6-5, as third baseman Jacob Wilson homered twice and drove in four runs.
  • Sacramento lefty Andrew Suarez tossed a gem as the River Cats took down Salt Lake, 2-1. Suarez pitched 6.1 shutout innings.
  • A seven-run fourth inning led El Paso to a 12-4 win at Reno, and the Chihuahuas are going for a rare four-game road sweep today.
  • It was Death By A Thousand Singles as Omaha edged New Orleans, 11-10. Omaha had 17 hits and 15 of them were singles – they also hit two doubles and stole six bases.
  • Tyler Saladino remains hot, hitting a triple and driving in two runs for San Antonio in a 5-4 win over visiting Nashville.
  • Five Iowa Cubs pitchers combined on a four-hitter in a 4-3 win over Oklahoma City.
  • Kentwood High School product Taylor Jones launched a three-run homer to help Round Rock top Memphis, 7-6.

Daytime Baseball Today And Tomorrow

April 14, 2019

The Rainiers got roughed up on Saturday, but today is a new day. We’ve got day games today (1:35) and tomorrow (11:35) to close out the honestand.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Albuquerque scored three runs in the top of the first inning, added four more in the third, and never looked back in an 11-2 win over the Rainiers on Saturday evening. Craig Gentry, Roberto Ramos, and Noel Cuevas each had three hits for the ‘Topes. For Tacoma, Jose Lobaton hit a solo homer.

ROSTER MOVE: The Mariners recalled RHP Erik Swanson, to take Wade LeBlanc‘s spot on the active roster. Tacoma will be adding a pitcher from extended spring training today to help out the staff.

TODAY: Albuquerque (6-4) at Tacoma (4-6), 1:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Glenallen Hill.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez (1-0, 1.29) at RHP Ryan Garton (1-0, 7.50)

Gonzalez had a nice run as a rookie in the Texas Rangers rotation in 2015, but he has missed the last two seasons with “Tommy John” surgery. It’s a bullpen day for the Tacoma Rainiers, and Garton gets to go first. The Mariners need to acquire another Triple-A starting pitcher.

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has an eight-game hitting streak, going 11-for-32 during the stretch… Austin Nola has hit safely in six of his last seven games, and he leads the team with nine RBI.

OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque opened the season by going 4-1 in a homestand against Salt Lake, but then they went to Reno and lost two-of-three… rookie first baseman Roberto Ramos homered in his first three Triple-A games to open the season… Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 with a cycle and two homers on Wednesday, he followed that up by going 2-for-4 with another homer Thursday night.

FAMILIAR FACES: The Isotopes don’t have any former Rainiers or local players on the roster, but they do have David Holman who is part of the Pitching Holman Family that has Mariners ties. His father Brian pitched three seasons for Seattle (1989-1991), and his uncle Brad is a former Mariners minor league pitching coach who had a brief stint in the majors with the club.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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:

In the PCL:

  • El Paso hammered 16 hits in a 12-7 win at Reno. After a solid five innings from starter Anthony Vasquez, the Reno bullpen gave up 11 runs.
  • Salt Lake topped Sacramento, 4-3, with a two-run homer in the sixth inning by Jose Briceno the big hit.
  • Las Vegas improved to 9-1 on the season with a 6-2 win over Fresno. Mark Payton hit a pedestrian .259 in the International League last year but he’s been torching the ball for Vegas, collecting three more hits on Saturday and batting .483-5-15 in eight games.
  • New Orleans and Omaha split a doubleheader. Former Rainiers pitcher Hector Noesi pitched five shutout inning and earned the win in the opener for New Orleans.
  • Oklahoma City and Iowa split a pair of low-scoring games in Des Moines.
  • Each of the top two hitters in the Memphis lineup (Tommy Edman and Lane Thomas) had three hits in a 9-4 win at Round Rock.
  • San Antonio’s Tyler Saladino homered twice in a 5-3 victory over Nashville.

Rainiers Break Out In 10-3 Win Over Isotopes

April 13, 2019

Tacoma banged out 13 hits and reached double digits in the runs column for the second time this season, coasting to a 10-3 win over Albuquerque on Friday night.

The Rainiers 3-4-5-6 hitters each had multiple hits as Tacoma put together three different rallies. The team scored three runs in the second inning, four runs in the fifth inning, and three more runs in the seventh.

Starting pitcher Justus Sheffield struggled with his control for the second straight start, yet he survived four innings. He allowed five hits and three walks, giving up two runs (one earned) and striking out two. He threw 82 pitches, 42 strikes.

You can see that Sheffield has good stuff. It will be fun to watch him once he gets his control ironed out.

Today Tacoma has a chance to get back to the .500 mark on the year. The Rainiers are 3-1 on the homestand after the 1-4 road trip that started the season.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma put together three different multiple-run innings on the way to a 10-3 win over Albuquerque on Friday night, matching the club’s largest run total of the season. Shed Long had three hits and scored three runs, David Freitas scored three times, and Austin Nola drove in three runs. Tayler Scott earned the win in relief by pitching two perfect innings.

TODAY: Albuquerque (5-4) at Tacoma (4-5), 5:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Glenallen Hill.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Ryan Castellani (0-0, 4.50) at RHP Nabil Crismatt (0-0, 6.35)

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has a seven-game hitting streak, going 10-for-28 during the stretch… Austin Nola has hit safely in six of his last seven games, and he leads the team with nine RBI… Shed Long is 7-for-11 on the current homestand.

OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque opened the season by going 4-1 in a homestand against Salt Lake, but then they went to Reno and lost two-of-three… rookie first baseman Roberto Ramos homered in his first three Triple-A games to open the season… Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 with a cycle and two homers on Wednesday, he followed that up by going 2-for-4 with another homer Thursday night.

FAMILIAR FACES: The Isotopes don’t have any former Rainiers or local players on the roster, but they do have David Holman who is part of the Pitching Holman Family that has Mariners ties. His father Brian pitched three seasons for Seattle (1989-1991), and his uncle Brad is a former Mariners minor league pitching coach who had a brief stint in the majors with the club.

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.

Links:

In The PCL:

  • Showing that the clutch gene can be hereditary, Sacramento’s Mike Yastrzemski hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning of a 4-2 win at Salt Lake.
  • Jose Pirela had two hits and drove in four runs as El Paso picked up a 6-4 victory at Reno, spoiling Jon Duplantier‘s Triple-A debut.
  • Las Vegas improved to 8-1 on the year with a 9-8 win over visiting Fresno. The Aviators scored the winning run in the eighth inning on a wild pitch. Rickey Henderson gives the new Las Vegas ballpark thumbs up. If it’s good enough for Rickey, it’s good enough for me.
  • Round Rock’s Derek Fisher hit his fifth home run of the season, and it was a two-run go-ahead shot in the eighth inning to beat Memphis 4-2. Under-the-radar pitching prospect Corbin Martin delivered 5.2 innings of one-hit ball for the Express, striking out nine.
  • Nashville waited until the eighth inning before deciding to score seven runs and beat the San Antonio Missions, 7-3. Matt Davidson hit a three-run homer during the big rally.
  • Both New Orleans at Omaha and Oklahoma City at Iowa were postponed due to freezing temperatures.

Rainiers Miss Out On Sweep, Shuffle Pitching Staff

April 12, 2019

The Rainiers missed out on a sweep of El Paso, dropping the last game of the three-game series 6-2 on Thursday night. Now the Albuquerque Isotopes come to town for a four-game series. It’s our first Friday Night Fireworks of the 2019 season.

The Isotopes flew in from Reno this morning, where they lost two-of-three to the Aces including a tough 7-6 defeat last night. They have been scoring a lot of runs to open the season – we’ll see if that continues in their first games played at sea level.

Tacoma sends Justus Sheffield to the hill tonight for his second start. Sheffield was wild in his Tacoma Rainiers debut on Sunday in Sacramento, struggling mightily with control of his fastball. Look for him to turn it around tonight.

The Mariners made some roster moves with the pitching staff earlier today. They optioned Erik Swanson to Tacoma, and he’ll re-join the Rainiers starting rotation when he reports. Also coming to Tacoma is reliever Matt Festa, who will be making his Triple-A debut (well after his MLB debut) when he appears in a game.

Tacoma reliever Ruben Alaniz was summoned to Seattle and will probably make his big league debut this weekend; the right-hander has terrific stuff and will hopefully contribute up north. Seattle also activated Shawn Armstrong from the injured list.

With the incredible numbers that the Mariners lineup is putting up in the big leagues, it appears that the majority of the roster moves early in the season will involve the pitching staff.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Tacoma’s bid for a three-game sweep of El Paso did not come to fruition, as the Chihuahuas were able to salvage the final game of the series, 6-2. A three-run homer by outfielder Michael Gettys sealed the game for El Paso in the sixth inning.

ROSTER MOVES: Today the Mariners optioned pitchers Erik Swanson and Matt Festa to Tacoma, they called up reliever Ruben Alaniz, and activated reliever Shawn Armstrong from the injured list.

TODAY: Albuquerque (5-3) at Tacoma (3-5), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Glenallen Hill.

SEASONS SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: LHP Evan Grills (1-0, 0.00) at LHP Jordan Sheffield (0-1, 7.71)

Sheffield had trouble harnessing his fastball control in his Rainiers debut on Sunday; he’s looking to get that squared away tonight. Evan Grills is an incomplete sentence. What is he grilling? Burgers?

HOT HITTERS: J.P. Crawford has a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-23 during the stretch… all other Rainiers hitting streaks ended last night, as only Crawford and Eric Young Jr. were able to get hits.

OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque opened the season by going 4-1 in a homestand against Salt Lake, but then they went to Reno and lost two-of-three… rookie first baseman Roberto Ramos homered in his first three Triple-A games to open the season… Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 with a cycle and two homers on Wednesday, he followed that up by going 2-for-4 with another homer last night… Dom Nunez has homered in his last two games.

FAMILIAR FACES: the Isotopes don’t have any former Rainiers or local players on the roster, but they do have David Holman who is part of the Pitching Holman Family that has Mariners ties. His father Brian pitched three seasons for Seattle (1989-1991), and his uncle Brad is a former Mariners minor league pitching coach who had a brief stint in the majors with the club.

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:

In the PCL:

  • Reno’s Kevin Cron homered and drove in four runs in a 7-6 win over Albuquerque.
  • Jorge Mateo and Sean Murphy each had four hits as the Las Vegas Aviators blew out Sacramento for the third day in a row to finish a sweep. However, is was Sacramento’s Zach Green who hit the first home run in the history of Las Vegas Ballpark.
  • Down 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Salt Lake scored five runs and emerged with a 5-4 win over Fresno. Matt Thaiss had three hits.
  • Dixon Machado launched a walk-off homer and Iowa beat New Orleans, 5-4. The Des Moines Register has a story on Ian Happ and his surprising demotion to Triple-A.
  • Round Rock’s four-run eighth inning led to an 8-6 victory over Nashville. Myles Straw doubled, tripled, and scored three runs.
  • Memphis won at San Antonio, 6-3, as Rangel Ravelo drove in three runs.
  • Oklahoma City at Omaha was postponed, and the Storm Chasers have already postponed tonight’s game due to “high winds and bitter cold.”

Shed’s Long Homer Wins It For Tacoma

April 11, 2019

Shed Long introduced himself to the Tacoma Rainiers die-hard fans on Wednesday night, and I think they like him.

On a cold, damp night at the ballpark, Long sent everybody home with a massive walk-off home run, culminating a 4-for-4 night. The Rainiers beat El Paso, 7-5, and are going for a three-game series sweep tonight.

Long’s moon shot came off left-handed reliever Sammy Solis, who has spent big chunks of the last three seasons in the Washington Nationals bullpen. Long is a left-handed hitter, but he has been stroking PCL lefties so far this season to the tune of a .429 average (6-for-14 with one homer).

The ball went soaring over the scoreboard in right-center. Here’s the highlight, in case you missed it:

Tacoma has played two home games this season, and has had two walk-off victories. The 2018 Tacoma Rainiers had only two walk-off wins all season!

Another early season trend: the Rainiers have won three games, and they have trailed at some point in all three of them.

Of Tacoma’s seven games, four have been decided in either the ninth or extra innings.

Now let’s see if the Rainiers can finish off these little doggies.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: Shed Long‘s first Triple-A home run was a bomb over the scoreboard in right-center, a two-run walk-off job that gave Tacoma a 7-5 win on Wednesday night. Long finished the game 4-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Hitting right in front of Long in the lineup, Jose Lobaton went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. The duo accounted for eight of Tacoma’s 12 hits in the game.

TODAY: El Paso (1-6) at Tacoma (3-4), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Edwin Rodriguez.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Cal Quantrill (0-1, 18.00) at RHP Tyler Danish (0-1, 38.57)

Each starter is looking to bounce back from a tough first outing of the season.

HOT HITTERS: Braden Bishop had his first hitless game last night… Kristopher Negron, Austin Nola, and J.P. Crawford each have a five-game hitting streak… Jose Lobaton has a four-game hitting streak, including a four-hit performance last night.

OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso lost four-of-five at home to the Las Vegas Aviators and brings a five-game losing streak into tonight’s contest… Josh Naylor has hit safely in the season’s first seven games. The 21-year-old Naylor was the 12th pick in the first round of the 2015 draft.

FAMILIAR FACES: Seth Mejias-Brean – the Rainiers third baseman for the last season-and-a-half – is now with El Paso after signing with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason. They also have former Rainiers outfielder Boog Powell on the injured list.

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:

In the PCL:

  • Albuquerque’s Noel Cuevas went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle – with an extra homer, why not – in a the Isotopes 13-2 win at Reno. Cuevas and the ‘Topes arrive in Tacoma tomorrow for a five-game series.
  • Salt Lake was supposed to play a doubleheader against Fresno because they were rained out on Tuesday. They got one game in – a 2-0 Fresno win behind Kyle McGowin – but the second game was suspended in the third inning with Fresno leading 8-1. We have a feature on Salt Lake Bees GM Marc Amicone.
  • Game Two at the new ballpark in Las Vegas brought the Aviators a 5-1 win in front of over 9,000 fans. There still hasn’t been a homer at the new ballyard.
  • Like Tacoma, the San Antonio Missions are doing the walk-off thing. Mauricio Dubon hit a walk-off RBI single for the second game in a row to beat Memphis, 6-5.
  • Speaking of walk-offs, Round Rock’s Nick Tanielu – a Washington State product – hit a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Express a 9-5 win over Nashville.
  • Oklahoma City escaped Omaha with an eight-inning 7-5 win over the Storm Chasers. The game was called early due to lightning.
  • New Orleans and Iowa got rained out in Des Moines.