The Rainiers finished the improbable on Tuesday, completing a six-game series sweep of the Salt Lake Bees with a 3-2 win that took 12 innings to pull off. The victory moved Tacoma into a virtual tie for first place with the Reno Aces, and now the Rainiers and Aces battle head-to-head for the next six days.
This is going to be a fun series. Tacoma had a lot of success on the last trip to Reno, going 5-1 over six games from August 5-10. That was the most successful series ever (by far) for Tacoma on a road trip to Reno.
This is also going to be another series played in smoke-filled air, due to wild fires in the area – this time the Caldor Fire that is burning in nearby Lake Tahoe. We could see the smoke everywhere while flying in to town, and it hits you as soon as you step off the airplane.
There are 18 games left before the regular season champion is crowned. Reno had two games cancelled due to poor air quality. which means the Aces will play 118 games while Tacoma is set to play 120. Two fewer games on the schedule means that Reno will have a slightly better winning percentage if the teams finish tied in the games back column, so the Rainiers target is to finish at least one game ahead of Reno.
We can’t rule out Sugar Land, which is just one game behind the Rainiers and Aces. Sugar Land has won 12 of the last 15 games, buoyed by several rehabilitating Houston Astros pitchers. The Skeeters are home tonight to start a series against the even hotter Las Vegas Aviators, who have won ten of the last 11 games. We’ll be doing some scoreboard watching during this series, to be sure.
YESTERDAY: The league was off yesterday. On Tuesday the Rainiers beat Salt Lake in 12 innings, 3-2, to complete the team’s first six-game series sweep of the season. Darren McCaughan started and pitched six shutout innings, lowering his league-leading ERA to 4.14. Taylor Trammell singled in a pair of runs in the fifth inning, and Luis Liberato drove home the game winner with a sacrifice fly. Penn Murfee had a rare accomplishment in the tenth inning: he pitched an “immaculate inning,” which is when a pitcher strikes out the side on nine pitches. No Rainiers pitcher had done that since Emilio Pagan in 2016.
TODAY: Tacoma (60-42) at Reno (59-41), 6:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Blake Lalli.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 10-8.
PITCHERS: RHP Ryan Weber (2-0, 1.19) at RHP Luis Frias (1-1, 6.00)
This will be the first time the Rainiers face the 23-year-old Frias, who is considered to be one of the Diamondbacks better pitching prospects.
ROSTER MOVES: The MLB rosters expanded by two yesterday, and the Mariners responded by activating pitcher Justus Sheffield from the injured list and calling up infielder Kevin Padlo from Tacoma.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has reached base safely in 20 straight games, and he has gone 59-for-177 (.333) over his last 44 games… Donovan Walton has hit seven homers in his last 20 games and has a new career high of 12 home runs in a season… Sam Travis has gone 36-for-109 (.330) over his last 27 games… Jack Reinheimer has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has reached base in 22 straight games… Jose Godoy has a five-game hitting streak… Marcus Wilson has gone 9-for-25 with three homers and six walks over his last seven games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Reno just lost three of four games in a series against Sacramento in which two games were cancelled due to poor air quality… Henry Ramos leads the league with a .362 batting average… Juniel Querecuto has a four-game hitting streak… Jamie Ritchie has hit safely in six of his last seven games… the Diamondbacks recently promoted top prospect Alek Thomas to Reno, and he had back-to-back four-hit games on Sunday and Monday… Seth Beer has been hit by pitch a whopping 26 times this year.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Big news yesterday as the Mariners signed both general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais to multiple year contract extensions.
- Matt Calkins writes that the even with the improved farm system, M’s need to bring their payroll back up to where it used to be to contend next year.
- The M’s beat Houston on Tuesday, 4-0, as Abraham Toro hit a grand slam off the pitcher he was traded for. Then they shut out the Astros again yesterday, 1-0.
- Major league rosters expanded by two to 28 yesterday, but Scott Servais thinks they should be allowed to add a few more.
- Congrats to Angie Mentink, who became the first woman to call a Mariners game when she served as the analyst during Monday’s game against Houston.
- Good feature story by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com on Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez.
- The Reno paper has a brief preview of the series that starts tonight.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.