Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis played in the fifth game of his rehabilitation assignment with the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday afternoon. The 2020 American League Rookie of the Year award winner went 1-for-3 with a sharp single and a walk.
Lewis has looked good at the plate. He is 7-for-20 overall (a .350 batting average), with a double and two home runs. He has drawn two walks, and most impressively for a player who has not faced high-level pitching in nearly a calendar year, he has struck out only twice.
The Mariners are being very cautious with his return from a torn meniscus in right knee – the same knee that has required major surgery in the past. Lewis has played just one game in the outfield, for seven innings, and he needed two days off afterwards. All of his other appearances for Tacoma have come as the designated hitter.
At this point it appears as if Lewis is going to be the Mariners designated hitter when he is activated from the injured list. His return to the outfield is probably going to take a while longer. However, he’s been impressive in the batter’s box for the Rainiers, and he can probably help the Mariners soon as a four- or five-day per week DH.
YESTERDAY: Zach Green hit a three-run homer in the second inning, giving Tacoma an early 3-1 lead, but the Rainiers did not score again and Reno pulled away for an 8-3 victory. Aces catcher Juan Graterol hit his first two home runs of the season, including the tiebreaking two-run shot in the sixth inning. Rehabbing Mariners reliever Sergio Romo pitched an inning, retiring three of the four batters he faced but allowing a solo homer to Jake McCarthy.
TODAY: Reno Aces (15-16) at Tacoma Rainiers (9-22), 6:05
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Gil Velazquez.
SEASON SERIES: Reno leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Ryne Nelson (0-3, 7.18) at LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 18.00)
Nelson was the Diamondbacks second round draft pick in 2019, out of the University of Oregon. After opening the season in the Mariners bullpen, Sheffield was optioned to Tacoma and is being stretched out as a starter – he went two innings in his first start last week.
ROSTER MOVES: Mariners reliever Sergio Romo made a rehabilitation appearance for the Rainiers yesterday; it is not known at this time if he will have another for Tacoma.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy has reached base in 14 straight games, hitting safely in 13 of them with an eight-game hitting streak… Zach Green has homered in three straight games, and he has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games… Steven Souza Jr. has reached base safely in ten straight games, and in his last three games he is 7-for-15 with two homers and eight RBI.
OPPONENT NEWS: Reno won on Sunday against Round Rock, but still went 2-4 in the six-game series… the Aces have a decidedly different look from last year, with a new manager and few returning players… top prospect Alek Thomas was called up on Sunday, so the Rainiers will miss him… Jake McCarthy has an 11-game hitting streak… Yonny Hernandez has reached base in 13 straight games, collecting at least one hit in 12 of them… the Aces have former Rainiers Braden Bishop and Jake Hager.
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.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.