The Rainiers won big last night, a 10-2 walloping of Salt Lake, as the lineup mashed 15 hits with three homers. So naturally we’re going to talk about the pitcher.
Tacoma starter Darren McCaughan has been in a groove for an extended stretch now. He kept it going last night, allowing one run over six innings to earn the win and lower his ERA to 3.97, which ranks third best in the league among qualified pitchers.
Over his last six starts, McCaughan has allowed two or fewer runs while pitching at least six innings in five of them.
- June 11 vs. Sacramento: 6 IP, one run
- June 18 at Las Vegas: 8 IP, two runs
- June 25 at Albuquerque: 5 IP, five runs
- July 2 vs. Reno: 6 IP, two runs
- July 9 at Sugar Land: 7 IP, no runs
- July 16 vs. Salt Lake: 6 IP, one run
All told in the last six starts he has pitched 38 innings and allowed 11 runs, for a 2.61 ERA. He has given up 30 hits during this time, walking only five while striking out 30.
McCaughan is not an overpowering pitcher. His fastball sits around 90 mph, but it has movement to it. McCaughan also uses a slider and an improved change-up to keep batters off balance.
He relies on outstanding command of all three pitches. When he is missing his spots he can allow some long home runs – even during this streak of six strong starts he has given up five homers. But in these last six starts, he hasn’t been missing his spots very often.
McCaughan’s development into a consistent starter has been one of the fun stories of the 2021 Rainiers.
Oh, one other thing: for those who don’t listen to or watch the games, it’s pronounced “mc-CACK-en.” I am not sure if he has picked up a Seattle Kraken hat or t-shirt yet, but he should.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma leadoff man Donovan Walton hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning for a long home run, and the Rainiers never looked back in a 10-2 win over Salt Lake on Friday night. Tacoma banged out 15 hits, including back-to-back home runs by Taylor Trammell and Jose Marmolejos in the third inning. Brian O’Keefe nearly made it three straight dingers, doubling high off the fence – the Rainiers have not hit back-to-back-to-back home runs since 2013 (Carlos Peguero – Rich Poythress – Nate Tenbrink).
TODAY: Salt Lake (30-32) at Tacoma (33-28), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 8-6.
PITCHERS: RHP Aaron Slegers (0-0, 3.68) at RHP Robert Dugger (0-2, 9.75)
This is a bullpen game for the Bees – Slegers is making his first start of the season.
ROSTER MOVES: Mariners relievers Casey Sadler started a rehabilitation assignment with the Rainiers last night, pitching a scoreless seventh inning. He’s been on the Mariners injured list since May 2 with shoulder inflammation.
HOT HITTERS: Jose Marmolejos is 19-for-36 (.528) during a ten-game hitting streak… Marmolejos has hit six home runs with 14 RBI over his past nine games… despite being a left-handed batter, Marmolejos is hitting .586 with six homers in 29 at-bats against left-handed pitchers… Jantzen Witte has gone 19-for-55 (.345) over his last 16 games… Jake Hager has had eight of his last nine hits go for extra bases (six doubles and two homers).
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake lost three straight games to close its series against Sacramento, but was hot before that winning nine of 11 games… Jo Adell has a 12-game hitting streak… top prospect Brandon Marsh recently came off the injured list and has an eight-game hitting streak… Matt Thaiss has hit safely in seven of his last eight games… Michael Stefanic has a seven-game hitting streak.
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:
- Chris Flexen tossed a gem, the bullpen narrowly avoided a meltdown, and the Mariners opened the second half with a 6-5 win at Anaheim.
- Mariners first baseman Evan White elected to have hip surgery and is out for the year. There are many more injury updates in this notebook.
- In the league, Albuquerque’s six-game win streak ended last night after four of the team’s top players were rushed up to the Colorado Rockies.
- Sacramento outfielder Drew Robinson, who survived a suicide attempt last year and has become a spokesman for improving mental health, retired as a player and joined the Giants front office.
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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.