Darren McCaughan played the role of “stopper,” providing an excellent starting pitching performance as the Tacoma Rainiers ended a five-game losing streak with an 8-5 win over Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
Turning in is team-leading fifth Quality Start of the year, McCaughan lasted six innings and gave up just two runs. When he left the game, Tacoma held an 8-2 lead.
The offense came through as well, collecting a dozen hits and scoring eight runs. After a two-run rally in the third inning, Mason McCoy ripped a two-run homer in the fourth to give McCaughan and Tacoma an early cushion.
It was a much-needed win for the team, which was on its longest losing streak of the season. Tacoma has been very streaky recently, so perhaps the win will springboard them to another hot stretch.
The Rainiers aren’t currently in the mix, but we have two interesting division races heating up in the Pacific Coast League as we head towards the break.
Oklahoma City leads the East, but their lead over El Paso is just one game, and Round Rock is hanging around only five games out of first. Tacoma is impacting that race right now by playing this series against Oklahoma City, and we’ll see El Paso here at Cheney Stadium for six games later this month.
In the West, Las Vegas has been in first place for several weeks now, but Reno has reeled off six straight wins and pulled within 1.5 games of the Aviators. The Rainiers have 12 games remaining against Las Vegas, but only three against Reno.
If the Rainiers are going to get back in the race in the second half, they’re going to need to go on a Mariners-esque double-digit win streak. Hey, you never know – we are watching one right now in Seattle.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma beat Oklahoma City on Thursday night, 8-5, ending a five-game losing streak. Tacoma scored two runs in the third inning and added four more in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Darren McCaughan pitched six innings and allowed two runs, earning his team-leading sixth win. Jarred Kelenic went 3-for-4, and both Forrest Wall and Alex Blandino scored three runs.
TODAY: Oklahoma City Dodgers (51-36) at Tacoma Rainiers (36-50), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Dodgers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Travis Barbary.
SEASON SERIES: Oklahoma City leads, 2-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Sam Gaviglio (6-3, 6.10) at LHP Justus Sheffield (2-5, 7.52)
Gaviglio is a former Rainiers pitcher, making 39 starts for Tacoma from 2015 to 2017. He spent a few seasons in the majors after that, and then last year pitched in Korea. He signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers for 2022.
ROSTER MOVES: None today as of blog post time.
HOT HITTERS: Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games… Drew Ellis has hit safely in four straight games, and eight of his last nine games… Joe Odom has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Oklahoma City has the best record in the PCL, and they lead the East by one game over El Paso… two of the Los Angeles organization’s best infield prospects are with Oklahoma City, in third baseman Miguel Vargas and second baseman Michael Busch… Vargas has an eight-game hitting streak, and Bush has a seven-game hitting streak… Drew Avans has reached base safely in 26 straight games… Eddy Alvarez is one of the most interesting players in the league, a two-sport Olympic medalist in baseball and speed skating… Oklahoma City has former Rainiers Ty Kelly, Daniel Zamora, and Sam Gaviglio on the active roster, with Stefen Romero on the injured list.
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.