Tacoma’s Las Vegas residency is off to a good start. The Rainiers scored a dozen runs in the series opener on Tuesday, emerging with a fairly easy 12-5 victory and ending a four-game losing streak.
The key to the victory was patience: Tacoma hitters drew a season-high ten walks in the game. And the Rainiers made Las Vegas pay for those walks, with six of the ten batters who walked eventually scoring. Additionally, two walks came with the bases loaded to force in runs.
Add in 13 hits – just three shy of the team’s season high – and the Rainiers had one potent offense yesterday. They didn’t do much power-wise, with 11 singles and two doubles, but it all added up on the scoreboard.
The game clocked in at 3 hours, 17 minutes, which is noteworthy during this pace-of-play experiment going on in the minors with the enforced pitch clocks and pickoff limitations. Tacoma hitters drew the ten walks, Rainiers pitchers issued six walks, and the two teams combined for 23 strikeouts. All of that adds up to a lot of pitches being thrown.
Last night’s long game had a total of 377 pitches thrown between the two teams. Compare that to Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Sugar Land at Cheney Stadium that clocked in at 2 hours, 26 minutes: that game had 273 pitches thrown, and it was ten innings!
Every game is different. That’s part of the allure of following a team every day.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers started off the road trip in style, collecting 13 hits and drawing ten walks in a 12-5 win at Las Vegas on Tuesday. Stuart Fairchild led the way, going 4-for-5. Sam Haggerty was 2-for-2 with three RBI, and Billy Hamilton had two hits and scored three runs. Daniel Ponce de Leon delivered six innings on the mound, allowing two runs to give the Rainiers their second consecutive Quality Start.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (6-13) at Las Vegas Aviators (9-10), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Roenis Elias (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Grant Holmes (0-1, 7.36)
Elias is going to serve as an “opener” today, with scheduled starter Ian McKinney coming in after him.
ROSTER MOVES: Catcher Brian O’Keefe (broken hamate) was activated from the injured list yesterday and he could make his season debut tonight. Recently designated infielder Kevin Padlo was claimed by San Francisco, and is likely to get assigned to Sacramento.
HOT HITTERS: Sam Haggerty has hit safely in six of his last seven games, totally 11 hits… Erick Mejia has reached base in eight straight games, and he has a five-game hitting streak… Stuart Fairchild is 5-for-9 since joining the Rainiers… Mason McCoy has reached base in six straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas has played three six-game series and split all three of them, 3-3… Eric Thames has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games. Thames played for Tacoma in 2013 before becoming a huge star in the Korean Baseball Organization… catcher Shea Langeliers is a highly-ranked prospect who was the key return when Oakland traded Matt Olson to Atlanta… Dermis Garcia has a four-game hitting streak; he hit 31 home runs in Double-A last year (with a .210 batting average)… Dalton Kelly hit hit first homer of the year on Sunday, he belted 27 dingers for International League champion Durham last year… Luis Barrera has hit safely in 12 of 13 games.
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.
- Logan Gilbert was dominant and the Rays defense was not in the Mariners road-trip opening win last night.
- Manager Scott Servais returned to duty, and the Mariners are starting to emerge from their Covid breakout. This will likely result in players coming back to Tacoma.
- Kristopher Negron enjoyed his five games at the helm of the M’s (Athletic subscription required).
- The Las Vegas newspaper has a detailed story on what’s going on with the Oakland A’s as they explore new ballparks in two different cities.