The Tacoma Rainiers have had a little hiccup the last two games against Las Vegas, and are looking to get back on track tonight.
After the Rainiers won the series opener on Tuesday, Tacoma had won four of the previous five games and appeared to be tracking in the right direction after a tough first six weeks of the season. This surge was spurred by outstanding starting pitching and a power hitting lineup.
In the last two games against Las Vegas, things have changed. The pitching has still been pretty good overall, allowing a total of eight runs the last two games, but the offense has disappeared. The Rainiers were held to just four hits on Wednesday night, and had only three hits yesterday.
If the Rainiers really have turned a corner they won’t let strings of losses start to build up. Let’s see if they can even-up the series tonight.
And hey: win, lose, or draw (it happened once!), we’re going to have fireworks after the game tonight.
YESTERDAY: Las Vegas gave Tacoma a taste of its own medicine, hitting 3-run and 2-run homers in a 5-2 win over the Rainiers last night at Cheney Stadium. Dalton Kelly‘s three-run shot in the third inning gave the Aviators the lead, and Jonah Bride hit the two-run shot in the fourth. Tacoma had just three hits, with Zach Green‘s two-out RBI single in the first briefly giving the team a 1-0 lead. Tacoma’s defense played well, turning three double plays including a strike ’em out, throw ’em out twin killing when catcher Brian O’Keefe gunned down Nick Allen trying to steal.
TODAY: Las Vegas Aviators (24-21) at Tacoma Rainiers (16-29), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Las Vegas leads, 6-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Adrian Martinez (0-2, 7.61) at LHP Justus Sheffield (0-3, 8.76)
Sheffield is coming off back-to-back strong performances, both of which came at Sacramento last week.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners optioned Drew Steckenrider to Tacoma. Today they called up Roenis Elias to replace him, and the needed a spot on the 40-man roster so the designated Rainiers reliever Riley O’Brien for assignment.
HOT HITTERS: Joe Odom has a five-game hitting streak… Brian O’Keefe has reached base with a hit or a walk in 15 of the 16 games he has played in this season… Erick Mejia has reached base in eight straight games. He has four home runs in his last eight games, and he is batting .286 with six HRs and 19 RBI during the month of May.
OPPONENT NEWS: The Aviators beat the Rainiers four out of six games when the two teams played in Las Vegas at the end of April… catcher Shea Langeliers is a highly rated prospect; he homered four times against Tacoma in April… Las Vegas has former Tacoma reliever Parker Markel in the bullpen… infielder Nate Mondou is from Lake Tapps, and he attended high school in Tacoma at Charles Wright Academy… Drew Jackson has a nine-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.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- Ryan Divish writes that the Mariners bullpen has been noticeably deficient, especially when compared to last year.
- For subscribers to The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal has a good breakdown on what has happened to the Mariners this season.
- Double-A Arkansas starter Connor Jones pitched a no-hitter last night. It was the first game of a doubleheader, so it was seven innings, but still a very impressive performance for Jones. He’s pitched 22 straight scoreless innings.
- Yesterday I wrote about the robot umpire (sorry to link to my own post, but it’s been a popular subject and some people may have missed it).
- Remember outfielder Rodney McCray, purveyor of the most famous baseball blooper in Pacific Coast League history when he ran through the wall in Portland? His son Grant is now a rising prospect in the Giants organization.