The Rainiers pitching staff delivered a “hidden no-hitter” in Friday night’s win over Round Rock.
What, exactly, is a “hidden no-hitter,” you might ask?
I can’t remember who coined the term. It may have been Rob Neyer in one of his old columns, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s when a team records 27 straight outs without allowing a hit, but does not do so within the confines of the first and last pitch of a single game. Yesterday’s game is a perfect example.
Round Rock’s first two batters in the top of the first inning had hits, dashing any hopes of a traditional no-hitter. But those were the only two hits of the game for the Express, as Tacoma pitchers then recorded 27 outs without allowing another. There were a couple walks and a hit-by-pitch in the mix, but no base hits.
Tacoma starter Darren McCaughan was terrific when the team really needed him to be. After the Rainiers ran out of pitchers and used a position player on the mound for two innings in a close game on Thursday, and then saw three relievers get called up on Friday because of a positive Covid test in the Mariners bullpen that sent four players to the IL, Tacoma was desperate for a strong start.
McCaughan delivered in a big way, lasting six innings and giving up one run on two hits. He threw 90 pitches while becoming the first Tacoma starter to get past the fifth inning this year. McCaughan earned the win – joining Logan Gilbert as the only Tacoma starting pitchers to get a win this season.
Tacoma built an early lead, thanks to a 3-run homer by second baseman Joseph Rosa in the second inning. Recently promoted from Class-A Everett, Rosa pulled his first career Triple-A homer to left field in a big moment for the Rainiers No. 9 hitter.
The Rainiers played the remainder of the game with a nice lead, but when McCaughan was done the team had to rely on new pitchers making their Triple-A debuts – never a sure thing, to say the least, especially facing a strong lineup like Round Rock’s.
Reid Morgan was first out of the bullpen, and the fiery right-hander pitched a three-up, three-down seventh inning. He was sent back out for the eighth inning, and he struck out the side getting called strike threes on each batter. It was an impressive Triple-A debut for the Mariners 13th round draft pick in 2019, out of the University of South Carolina.
For the ninth inning the Rainiers turned to Travis Kuhn, who joined the team from low-A Modesto earlier in the day. Each of Kuhn’s three appearances for Modesto this season were in closing situations, and he was 3-for-3 in save attempts. Kuhn reached 96 on the scoreboard radar gun as he set down the Express in order to finish the game. The Mariners drafted Kuhn in 2019, with the 19th round pick out of the University of San Diego.
Overall it was a great night of pitching when the Rainiers really needed it.
YESTERDAY: Rainiers starter Darren McCaughan came through when the team really needed him to, delivering six innings of two-hit, one-run ball in a 6-1 win over Round Rock on Friday night. Tacoma’s suddenly very inexperienced bullpen came through in a big way, with Reid Morgan and Travis Kuhn combining to retire the final nine batters of the game in order. It was just what the Rainiers needed after a positive Covid test wiped out half of the Mariners major league bullpen, causing a series of transactions that rippled throughout the minor league system.
TODAY: Round Rock (10-4) at Tacoma (6-8), 5:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Kenny Holmberg.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Sam Gaviglio (1-0, 3.97) at LHP Hector Santiago (0-0, 4.00)
Santiago is stretched out as a starting pitcher, which is nice. The Rainiers will be back to running the bullpen day gauntlet in the final three games of the series, starting Sunday.
Gaviglio pitched in the Rainiers rotation and made at least ten starts in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He’s pitched quite a bit in the majors the last four years, mostly for Toronto, and is approaching three years of MLB service time.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners placed four relievers on the Covid IL, and called up the following players from Tacoma: LHP Aaron Fletcher, RHPs Wyatt Mills and Yohan Ramirez, and infielder Eric Campbell. The Rainiers added three relievers from other spots in the farm system: Reid Morgan, Tyler Kuhn, and Bernie Martinez. Another pitcher from within the system is expected today in lefty Max Roberts, and the Mariners have signed veteran LHP Williams Jerez and he is expected to be activated shortly. Today the Mariners announced that recently DFA’d Rainiers reliever Domingo Tapia has been traded to the Kansas City Royals for future considerations, and the team has claimed lefty reliever Daniel Zamora off waivers from the Mets and assigned him to Tacoma.
HOT HITTERS: Taylor Trammell has hit safely in all eight games he has played in since joining the Rainiers… Jantzen Witte has a seven-game hitting streak… Luis Liberato, Cal Raleigh, and Sam Travis have five-game hitting streaks… Raleigh has four two-hit games during his streak, boosting his season average to .306.
OPPONENT NEWS: Curtis Terry and Jason Martin are tied for second in the league with five home runs… Delino DeShields has a ten-game hitting streak… the Express have three former Rainiers players: pitcher Sam Gaviglio who is scheduled to start the third game of the series on Saturday; reliever James Jones who was an outfielder when he played for Tacoma; and catcher John Hicks.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
As in the past, a streaming HD telecast is available through MiLB.TV. It’s a subscription service, but it’s just a one-time payment that gets you thousands of games from all levels of the minor leagues, including all 120 Tacoma Rainiers games home and away. That same link above has details on how to get it if you scroll down the page – there’s even a discount code.
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:
- The big story of the day is the Seattle Mariners Covid problem, and all of the ripples from it. It caused an organization-wide shuffling of players, all the way down to Low-A Modesto.
- Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone shared his opinion on the Mariners Covid situation.
- The Mariners are having a nightmare week in the big leagues.
- One day after being called up from Tacoma, catcher Jose Godoy became the 20,000th player in MLB history when he appeared in last night’s Mariners game. Congratulations, Jose! (It is interesting that several of the benchmark players mentioned in this story played for the Rainiers, and Tacoma also has an “X” player in its history with Tacoma Tigers infielder Joe Xavier.)
- Geoff Baker takes a look at how Seattle-area sports teams are handling ticket sales and stadium capacities, including the Rainiers.
- The best pitcher on the planet made a rehab start against a bunch of 19-year-olds in Low-A, resulting in three innings of total domination, awe, and this fun story.
- Former National League MVP Cody Bellinger is rehabbing for Oklahoma City as it plays a series in Albuquerque.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
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.
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