The Tacoma Rainiers came out of the all-star break in style, with five pitchers combining on a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 win at Salt Lake on Friday night. It was the fifth shutout tossed by Tacoma this year.
Since May 16, the Rainiers team ERA of 4.86 is the best in the Pacific Coast League (and the team is 28-26 since that date). The rough first six weeks of the season, however, have the Rainiers season-long ERA at 5.59 which ranks seventh in the ten-team league.
We’ll see if the staff can keep it up, with changes to the starting rotation afoot. Yesterday we wrote about how Daniel Ponce de Leon opted out of his contract, leaving a hole in the rotation. Then last night scheduled starter Justus Sheffield was shut down during warm-ups and Austin Warner was asked to make an emergency start instead. I should get more information on Sheffield’s status when I arrive at the ballpark later today.
Tonight Chris Mazza makes another start; he’s being stretched out as a starter and we’ll see if he can provide a few innings this evening. Mazza is filling a rotation spot that was open prior to the departure of Ponce de Leon.
Sunday is Pioneer Day in Utah, which is the state holiday, and big crowds are expected all weekend. Last night’s game was played in front of a crowd of 9,596 Bees fans, and a similar crowd is expected tonight.
The Rainiers will be home on Tuesday and is starting to look like we’ll have a Mitch Haniger rehabilitation assignment going on. He took three plate appearances as a DH for Class-A Everett last night in his first action since suffering a high ankle sprain in April.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma opened a three-game series at Salt Lake by shutting out the Bees, 6-0. Austin Warner (3 IP), Brennan Bernardino (3 IP), Kyle Bird (1 IP), Taylor Williams (1 IP), and Patrick Weigel (1 IP) combined on the five-hitter. It was the fifth shutout pitched by Tacoma this year, and the first time this season that the Bees have been shut out in a nine-inning game. Scott Heineman and Forrest Wall hit back-to-back two-run doubles in the ninth inning for some big insurance runs.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (39-51) at Salt Lake Bees (42-49), 5:35 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 11-11.
PITCHERS: RHP Chris Mazza (1-1, 9.00) at RHP Cesar Valdez (6-4, 3.68)
ROSTER MOVES: The Rainiers added reliever Taylor Williams, the Camas High School graduate who pitched for the Mariners during the 2020 season before being traded to the Padres for a player to be named later that turned out to be Matt Brash. Williams was recently released by the Giants.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy has a five-game hitting streak… Marcus Wilson is 6-for-22 with five walks in seven games since returning from the big leagues.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake entered the break with a loss on Sunday at Las Vegas, which ended a four-game winning streak… Jose Rojas has been on a tear for the Bees, launching seven home runs during an 11-game hitting streak… Jake Palomaki has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games… the Bees have three former Rainiers on the roster and all are in the bullpen: Brian Moran, Jonathan Aro, and Zack Weiss.
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.
- The Mariners 14 game winning streak came to an end last night. May all of your win streaks reach 14, dear reader.
- Julio Rodriguez is out – he’s day-to-day with left wrist soreness.
- Lots of good tidbits in this Mariners notebook.
- Tacoma native Ron Cey is being inducted into the Albuquerque Professional Baseball Hall of Fame today.