It took 52 games in this high-scoring league before we finally saw one: a shutout.
Three Tacoma pitchers, led by starter Darren McCaughan, combined on a three-hit shutout as the Rainiers won at Sugar Land on Friday night, 1-0. It was the first shutout Tacoma has been involved in this season, either by pitching one or being victim of one.
McCaughan was in complete command for seven innings. The 25-year-old righty out of Long Beach State had the Skeeters hitters off-balance all night, permitting just three hits and a hit batter without walking anyone. He generated a slew of routine groundouts and ordinary fly balls.
No Sugar Land baserunner got past second base in the entire game, as relievers Shane Carle and Wyatt Mills easily took care of business in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Rainiers did not score until the ninth inning. Sugar Land starter Hector Velazquez tossed four scoreless innings, escaping a first-and-third, one out jam in the third frame. Rehabbing Houston Astros relievers Austin Pruitt and Josh James kept it 0-0 until the ninth.
Dillon Thomas led off the ninth with a solid single to right field, and with one out Jose Godoy beat the shift with an opposite field ground ball single. Jake Hager then walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Jose Marmolejos. Marmolejos got the job done, lifting a sacrifice fly to center field deep enough to allow Thomas to tag up and score the game’s only run.
It was a really nice change of pace to have a 1-0 game after all the scoring we have seen this year. Even after the shutout, Tacoma’s team ERA is 5.57 – and that ranks fourth best in the league! It was the 14th shutout in the league this season. El Paso leads the league with three shutouts pitched, and two teams still have not pitched one: Las Vegas and Albuquerque.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers enjoyed their first shutout of the year, a 1-0 win in their first-ever game at Sugar Land. Darren McCaughan pitched seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball, with Shane Carle and Wyatt Mills closing it out. Dillon Thomas scored the game’s only run on a ninth inning sacrifice fly by Jose Marmolejos.
TODAY: Tacoma (29-24) at Sugar Land (31-23), 4:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Mickey Storey.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Robert Dugger (0-1, 11.25) at RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez (2-0, 3.95)
ROSTER MOVES: Jarred Kelenic has left the Rainiers to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game, which is being held on Sunday at Coors Field (noon Pacific time, MLB Network). He’s not expected to rejoin the Rainiers until the next homestand.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has a six-game hitting streak, and he has gone 14-for-36 over his last ten games… Jack Reinheimer has gone 10-for-28 with four doubles and two homers over his last eight games… Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in three straight, and eight of his last nine games… Jose Marmolejos is 8-for-13 during a four-game hitting streak… Dillon Thomas has reached base with a hit or walk in 11 straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sugar Land had its four-game win streak end last night… Bryan De La Cruz went 0-for-4 yesterday, ending a torrid five-game hitting streak in which he was 13-for-21 with four homers and 11 RBI… Jake Meyers has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games… Reggie Dawson has hit safely in four straight 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.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Mitch Haniger hit a grand slam and the Mariners scored a 7-3 comeback win over the Angels last night, despite a mammoth home run by Shohei Ohtani. I guess I should say something about the Rally Kid, but to be honest I’m still in a state of shock after seeing Sugar Land’s Rally Sloth for the first time last night. I swear to you, I did not make this up.
- Larry Stone reminisced about Ken Griffey Jr. and the 1998 Home Run Derby at Coors Field.
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.