Curto, Tacoma Rainiers

Rainiers Rally Falls Short As Sheffield Era Ends

The Rainiers dropped their second straight game at Las Vegas on Thursday night, a 9-7 decision against the Oakland A’s affiliate.

Las Vegas banged out 17 hits and could have scored more than nine runs, except the Rainiers turned four double plays in the infield to prevent the game from getting out of hand.

Trailing 9-5 going to the ninth inning, the Rainiers mounted a two-out comeback attempt. With Taylor Trammell at first base and the team down to its final out, Cooper Hummel walked and Mike Ford connected on an RBI single to make it 9-6.

When Jake Scheiner reached on an error by the Las Vegas shortstop, bringing home another run, the Rainiers had the tying run at the plate in the form of Zach DeLoach. DeLoach drew a walk, and now the go-ahead run was at the plate… but Mason McCoy struck out to end the game.

One thing about this high-scoring ballpark in Las Vegas: you never feel like you are out of a game. The Rainiers fought hard last night, and just came up a little short.

A roster move came before last night’s game. The Mariners released left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield, who spent a lot of time in both Seattle and Tacoma during the last five years.

Acquired as a top prospect when the Mariners traded James Paxton to the Yankees in November of 2018, Sheffield appeared in 52 games (38 as a starting pitcher) for the Rainiers over the last five years. He also pitched in 45 games for the Mariners, 33 as a starter.

This year the organization decided to look at Sheffield strictly as a relief pitcher, and it wasn’t working out for the Rainiers. The M’s decided to move on yesterday.

Sheffield is still a few days shy of his 27th birthday, he’s still left-handed, and in his final appearance for the Rainiers on Wednesday he reached 94 miles per hour. He’ll be getting calls from other organizations, and hopefully he can make a successful comeback.


YESTERDAY: Las Vegas took the series lead with a 9-7 win over the Rainiers on Thursday night. Mike Ford was 3-for-4 with a line drive two-run homer, finishing with three RBI. Zack Gelof led Las Vegas with three hits, including a triple and a homer, three runs scored and four RBI.

TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (13-10) at Las Vegas Aviators (11-13), 7:05.



SEASON SERIES: Las Vegas leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Darren McCaughan (1-0, 3.94) at RHP Colin Peluse (0-0, 6.62)

Peluse started on Tuesday and the Rainiers knocked him out in the first inning; the Aviators bumped him up a couple days due to his short outing.

ROSTER MOVES: Tacoma added reliever Stephen Kolek from Double-A Arkansas to take the roster spot of Justus Sheffield, who was released.

HOT HITTERSZach DeLoach has reached base safely in 11 straight, and in 18 of his 19 games played… Taylor Trammell has a seven-game hitting streak… Kean Wong and Cade Marlowe have four-game hitting streaks… Jake Scheiner is 7-for-15 with two home runs and eight RBI during this series.

OPPONENT NEWS: After opening the season 2-10, Las Vegas has started playing better recently. They just won four-of-six on the road at Sugar Land… J.J. Belday has homered in three of his last four games, and he has reached base in 12 straight games… Tyler Soderstrom is the top prospect on the team, he was the A’s first round pick in 2020 and is just 21-years-old. His father Steve pitched in the PCL for Fresno in 1998 and 1999… the Aviators have one former Rainiers player, and it’s a blast from the past: pitcher Joe Wieland, the last Tacoma pitcher to win 14 games when he went 14-6 for the 2016 Rainiers.

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.


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