Dan Wilson won his Tacoma Rainiers managerial debut last night in Reno, 3-2, in a very unlikely sort of ballgame for Greater Nevada Field: a pitcher’s duel.
Tacoma’s Tommy Milone and Reno’s Tommy Henry locked horns for six innings, and Reno held a 1-0 lead when there were done. Henry pitched six innings of one-hit ball and notched a career-high 11 strikeouts. But the Rainiers hitters waited him out, and once Henry was pulled from the game Tacoma went to work against the Reno bullpen.
Brian O’Keefe led off the seventh inning with a triple against Reno reliever Taylor Widener, and he scored the tying run on Andrew Knapp’s single through the drawn-in infield.
Fortune shined upon the Rainiers in the eighth inning, when the team rallied to take the lead. Jarred Kelenic blooped a hit into shallow center field, and he alertly stretched it into a double when he saw that Reno has nobody covering second base.
Then in a direct affront to my managerial tips for Dan Wilson which posted yesterday (how was I supposed to know it is possible to have a low-scoring game in Reno?), Forrest Wall laid a bunt down on the third base side. Drew Ellis charged it, picked up the ball, and fired it past the first baseman for a two-base error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Tacoma caught another break a couple batters later, when Brian O’Keefe’s seemingly routine fly ball to right field was lost in the lights and fell in for an RBI single, making it 3-1. That insurance run proved to be crucial, as Reno got one back in the bottom of the eighth before Fernando Abad escaped a jam by getting a double play grounder.
The victory ended Tacoma’s four-game losing streak. The Rainiers trend of winning in Reno – a pleasant turnaround that began last season – continues, as the team has won nine of its last 11 games played at Greater Nevada Field.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma edged Reno last night, 3-2, in the opener of a nine-game road trip. The Rainiers have won five straight road series opening games. Tommy Milone pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run. Brian O’Keefe went 3-for-4 with a triple, a run scored, and an RBI. Danny Young made a tough save look easy, retiring the heart of Reno’s lineup in order in the bottom of the ninth.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (17-31) at Reno Aces (26-23), 6:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Gil Velazquez.
SEASON SERIES: Reno leads, 4-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Darren McCaughan (2-4, 6.57) at RHP Drey Jameson (0-2, 8.71)
ROSTER MOVES: Recently signed veteran outfielder Justin Upton is expected to join the Rainiers today.
HOT HITTERS: Brian O’Keefe has reached base with a hit or a walk in 17 of the 18 games he has played in this season… Jarred Kelenic has a six-game hitting streak, going 11-for-24.
HOT RELIEVERS: Hot relievers? A new feature – we have some hot relievers. Danny Young has nine straight scoreless appearances in Triple-A… Nick Ramirez has not allowed a run in his last seven games, spanning 8.1 innings, and he has not walked anyone in his last ten games… Patrick Weigel has permitted just two earned runs over his last 13.2 innings, covering 12 outings.
OPPONENT NEWS: Reno just went 4-2 on a road trip to Oklahoma City, and has gone 13-7 over the last 20 games… Dominic Fletcher was promoted from Double-A Amarillo on May 19, when he had a 19-game hitting streak going. He hit safely in his first eight Triple-A games (27 straight overall) before finally going hitless on Saturday… former Rainiers Braden Bishop and Paul Fry are currently playing for Reno.
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 shut out Baltimore as George Kirby earned his first major league win.
- This notebook has updates on Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Justin Upton.
- Juan Mercedes, who spent much of April with Tacoma as a fill-in reliver from the low minors, pitched a seven-inning no-hitter for Everett last night. It was the first no-hitter in Aqua Sox history – in the 30th year of the franchise!
- We have some thoughts on the robot umpire from future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy and the Las Vegas Aviators.