We’re back, and it’s for the last time in 2022.
The Tacoma Rainiers start their final homestand of the season tonight at Cheney Stadium, with a 6:05 game against the Round Rock Express. It’s going to be a six-game homestand, running through Sunday, and then it’s goodbye until April of 2023.
(Locally, anyway. The team plays three more road games next week, at Reno, to complete the schedule).
Manager Tim Federowicz has stated that he is hoping the team can make a run to the .500 mark down the stretch. Having just completed a highly-successful 12-game road trip, going 8-4 against Oklahoma City and Las Vegas, the Rainiers are now 68-73 for the season. The .500 mark is possible, but it will require a 7-2 run to the finish line to make it.
Tacoma’s bats came alive in Las Vegas, as most team’s do, and the hitters are feeling good as we get back home. Hopefully the return to sea level doesn’t cause too much of an offensive drop-off.
The visiting Round Rock Express have hit the skids recently, losing six of the last seven games and falling out of what was once a three-team race in the East Division. While not mathematically eliminated, they are five games back with nine to play. That’s hard enough to overcome from second place, but in this instance the Express would have to pass two teams, making it even more unlikely.
Meanwhile, congratulations to our rival Reno Aces, who clinched the West Division title on Sunday. If your rival is going to clinch the division, you might as well see them back into it: the Aces clinched in the middle of their game on Sunday against Sacramento when Tacoma beat Las Vegas, eliminating the second-place Aviators. Reno then proceeded to lose to Sacramento, 7-4, and pop the champagne afterwards.
Speaking of the second-place Las Vegas Aviators, the Rainiers are only one game behind them. Maybe Tacoma can run them down this week, and finish in the season second place.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers were off yesterday. Tacoma had its biggest offensive game of the season on Sunday in a 19-9 win at Las Vegas, setting season-highs for runs scored (19) and home runs (six) in a game. Erick Mejia connected on a first inning grand slam to get things started, and he finished with three hits and five RBI. Mason McCoy, Cade Marlowe, Kyle Lewis, and Drew Ellis each also had three hits, with Ellis ripping a pair of homers. Derek Hill homered for the third time in four games and scored four runs. The Rainiers finished the 12-game road trip with an 8-4 record.
TODAY: Round Rock Express (75-66) at Tacoma Rainiers (68-73), 6:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Matt Hagen
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Darren McCaughan (8-8, 4.65) at RHP Zak Kent (1-1, 0.51)
Kent was recently promoted from Double-A and has had three very strong starts since joining the Express.
ROSTER MOVES: None today as of publishing time.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy has reached base safely in 22 of his last 23 games, and he had a game-saving web gem in the ninth inning last night… Jonathan Villar has homered four times and driven in 11 runs during a nine-game hitting streak… Jarred Kelenic has an 11-game hitting streak, with 18 hits and only four strikeouts during the tear… Marcus Wilson has hit safely in five straight… Forrest Wall is 10-for-23 over his last six games… Derek Hill, Kyle Lewis, and Erick Mejia have four-game hitting streaks.
OPPONENT NEWS: Round Rock has faded down the stretch, losing six of the last seven games… former Rainiers and Mariners outfielder James Jones is now a relief pitcher with Round Rock… Seattle native Josh Sale (Bishop Blanchet High School) and Federal Way’s Nick Tanielu (Federal Way High School, Washington State University) are with the Express… catcher Yohel Pozo carries an eight-game hitting streak into the series… infielder Ezequiel Duran and starting pitcher Cole Winn are the most decorated prospects on the Round Rock roster.
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 News Tribune has its weekly Tacoma Rainiers Notebook.
- Carlos Santana hit a grand slam and the Mariners beat the Angels yesterday.
- The hitting coach helped Ty France make a change and now he’s heating up.
- Here’s the story from Reno on the Aces clinching the division title.
- So you wanna be a scout, eh? The Mariners are hiring.