This Tacoma offense has been something special so far. The Rainiers put another dozen runs on the scoreboard and easily took down Reno on Wednesday night, 12-0.
The team has scored 52 runs in five games, for an average of 10.4 runs per game. That’s easily the highest figure among the 30 Triple-A teams.
For three innings last night, it appeared that the Rainiers hitters may have finally met their match. Reno starter Slade Cecconi, in his Triple-A debut, did not allow a hit and faced the minimum nine batters through three innings. Then six batters into the bottom of the fourth inning, it was 6-0.
Mike Ford and Brian O’Keefe have had the biggest starts so far, but really it’s the entire lineup that is clicking. Last night Cesar Hernandez had three hits in the leadoff spot, including a pair of doubles. Colin Moran lined a three-run homer. Kean Wong reached base three times. Zach DeLoach had a pair of hits.
We had a couple of milestones last night. Fred Villarreal, who just joined the team from Advanced-A Everett, pitched three scoreless innings in relief and was credited with his first Triple-A win.
The other milestone, maybe, surrounds Brian O’Keefe. After his homer in the fourth inning last night, word got out that the ball was requested because it was his 100th career home run. Rainiers Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Schutt acquired the ball and got it down to the clubhouse. But according to both Baseball Reference and MLB.com it was his 97th career home run. Maybe he’s counting spring training games or some winter league he played in, I don’t know. On this blog we go by the official count, and that says 97. You’ve got a little more work to do, Brian.
UPDATE: Tonight’s game has been rained out. A makeup doubleheader will be played on Friday at 5:05. As is the rule in the minor leagues, each game will be seven innings, and there is a break of about 30 minutes between games. This is a single-admission doubleheader: one ticket gets you into both games, and yes we are still doing the Friday Night Fireworks after it is all done. So come on out tomorrow evening, we’ll have a full night of baseball for you!
I thought about holding back the “Rainiers Daily” until tomorrow, but I already typed it up, so here it is anyway.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma enjoyed its second consecutive stress-free win over Reno, rolling to a 12-0 victory on Wednesday night. All nine players in the starting lineup scored at least one run, and eight of the nine had at least one hit. Brian O’Keefe and Colin Moran each hit three-run homers during a six-run fourth inning. Jose Rodriguez, Fred Villarreal, Justin Topa, and Tayler Saucedo combined on a seven-hit shutout – the team’s first of the season.
TODAY: Reno Aces (2-3) at Tacoma Rainiers (3-2), 6:05. POSTPONED
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Blake Lalli.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Tommy Henry (0-0, 7.20) at RHP Darren McCaughan (1-0, 5.40)
It’s the second trip through the starting rotations for both teams. McCaughan got the win in the season opener at Oklahoma City, while Henry earned no decision in a Reno win over Las Vegas. The Rainiers faced Henry five times last season – he tossed a couple of gems, but also a couple of games where Tacoma hit him well.
ROSTER MOVES: None today as of blog posting time.
HOT HITTERS: Brian O’Keefe has homered in three straight games, with four total homers and 11 RBI… Mike Ford has hit safely in all five games, has driven in at least one run in all five, and has three homers…. Jose Caballero has reached base in 13 of his 17 plate appearances, for a .765 OBP… Mason McCoy has reached base safely in all five games… Delino DeShields has reached base safely in all four games he has played in… as a team, Tacoma leads Triple-A Baseball with 52 runs scored, a .332 batting average and a .472 on-base percentage.
OPPONENT NEWS: The defending PCL Champions opened the season by taking two-of-three from rival Las Vegas in a high-scoring home series… Blake Lalli returns as Reno manager after stepping away last year to work in player development… Diego Castillo went 5-for-5 on opening day Friday and has a four-game hitting streak… Buddy Kennedy homered in back-to-back games against Las Vegas and has hit safely in three straight… starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt is the highest-rated prospect on the Reno roster… reliever Anthony Misiewicz and infielder Jake Hager are the former Rainiers on the Reno 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 Mariners wrapped up their homestand with a 4-3 loss to the Angels. They are off today before playing at Cleveland in their home opener on Friday
- Larry Stone has a column on the tantalizing thought of Shoehei Ohtani in a Mariners uniform.
- Not trading Chris Flexen turned out to be a wise decision by the Mariners.
- Fernando Tatis Jr. homered for El Paso at during his rehabilitation assignment last night, and Sacramento pitcher Kade McClure – who gave up the dinger – ripped him on twitter. Spicey!
- We’ve got a report on some Sugar Land players from the Houston newspaper.