The Rainiers lost at Salt Lake on Friday night, 7-3, yet something interesting happened on the mound.
Starting pitcher Nick Davila, up from Class-A Modesto to make his Triple-A debut as a fill-in, rapidly overcame some first-inning jitters and showed a lot of toughness, nearly completing six innings.
The very first batter he faced, former No. 1 draft pick Mickey Moniak, tripled to the right field corner. Clearly rattled, Davila walked each of the next two batters on four pitches to load the bases.
It reached ten straight balls before he threw a strike to Michael Stefanic. Then Stefanic hit a long fly ball, but it was caught for a sacrifice fly. Kevin Padlo followed with a solid two-run single, and suddenly it was 3-0 and a disaster appeared imminent. The Rainiers started warming up a reliever in the bullpen.
Then it clicked for Davila. He struck out Jordyn Adams, and struck out Taylor Jones to end the inning. He was off and running, retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters, commanding the zone, getting some whiffs, and a lot of weak contact.
In what once appeared to be a game in which the Rainiers were going to need eight innings from relievers, Davila was still out there pitching with two outs in the sixth inning.
Davila got stung with the loss – it was an off-night for the Rainiers hitters – but it was a gritty performance, and the type of game that makes me root for him in the future.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma couldn’t get the offense going against Salt Lake starter Jake Kalish in a 7-3 loss to the Bees on Friday night. Kalish went seven innings and allowed one run, which the Rainiers didn’t score until Pat Valaika hit an RBI double in the seventh. Jake Scheiner continued his hot hitting with two hits and two runs scored. Nick Davila overcame a rocky start and pitched into the sixth inning in his Triple-A debut, although he was saddled with the loss.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (15-15) at Salt Lake Bees (14-17), 5:35 (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Keith Johnson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 3-1.
PITCHERS: LHP Tommy Milone (2-0, 3.86) at RHP Luis Ledo (0-0, 10.38)
After three straight losses the Rainiers turn to the veteran Milone to be the stopper tonight.
ROSTER MOVES: None today as of blog posting time.
HOT HITTERS: Cade Marlowe had his nine-game hitting streak end last night, but he did walk and has reached base in 15 straight games… Mike Ford has reached base safely in 13 straight games, and he has 12 RBI through the first ten games of the current road trip… Kean Wong has a seven-game hitting streak, going 9-for-22… Jake Scheiner has gone 15-for-37 (.405) with three HRs and 14 RBI in ten games on this road trip… Pat Valaika has a five-game hitting streak… Jacob Nottingham has a four-game hitting streak, and he has hit four home runs over his last seven games… Zach DeLoach has reached base safely in 24 of his 26 games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake has won five of its last six games, ending a miserable stretch in which the Bees lost 12 of 13… Michael Stefanic has reached base in all 27 games he has played in this season… Mickey Moniak enjoyed his first-ever trip to El Paso, ripping five home runs, and he now has a nine-game hitting streak… Jo Adell leads the PCL with 12 home runs… his teammate Trey Cabbage (that’s a real name) has hit nine homers… Kentwood High School product Taylor Jones is with Salt Lake this season… former Rainiers Zack Weiss and Kevin Padlo are with the Bees.
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 broke out their “city connect” uniforms but lost to the Astros last night, ending a four-game win streak.
- M’s players need to start reading their own t-shirts, Ryan Divish writes.
- In the PCL, the Albuquerque Isotopes drew nearly 16,000 fans for their Cinco de Mayo game last night – a 9-8 loss to Sugar Land.