The Rainiers had a rough day at the field in the series opener on Tuesday night, a 15-4 loss to Oklahoma City at Cheney Stadium. Despite the brutal result, there were a couple of interesting highlights for Tacoma.
Kyle Lewis started in left field as he continued his rehabilitation assignment. While technically rehabilitating from a concussion, the outfield assignment was also a test of his surgically repaired knee. He has not been playing in the outfield at all this season, with the exception of five innings in Salt Lake City back on May 4.
Lewis played four innings in the outfield last night, and he was tested a couple times. He picked up a hit tight to the foul line and made a strong throw to second base, nearly getting the batter out. He also made a strong throw home on a sacrifice fly, again narrowly missing getting the out. His movements in the outfield were clean and direct, if not at high speed.
At the plate, Lewis homered for the fourth straight game – three with Class-A Everett, and now one with Tacoma. He launched a Ryan Pepiot pitch to the left of the giant wall in center, a bomb with an estimated distance of 434 feet.
The Rainiers managed four runs off Pepiot, which is actually a really strong showing obscured by the game’s final score. He’s one of the top starters in Triple-A and is effectively the Los Angeles Dodgers sixth starter – he gets the call whenever they need someone to make a start, which has happened four times this season. Pepiot did improve to 7-0 in the PCL last night, but his ERA ballooned up to 2.35.
Jarred Kelenic continued to show improved plate discipline while launching a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. After laying off two change-ups that dipped out of the zone, Kelenic launched a fastball deep over the right field fence for his 11th homer of the season. He now has a seven-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 15 of the last 16 games.
Watching his plate appearances last night, I recall seeing Kelenic chase a pitch out of the zone just one time. He’s really improved in that area in recent games.
Hopefully Oklahoma City spent its allotment of runs last night and is doomed to a low output for the remainder of the series. We shall see.
YESTERDAY: Oklahoma City scored in eight different innings and romped over the Rainiers, 15-4. Tacoma set season “highs” for most runs allowed, most hits allowed (20), and most doubles allowed (six). Everyone in the Dodgers lineup had at least one hit and at least one run scored, and eight of the nine players had at least one RBI. The Rainiers have dropped four straight games going into tonight.
TODAY: Oklahoma City Dodgers (50-35) at Tacoma Rainiers (35-49), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Dodgers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Travis Barbary.
SEASON SERIES: Oklahoma City leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Jon Duplantier (4-1, 4.69) at RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (5-7, 7.39)
ROSTER MOVES: Reliever Danny Young was summoned to join the Mariners today as the 27th man for their doubleheader in Washington, DC. He must have taken a red eye, if there is one – or maybe they just wanted him there in time for the second game.
HOT HITTERS: Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, including the last seven in a row. He was just named PCL Player of the Week… Drew Ellis has hit safely in six of his last seven games… Erick Mejia went 7-for-21 in the Reno series.
OPPONENT NEWS: Oklahoma City has the best record in the PCL, but they come into Tacoma on a cold streak. The Dodgers have lost seven of their last ten games entering the series, with pitching being the problem: they have allowed 10+ runs in six of the last ten games… two of the Los Angeles organization’s best infield prospects are with Oklahoma City, in third baseman Miguel Vargas and second baseman Michael Busch… Drew Avans has reached base safely in 24 straight games… Eddy Alvarez is one of the most interesting players in the league, a two-sport Olympic medalist in baseball and speed skating… Oklahoma City has former Rainiers Ty Kelly, Daniel Zamora, and Sam Gaviglio on the active roster, with Stefen Romero on the injured list.
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.
- Daniel Kramer of MLB.com was in Tacoma last night to check in on Jarred Kelenic.
- The Mariners were rained out in DC last night, and are playing two today.
- Larry Stone caught up with Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto to discuss future moves for the team.
- Fangraphs has an article on how impressive the Mariners rotation has been.