Tacoma took down El Paso on Friday night, 8-2, and took care of many firsts in the process.
Logan Gilbert made his first Triple-A start and looked terrific. He was in command for five innings, needing just 67 pitches and earning the win. Gilbert struck out five and did not walk anyone. The run he allowed was set up by a flair that fell in for a single, and a two-out bunt that brought in a runner from third – he did not get hit hard at all.
Tacoma had a frustrating first three innings against El Paso starter MacKenzie Gore, stranding two runners on base in each frame. But in the fifth Gore walked Jarred Kelenic and hit Braden Bishop with a pitch, setting up an opportunity for Donovan Walton. Walton drove a ball into the gap in right-center for a two-run double, giving the Rainiers a 2-1 lead.
Tacoma added another run in the fifth before breaking the game open with five runs in the sixth inning. The five-run rally included just two hits, with lots of walks and an error helping out. Sam Travis capped the inning with a two-run opposite-field double, giving Tacoma an 8-1 lead.
Kelenic was impressive again, but in a very different way from what we saw on opening night when he homered twice. Kelenic had two singles, walked, stole a base, drove in a run, and scored twice last night. His two singles came on a grounder up the middle off the lefty Gore and a low line drive to the opposite field against righthanded submariner Aaron Northcraft. It’s been a terrific first two days of the season for Kelenic, who has displayed an all-around game.
It all added up to the first win for new skipper Kristopher Negron, and the first win of the season for Tacoma. The team will try to move above .500 with a win in the evening game tonight.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma notched its first win of the year, beating El Paso 8-2 in the second game of the season and ending a 613-day losing streak (it was only four games, which somehow seems even worse). Logan Gilbert pitched five strong innings and earned his first Triple-A win, and rookie manager Kristopher Negron got his first win, period. Donovan Walton‘s two-run double in the fifth inning gave Tacoma the lead.
TODAY: El Paso (1-1) at Tacoma (1-1), 5:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Edwin Rodriguez.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Brett Kennedy (0-0, 0.00) at LHP Hector Santiago (0-0, 0.00)
This will be the first appearance in the Mariners organization for the recently-signed Santiago, a 33-year-old lefty with a career major league record of 47-50, 4.14. He’s pitched in the major league starting rotation for the White Sox, Angels, and Twins.
ROSTER MOVES: The Mariners announced that they have signed three Triple-A veterans and assigned them to the Tacoma roster. Relief pitchers Brooks Pounders and Justin Grimm will join the club shortly, as well as catcher Caleb Joseph. All three players have MLB experience. It’s a return to Tacoma and the Mariners for Grimm, who pitched extremely well for the Rainiers during a short stint in 2018 and earned a September call-up.
OPPONENT NEWS: Gore is the top prospect on the Chihuahuas, but catcher Luis Campusano and infielder Tucupita Marcano are also well-regarded young players. El Paso has former Rainiers Patrick Kivlehan, John Andreoli, Aaron Northcraft, and Parker Markel.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
As in the past, a streaming HD telecast is available through MiLB.TV. It’s a subscription service, but it’s just a one-time payment that gets you thousands of games from all levels of the minor leagues, including all 120 Tacoma Rainiers games home and away. That same link above has details on how to get it if you scroll down the page – there’s even a discount code.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- The News Tribune has a thorough wrap-up of last night’s Rainiers game, which includes quotes from Logan Gilbert and Kristopher Negron. The article also has an embedded photo gallery of Gilbert and MacKenzie Gore.
- Kate Preusser at the fan site Lookout Landing posted a solid Tacoma Rainiers season preview.
- The Mariners had ten hits and opened their five-game road trip with a 5-4 win over Texas. Dylan Moore and J.P. Crawford each hit a two-run homer, and Kendall Graveman nailed down a tough save. The M’s continue to surprise, improving their record to 18-15.
- Can’t say I’ve ever heard of this happening before: some fans have experienced a skin irritation caused by the seats at the Las Vegas Ballpark. Weird story, and they’re working to resolve the issue.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
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About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West, which begins its inaugural season on May 6, 2021. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
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