The Rainiers are back in action tonight, with the second leg of the two-city, 12-game road trip getting underway in Salt Lake City at 5:35 (Pacific).
Tacoma wrapped up the Vegas series with a 14-7 win over the Aviators, ending a four-game losing streak. Las Vegas was forced to start an emergency fill-in pitcher from Class-A Stockton named Micah Dallas, and the Rainiers put a beating on him by scoring eight runs over the first two innings.
The game took a farcical turn in the eighth, when Las Vegas used beefy first baseman Kevin Cron to pitch, and followed him on the mound in the ninth with catcher Yohel Pozo. In a bit of comedy, both position players pitching called for umpire challenges on balls and strikes, and neither won.
While Cron tried to actually pitch, Pozo just lobbed balls over the plate. Pozo defied the laws of physics by striking out (redacted) swinging on a 45-mph lob. I did not know it was possible for a pitch to reach home plate on the fly at just 45 mph. You learn something every day.
Tacoma finished April with a 14-12 record. The offense led the way, as the team finished the month ranked second among all thirty Triple-A teams with a .402 on-base percentage, fourth in runs scored with 191, and tied for sixth in home runs with 41.
Veteran Mike Ford hit .337 with nine home runs and 39 RBI for the month – that RBI total is particularly wild; he’s on pace for 254 RBI. Triple-A rookie Jake Scheiner hit just .223, but was extremely productive with eight homers, 23 RBI, twenty walks, a .362 on-base percentage and an .894 OPS. Brian O’Keefe started the season with a flurry, then settled in and finished the month batting .293 with eight homers and a 1.071 OPS.
The hitters produced at home and on the road in the first month, and they look forward to a high-elevation series here in Salt Lake City.
The Bees just ended a dreadful streak in which they lost 12-of-13 games, snapping out of it with back-to-back wins at El Paso on Saturday and Sunday. After shockingly leading the league in pitching with a 4.70 ERA last year – the first time ever for the Salt Lake franchise, and a real stunner coming from one of our mountain teams – the Bees staff has a 6.01 ERA so far this season.
Salt Lake is led by former top prospect Jo Adell, who has had trouble sticking in the big leagues with the Angels. He leads the Pacific Coast League with ten home runs – just one more than his teammate Trey Cabbage, and Tacoma’s Ford. Former No. 1 draft pick Mickey Moniak is right behind with eight homers.
It’s likely to be another high-scoring series. Probably not as crazy as last week in Vegas, but expect a lot of runs nonetheless.
YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. The Rainiers won on Sunday at Las Vegas, 14-7, salvaging the final game of a series in which the Rainiers went 2-4. Tacoma scored four runs in the first inning with Mason McCoy hitting a two-run double, and then Mike Ford hit a grand slam to make it 8-0 in the second. Eric Stout had an impressive outing in relief, retiring all six batters he faced.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (14-12) at Salt Lake Bees (11-16), 5:35 (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Keith Johnson.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Konner Wade (0-0, 9.39) at LHP Kenny Rosenberg (1-2, 3.33)
ROSTER MOVES: Tacoma activated outfielder Jack Larsen from the injured list, and to make room on the roster outfielder Delino DeShields has been released. Reliever Diego Castillo could arrive today, which would necessitate another roster change.
HOT HITTERS: Zach DeLoach has reached base safely in 14 straight, and in 22 of his 23 games played… Kean Wong has a seven-game hitting streak, going 9-for-22… Cade Marlowe has a six-game hitting streak… Jake Scheiner went 8-for-22 with two home runs and ten RBI during the Las Vegas series… Mike Ford finished April with 39 RBI, and he has reached base safely in nine straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just won the last two games of a series at El Paso, ending a miserable stretch in which the Bees lost 12 of 13… Michael Stefanic has reached base in all 24 games he has played in this season… Mickey Moniak enjoyed his first-ever trip to El Paso, ripping five home runs during a five-game hitting streak… Jo Adell leads the PCL with ten 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 are calling up touted pitching prospect Bryce Miller from Double-A Arkansas and he is starting tonight at Oakland.
- Taylor Trammell returned to the majors with a flourish, launching a grand slam in his first at-bat on Sunday.
- The News Tribune has a review of the first month of the Mariners season.
- Two Mariners prospects from Class-A Everett appear on this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.