Yesterday’s post mentioned that the Rainiers current opponent, the El Paso Chihuahuas, have a roster full of players with lofty batting averages and big offensive stats across the board. It was noted that some of this is due to the fact that the Chihuahuas home field, beautiful Southwest University Park, is an absolute launching pad.
That being said, the Chihuahuas can hit anywhere. Maybe not quite as well as they can at home, but they will put runs on the scoreboard in any ballpark.
Not yesterday, though.
Five Tacoma Rainiers pitchers combined to hold El Paso to just two hits in a 2-0 shutout victory in the opener of a six-game series at Cheney Stadium yesterday. The game was played at sea level, the wind was blowing in, and fly balls weren’t going anywhere. Heck, even the ground balls were going right to the infielders. El Paso had two hits, and the victorious Rainiers only had three.
It was just the second time this season that El Paso has been shut out. The Chihuahuas lead the league in runs scored, batting average, and home runs – but the Rainiers put a real damper on them yesterday.
This is a six-game series, and the little doggie’s bats will come alive at some point. The shutout was a very fun way to get it started for Tacoma.
YESTERDAY: Five Tacoma pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Rainiers shut out El Paso in the series opener on Tuesday afternoon, 2-0. Austin Warner (4 IP) and Brennan Bernardino (2 IP) pitched multiple scoreless innings, with Taylor Williams, Kyle Bird, and Drew Steckenrider delivering one inning apiece. Jarred Kelenic went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning.
TODAY: El Paso Chihuahuas (52-42) at Tacoma Rainiers (40-53), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Jared Sandberg.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Pedro Avila (3-2, 5.40) at LHP Justus Sheffield (3-5, 6.98)
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners optioned reliever Matt Brash to Tacoma. Meanwhile, the Rainiers placed reliever Matt Koch on the injured list, and activated reliever Riley O’Brien from the developmental list.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy has an eight-game hitting streak… Forrest Wall has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso is on a five-game losing streak, but is only three games out of first place in the East… Luis Liberato is on a tear just in time to face his former team, hitting six homers in 16 games this month… C.J. Hinojosa has a ten-game hitting streak… Taylor Kohlwey leads the PCL with a .334 batting average… El Paso has former Rainiers Ray Kerr and Aaron Northcraft in its bullpen… manager Jared Sandberg is a former Seattle Mariners coach and is from Olympia.
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.