The Rainiers return home to open a 12-game homestand at Cheney Stadium, and it all starts with an 11:35 morning game today. Las Vegas is in town for the first six games, and then Sacramento comes in for the last six.
Tacoma and Las Vegas have played one series this year, a six-gamer at Las Vegas Ballpark the final week of April. The Rainiers lost four of the six games to the Oakland A’s affiliate, bookending the wins in the first and last games of the series.
The squad brings a little two-game win streak into the homestand. After dropping three of the first four games in Albuquerque, the Rainiers bore down and won the final two games with some timely hitting in each one, netting a series split.
For the first time in a couple of weeks, we have some roster changes.
The Mariners have ended a 16-day dry spell of Rainiers roster moves by rescuing 34-year-old right-hander Marcus Walden from the independent Atlantic League, where he was pitching for the Gastonia Honey Hunters – a team I had never heard of, until now.
Walden has tons of Triple-A experience, nearly all of it in the International League. He last appeared in the Pacific Coast League back in 2014 with Sacramento.
While Walden is going to be a starter for the Rainiers, it was a relief role that allowed him to achieve success in the major leagues as a 30-year-old rookie for the Boston Red Sox in 2019. That season he was one of the most frequently-used relivers in the majors, appearing in 70 games and going 9-2 with a 3.81 ERA.
To make room for Walden on the roster and in the starting rotation, Nick Davila was transferred to Advanced-A Everett. Davila was a feel-good story the last three weeks, putting up three very good starts as a fill-in from Low-A Modesto, and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on him for the future.
YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Sunday the Rainiers salvaged a split of the Albuquerque road trip by scoring two runs in the ninth inning and beating the Isotopes, 6-4, in a rain-delayed affair. Zach DeLoach went 5-for-5 in the game – the Rainiers first five-hit performance since Jantzen Witte did it in August of 2021. Pat Valaika drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth before Jack Larsen singled home an insurance run. The Rainiers bullpen was terrific, with Matt Festa nailing down his PCL-leading eighth save.
TODAY: Las Vegas Aviators (21-24) at Tacoma Rainiers (21-24), 11:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Las Vegas leads, 4-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Colton Eastman (0-4, 4.96) at RHP Marcus Walden (0-0, 0.00)
It’s the Battle of Central Fresno High School alums, as Walden makes his Tacoma debut. Crazy that they both went to the same high school – even if they were eight years apart.
ROSTER MOVES: We went 16 days without a roster move, and that’s a Dipoto-era record. It ended yesterday when the Mariners signed Marcus Walden, and transferred Nick Davila to Everett. Furthermore, utilityman Dylan Moore is expected to start a rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma today.
HOT HITTERS: Zach DeLoach has a nine-game hitting streak, going 16-for-34 during the stretch… Cooper Hummel has hit safely in six straight games… Mike Ford has 46 RBI, which ties him with Las Vegas outfielder Cody Thomas for the lead all of minor league baseball… Mason McCoy homered twice during the Albuquerque series.
OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas is on a 12-game road trip; they just lost four of six at Salt Lake… the Aviators had a 22-run uprising in game two of the Salt Lake series… the Aviators have some hot hitters: Trenton Brooks has reached base in 18 straight games, and he had an 11-game hitting streak end Saturday… Jonah Bride is batting .382 in May… Tyler Soderstrom has 12 hits during a six0game hitting streak… the only former Rainiers player on the Las Vegas roster is pitcher Joe Wieland, who went 14-6 as a starter for Tacoma in 2016.
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.
- A game against the Oakland A’s proved to be a great opportunity for some struggling Mariners stars to get right.
- Dylan Moore starts a rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma today, and the Seattle Times has news on more injured Mariners players.
- Congrats to Jose Caballero, who hit his first major league home run on Sunday.
- Ring the bell! For the first time this season, a Tacoma Rainiers player appears on Baseball America’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet.