The Tacoma Rainiers homestand continues tonight, with the Sacramento River Cats arriving in town to open a six-game series. First pitch is at 6:05.
The Rainiers just won their first home series of the season, taking two of three from a Round Rock team that exhibited extreme bullpen problems. The Rainiers beat them with a walk-off grand slam on Friday, then scored five runs in the ninth to tie before losing in the tenth on Saturday, and finally scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to win on Sunday.
Now we are back to the six-game series, a pattern that will continue until the all-star break in July.
Sacramento was the victim when the Rainiers won their first series of the season, taking four-of-six from the River Cats on their home turf in mid-May. The key to that series was dominant starting pitching by Tacoma, which included back-to-back shutouts.
Sacramento recently pulled out of the longest skid any PCL team has had this year: they lost 11 consecutive games, including a woeful 0-6 series sweep at Las Vegas. But they just got things straightened out with back-to-back wins over Reno on Saturday and Sunday.
Tacoma is only a half-game behind Sacramento in the standings. This series presents an opportunity for the Rainiers to move out of last place.
I’m planning to return to the mic for tonight’s broadcast. Big thanks to Steve Klauke and the Salt Lake Bees, as well as Mike Capps and the Round Rock Express for letting us carry their broadcasts while I was ill.
YESTERDAY: The entire league was off yesterday. On Sunday the Rainiers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 comeback win. After an error started the inning, Justin Upton singled, Scott Heineman doubled in the tying run, and Erick Mejia singled home the game-winner. Tacoma won two of three against Round Rock, with all three games decided in the final inning.
TODAY: Sacramento River Cats (24-36) at Tacoma Rainiers (23-36), 6:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 4-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Tristan Beck (0-4, 9.20) at LHP Tommy Milone (2-0, 1.38)
ROSTER MOVES: Recently reacquired infielder Kevin Padlo is expected to report to Tacoma today. Recently designated reliever Drew Steckenrider has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Tacoma. There is some chatter that Evan White may re-start his rehabilitation assignment today.
HOT HITTERS: Marcus Wilson has a six-game hitting streak, with four homers and 10 RBI, and he was just named the PCL Player of the Week… Brian O’Keefe has reached base safely in 25 of the 27 games he has played in… Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, but he suffered some mild hamstring tightness on Saturday and is day-to-day… Mason McCoy is hitting .325 in June… Alex Blandino has reached base safely in six straight games, with hits in five of them… Scott Heineman has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento won the last two games of its home series against Reno, ending an 11-game losing streak (looking further back, they had lost 14 of 15 games)… the River Cats have lost four straight series, including four-of-six to Tacoma at Sutter Health Park in May… Isan Diaz hit three homers during the back-to-back wins over Reno… Sacramento manager Dave Brundage served as Tacoma’s manager in 2006, he was also the Rainiers hitting coach from 1998 to 2000… reliever Taylor Williams is a former Mariner who was traded to San Diego for Matt Brash.
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 News Tribune has its weekly Tacoma Rainiers round-up, which includes injury updates on Jarred Kelenic and Evan White.
- The Mariners lost to the Twins last night, 3-2, as the team tries to improve offensively.
- Julio Rodriguez had a day off yesterday – although he did pinch-hit in the ninth. Also in that story: Seattle has a doubleheader on Saturday and will probably be pulling someone off the Tacoma roster for it.
- Double-A Arkansas pitcher Tayor Dollard has been one of the big success stories in the Mariners farm system so far this season. Here’s some info on him from the Little Rock newspaper.
- Mariners 2021 first round draft pick Harry Ford had his best game as a professional on Sunday for Low-A Modesto.
- No Mariners appear in this week’s edition of Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet but what the heck, here it is anyway.