Welcome to the bomb show. It’s dinger mania. For dinner we’re serving mashed taters. But first, let’s go shopping at Tanks-R-Us.
The Tacoma Rainiers ripped four home runs yesterday in a 8-4 series-opening victory over the Albuquerque Isotopes, which continued a recent trend in which the Rainiers are hitting homers at a rapid pace.
The team has hit at least one home run in 12 consecutive games, which is the club’s longest streak of the season. The pace has really picked up over the course of the last four games, during which the team has hit 13 bombs. That includes a five-homer doubleheader against Las Vegas on Saturday.
During the 12-game streak with a homer, 14 different Rainiers players have gone deep launching a total of 25 home runs. Mason McCoy and Drew Ellis lead the way with four homers each during this stretch, while Zach Green and Evan White have each hit three.
The streak includes first Tacoma home runs for Abraham Toro and Derek Hill, and it also includes home runs hit by three players no longer employed by the organization (Kevin Padlo, Scott Heineman, and Joe Odom). Everybody is getting in on the act – I think even Rhubarb hit one.
Tacoma’s season home run total has surged to 155, which ranks sixth in Triple-A baseball, fifth in the PCL, and eighth in all of minor league baseball. Albuquerque leads all teams with 175.
It’s interesting how the Rainiers have morphed from a speed-based offense to a homer-based offense over the course of the season. The Rainiers do still lead the league in stolen bases, and they’re still running pretty frequently, but most of the scoring recently has come on home runs.
Sacramento was the last team to keep the Rainiers in the ballpark. The Rainiers didn’t hit any home runs, or score at all, in a 1-0 loss at Sutter Health Park on August 3.
If you’re sitting on the deck in left field this week, heads up!
YESTERDAY: Tacoma hit four home runs and won the series opener against Albuquerque, 8-4. Despite allowing a three-run homer in the top of the first to Albuquerque’s Michael Toglia, the Rainiers quickly got back in the game by hitting their own longballs. Mason McCoy, Jarred Kelenic, Derek Hill, and Evan White each left the building. Tacoma’s bullpen pitched four scoreless innings to close the game.
TODAY: Albuquerque Isotopes (50-61) at Tacoma Rainiers (51-61), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Warren Schaeffer
SEASON SERIES: Albuquerque leads, 4-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Brandon Gold (5-5, 6.40) at RHP Darren McCaughan (7-5, 4.67)
ROSTER MOVES: With Luis Torrens expected to report today, the Rainiers were going to have four catchers on the roster. To clear space, the organization released Joe Odom. Odom is a class act and a consummate pro, hopefully he’ll get picked up by another team swiftly.
HOT HITTERS: Taylor Trammell has reached base in eight straight games… Erick Mejia has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in 14 straight games… Forrest Wall has an eight-game hitting streak… Jonathan Villar has multiple hits in five of the nine games he has played in since joining the team… Marcus Wilson has a five-game hitting streak… Drew Ellis has hit four home runs over his last seven games, and 11 of his last 14 hits have gone for extra bases… Mason McCoy has homered four times over his last eight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque just split a six-game home series against first place Reno. The Isotopes led the series 3-1 but lost the last two games… the ‘Topes are a season low-water mark of 11 games under .500… Albuquerque has four former Rainiers on its roster (D.J. Peterson, Tim Lopes, Ashton Goudeau, and Zach Lee), plus local product Michael Toglia (Gig Harbor High School class of 2016)… Sean Bouchard has reached base in 13 straight games… the Isotopes have hit 11 grand slams this year.
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.