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May 17 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers vs. Salt Lake Bees

May 17, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (23-19) vs. SALT LAKE BEES (17-24) Friday, May 17 • 7:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA LHP Jhonathan Diaz (6-0, 2.86) vs. RHP Davis Daniel (1-3, 5.89)

Friday, May 17 • 7:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA
LHP Jhonathan Diaz (6-0, 2.86) vs. RHP Davis Daniel (1-3, 5.89)

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rainiers and Bees will play the fourth game of their six-game set, with Jhonathan Diaz set to face off against Davis Daniel. Diaz enters play tonight with a perfect 6-0 record and a 2.86 ERA, having allowed 14 earned runs on 41 hits and eight walks. He has struck out 46 batters over his 44.0 innings pitched, as opponents are hitting .248 against him. Daniel was the projected start for Wednesday’s game against Tacoma but got recalled by Los Angeles. He didn’t pitch for the Angels and was optioned yesterday, so is making tonight’s start for Salt Lake. The right-hander enters play tonight with a 1-3 record and a 5.89 ERA through his first seven starts this year for the Bees. He has allowed 24 earned runs on 48 hits and 11 walks, striking out 35 batters over his 36.2 innings pitched. Daniel has allowed just one home run and hit one batter, but opponents are hitting .314 against him. In his lone start against the Rainiers this year back on April 7, Daniel allowed four earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three in 3.1 innings. He suffered the loss, his first of the season at the time.

REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Tonight’s starter for Tacoma, Jhonathan Diaz, will face his former team for the second time this year. In his first start against the Bees, his second start of the year back on April 4, Diaz spun six scoreless frames. He allowed just six hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters, throwing 57 of his 82 pitches for strikes. The outing was his first win of the season, starting a streak of three consecutive wins. After a no decision back on April 21, the southpaw is currently on another three-game winning streak, having won each of his last three outings from April 28-May 10. His last win came on May 10 against the Reno Aces, a game in which he allowed four earned runs on a career-high 12 hits, striking out four along the way. He tossed a season-high 99 pitches in the outing.

THE DREADED LONG BALL: Out of all of the places to play in the Pacific Coast League, Cheney Stadium is one of the more pitcher friendly ballparks. Last night, however, with the wind blowing out, the long ball beat the Rainiers and ended their three-game winning streak. Salt Lake hit three home runs off starter Dallas Keuchel, accounting for five of their eight total runs. They hit another three home runs off Tacoma’s relievers, giving them six deep flies bringing in 11 of their 14 total runs on the night. Salt Lake entered play last night with just 30 home runs as a team through their first 40 games, the lowest total in the PCL. They hit 17% (6-of-36) of their total home runs on the season in last night’s game.

BACK IN ACTION: Sam Haggerty was optioned back to Tacoma on Wednesday and placed on the active roster prior to last night’s game. He didn’t suit up last night but is expected to bat second and play left field in tonight’s contest. The 29-year-old was with Seattle for eight games, getting recalled on April 29. In 17 games prior to getting recalled by Seattle, the utility-man hit .344 with seven stolen bases for Tacoma.

STAY CONSISTENT: Jason Vosler collected two more hits in last night’s 14-2 loss, accounting for two of Tacoma’s five total hits. He drove a solo home run in his first at-bat and an RBI double in his second at-bat of the night, driving in both of the Rainiers’ runs. Vosler has been a steady presence for Tacoma through their first 42 games of the season. He leads the team in hits with 42 and doubles with eight, while being second in home runs with five and runs batted in with 24. Vosler is also now tied for the team-lead in multi-hit games with 13, as he and Michael Chavis have five more than the second-most multi-hit efforts on the team in Ryan Bliss with eight. The 30-year-old has provided value beyond his offensive numbers as well, playing both corner outfield positions and first base this year. Through 39 games played this season, Vosler is hitting .300 (42-for-140) with an on-base percentage of .390, drawing 19 walks.

NO MORE LOPEZ: Jack Lopez entered the series hitting .231 (28-for-121) with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 14 runs batted in in 34 games for the Bees. Through his first three games at Tacoma this series, he has more than doubled his home run total, clubbing four home runs over his last two games. He is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with five runs scored, four home runs and seven runs driven in against the Rainiers, hitting two home runs in each of the last two games. Lopez is not known for being a power hitter, coming off a career-high 13 home runs last season for the Bees. With his four through three games this series, he already over halfway to that number with Salt Lake this year, hitting seven long balls in his first 37 games. His seven home runs this year are the fourth-most in any season in his 12-year minor league career already.

AGAINST SALT LAKE: Tacoma and Salt Lake will meet for game four of their six-game set tonight, with the Rainiers leading the current series 2-1 and the season series 6-3. After last night’s 12-run loss, Tacoma is now outscoring Salt Lake by just one run through their nine games played this season, at 43-42. Last night was the Bees’ 380th all-time victory over the Rainiers, as Tacoma now leads the all-time series by 15 games coming into play tonight, at 395-380-1.

SHORT HOPS: Jhonathan Diaz has hit more batters than he has allowed walks this season, plunking nine batters compared to eight walks entering play tonight…Cade Marlowe extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 1-for-4 outing last night; the season long streak for Tacoma this year is 12 from Jason Vosler, back on April 11-26…Tacoma allowed five home runs in a single game four times last year and once in 2022, allowing six in a single game for the first time since June 27, 2021, at Albuquerque…Salt Lake’s 14 runs last night accounted for 33% of the 42 total runs they have scored against Tacoma this year; the 14 runs scored were one more than the 13 runs they scored against the Rainiers in their previous five games played.