West Sacramento, CA (5/22/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (15-27) saw their three-game win streak snapped in a 6-1 matinee loss to the Sacramento River Cats (20-22) on Sunday, but will return home for six games after their most successful road trip of the season thus far (4-2). Continuing their MLB
West Sacramento, CA (5/22/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (15-27) saw their three-game win streak snapped in a 6-1 matinee loss to the Sacramento River Cats (20-22) on Sunday, but will return home for six games after their most successful road trip of the season thus far (4-2). Continuing their MLB rehab assignments, Kyle Lewis (DH) and Evan White (1B) each drew a walk Sunday, and each played until the sixth inning (as planned).
The River Cats jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, when Stuart Fairchild homered for the fourth time this season. Fairchild has already played for Reno, Tacoma and Sacramento in 2022 (all in the PCL West Division), through various transactions. Fairichild has now gone deep for each of the three clubs (2x for Reno).
Each starter worked 5.0 nearly-flawless innings. Tacoma lefty Justus Sheffield, in his fourth start for the Rainiers after being optioned from the Seattle bullpen, scattered four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out a personal season-high six. The run against him was earned. River Cats right-hander Sean Hjelle fired five shutout frames, surrendering only two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
Sacramento busted the game open in the sixth however, when Jason Vosler launched his second homer to right-center, a three-run shot that followed a pair of walks. It was 6-0 after a two-run Austin Dean homer (9) later in the inning. Three of the four River Cat walks on the afternoon scored on homers.
The back end of the Tacoma bullpen continued to excel however; LHP Roenis Elias (0 BB, 1 K) and RHP Matt Koch (1 BB, 2 K) each worked a scoreless inning without allowing a hit.
Their would be no shutout after Sacramento-area native Andrew Knapp stepped to the plate with two out in the ninth; down to his last strike Knapp teed off on a bomb to left field with nobody on base. The catcher Knapp played his first game with Tacoma on Sunday, after signing with the Mariners as a free agent earlier in the weekend. The veteran has 320 games of Major League experience, mostly with Philadelphia (309) between 2017 and last season. He joined the Rainiers after being designated for assignment by Pittsburgh and electing free agency, after appearing in 11 big league games earlier this spring. It was also Knapp’s first career Pacific Coast League game.
The Rainiers are off on Monday, a league-wide PCL rest/travel day. They’ll return to action on Tuesday against the Las Vegas Aviators at 11:35 a.m., opening a six-game homestand at Cheney Stadium. RHP Darren McCaughan is scheduled to start for Tacoma, against Las Vegas RHP Collin Wiles.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.