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July 3 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers vs. Salt Lake Bees

July 3, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (47-36) vs. SALT LAKE BEES (35-47) Wednesday, July 3 • 6:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA RHP Casey Lawrence (5-6, 5.56) vs. LHP Kenny Rosenberg (5-4, 3.75)

Wednesday, July 3 • 6:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA
RHP Casey Lawrence (5-6, 5.56) vs. LHP Kenny Rosenberg (5-4, 3.75)

TONIGHT’S GAME: This will be the fourth time that Kenny Rosenberg (5-4, 3.75) and Casey Lawrence (5-6, 5.56) have squared off on the mound this season, with Rosenberg earning wins in two out of the three games played. In his two wins, Rosenberg held the Rainiers to just eight hits and two earned runs while striking out 13 batters. For Lawrence, his success has been limited when facing the Bees batting order. He gave up six runs off nine hits in his first outing on April 2, only logging one strikeout through five innings. His defense helped him out in his second start during a double header on April 7. Despite giving up eight hits on the night, the Rainiers held the Bees to just one run through the first six innings before yielding a walk-off double in the seventh. Lawrence would finally find his groove when the Bees came to visit on May 18, sitting down a season-high 10 batters through seven innings with only one earned run.

CRUSHING IT: Jack López went three-for-five at the plate and launched his ninth home run of the season in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game. Rainiers pitchers have not had an answer for López, as five of his home runs this season have come in matchups against Tacoma. In his 13 games played against Tacoma this season, López has driven in 10 runs off 16 hits, being a key piece to the Bees offensive attack. He sits in a tie for the team lead in hits (69) and ranks second in both home runs and RBIs (42).

BASE THIEVES: Last night, Tacoma was 4/4 on base-stealing attempts, with Cade Marlowe, Samad Taylor, Leo Rivas, and Jonatan Clase all getting in on the action. On the season, the Rainiers rank first in Triple-A with 172 stolen bases, 45 more than second-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Tacoma’s ability to swipe a base has been a true team effort, with four Rainiers (Marlowe – 39, Taylor – 30, Ryan Bliss – 28, and Clase – 24) in the top 5 in the PCL in steals (first, second, third, and fifth, respectively).

MR. CONSISTENT: Tacoma’s Jason Vosler was key in the Rainiers’ 8-7 victory last night, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Vosler’s offense has helped pace Tacoma this season, with the lefty leading Rainiers hitters in runs scored (56), hits (84), total bases (152), doubles (14), home runs (16), RBI (65), slugging percentage (.512), and on-base plus slugging (.867). Aside from leading the team in eight offensive categories, Vosler ranks top-10 in the PCL in homers (t-5), RBI (t-2), hits (10th), extra-base hits (t-9), total bases (t-6), and runs scored (t-7).

IT'S HOW YOU START: For the second game of the series, Tacoma’s offense struck first last night, with the Rainiers pushing across a run in the bottom of the first to open up the scoring. On the season, Tacoma is an exceptional 36-14 (.720) when scoring first, compared to a measly 11-22 (.333) when allowing their opponents to strike first. The Bees have demonstrated a similar split, with a 24-13 (.649) record when grabbing the first lead, compared to an 11-34 mark (.244) when failing to do so.

ON THE MEND: Last night, rehabbing reliever Gregory Santos tossed a scoreless sixth for Tacoma, surrendering just a hit and striking out one. The appearance marked Santos’ first with the Mariners organization since being acquired in a February trade with the White Sox in exchange for RHP Prelander Berroa and OF Zach DeLoach. Additionally, veteran reliever Heath Hembree will join the Rainiers after completing his rehab assignment with Advanced-A Everett. For his career, Hembree has appeared in 358 regular-season games across 11 seasons, playing for the Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, Reds, Mets, Pirates, Dodgers, and Rays, and was a member of the Red Sox 2018 World Series championship team.

JUNE DOMINANCE: Earlier today, Rainiers starter Emerson Hancock was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Month for June, the second Tacoma starter to capture the award this season (lefty Jhonathan Diaz was named the April PCL Pitcher of the Month). In June, Hancock posted a 0.84 ERA, going 1-0 across four starts. In 21.1 innings pitched, the righty allowed just two earned runs (both of which occurred in his first inning of the month), 14 hits and seven walks, striking out 17 and limiting opponents to a .187 batting average. Moreover, in a spot start for Seattle, Hancock gave up just two runs in 7.0 innings of work in the Mariners’ June 13th affair with the White Sox. The award marked Hancock’s third such pitcher of the month honor, with his last win coming the previous June.

GOING DEEP: Last night, Rainiers outfielder Spencer Packard belted a 380-foot homer to left-center, the first of his Triple-A career. Additionally, Tyler Locklear, also in his first Triple-A campaign, homered for his second-consecutive game, with a 113.3 mph laser to left. In his past two games, Locklear has five hard-hit balls (exit velocities over 95 mph), including three over 112 mph.

AGAINST SALT LAKE: Tacoma and Salt Lake will play game three of their six-game series tonight, with tonight’s contest marking the final game of the series at Cheney Stadium. The two teams will travel Smith’s Ballpark tomorrow to play the final three games of the series. With back-to-back wins to start the series, the Rainiers are now 9-5 this year against the Bees, going 398-382-1 all-time against Salt Lake. They enter play tonight at 5-3 in their eight home games, winning two in a row over the Bees.

SHORT HOPS: Tacoma made an error in last night’s game, breaking their six-game errorless streak; they now have 52 on the year, tied for second in the Pacific Coast League...the Rainiers added Jhonathan Diaz back to their roster today, gaining a league leader in multiple different categories; the southpaw has not pitched in a game since June 22 against Las Vegas.