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July 5 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers @ Salt Lake Bees

July 5, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (47-38) @ SALT LAKE BEES (37-47) Friday, July 5 • 5:35 PM PT • Smith’s Ballpark • Salt Lake City, UT RHP Michael Mariot (4-5, 5.79) vs. LHP Jose Suarez (0-0, -.--)

Friday, July 5 • 5:35 PM PT • Smith’s Ballpark • Salt Lake City, UT
RHP Michael Mariot (4-5, 5.79) vs. LHP Jose Suarez (0-0, -.--)

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rainiers and Bees continue their series tonight, with the six-game series currently tied at two games apiece after the first four games. Michael Mariot will take the ball for Tacoma, set to pitch in his 16th game and make his 13th start of the season tonight. The right-hander enters play tonight with a 4-5 record and 5.79 ERA over that span, allowing 39 earned runs on 58 hits and 13 walks. He has struck out 54 batters in his 60.2 innings while opponents are hitting .252 against him. Opposite Mariot will be Jose Suarez getting the start for Salt Lake, set to make his first start of the season for the Bees. Suarez went 1-2 with an 8.15 ERA in 18 games (one start) for the Los Angeles Angels prior to getting designated for assignment on June 17 and sent outright to Salt Lake on June 24. Over his 35.1 innings in the big leagues, the southpaw allowed 32 earned runs on 44 hits and 22 walks, striking out 37 batters.

TRENDING THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Since his outing on June 1, Ty Buttrey has lowered his ERA in each outing, allowing five earned runs over his last 10 games including six consecutive scoreless outings. The right-hander had an ERA of 12.00 after allowing three earned runs on three hits and a walk while recording just two outs in his June 1 outings against Sacramento. Since then, his ERA has lowered to 8.88 on the year, and he threw another scoreless frame last night. Buttrey allowed one hit, his first since June 25.

DOUBLE OR NOTHIN’: Tacoma clubbed five doubles in last night’s loss to Salt Lake, the most they have hit in a single game all season. They had previously recorded four doubles in a game five times this season, most recently on June 8 against Reno. Four different players doubled last night, as Cade Marlowe led the way with two, the eighth time this year a Rainiers player has doubled twice in a single game. The other three doubles came from Tyler Locklear, Leo Rivas and Jake Slaughter.

BACK-TO-BACK: Jason Vosler capped off a four-run first inning for Tacoma last night with a three-run home run, giving him deep flies in back-to-back games. It marked the third time the utility-man has gone deep in back-to-back games this year and the 11th time a Rainiers hitter has accomplished the feat. Vosler is leading Tacoma in virtually every hitting category this year and is on pace for a career-year. The 30-year-old leads the way in runs scored (58), hits (86), doubles (14), home runs (18), RBI (70), slugging percentage (.526) and OPS (.882), while being second on the team with three triples. He is also among Pacific Coast League leaders in home runs (T-3rd), RBI (2nd), slugging percentage (8th), hits (9th), extra-base hits (8th), total bases (6th) and runs scored (6th). Vosler is five home runs away from his career-high 23 in a single season set back in 2018 and 23 RBI from tying his career-high 93 RBI set that same season. Vosler is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak dating back to June 25. He holds the longest hitting streak this year for a Tacoma player, recording a hit in 12 straight games back from April 11 to April 26.

TEODOSI-NO: Bryce Teodosio was back in action last night after leaving Tuesday’s game with an injury. The outfielder made a big impact in Salt Lake’s win last night, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, a home run and three runs driven in. The Rainiers have struggled getting Teodosio out all season long, as he is now hitting .385 (20-for-52) in 15 games this season. Exactly half of his hits (10-of-20) have gone for extra bases, as he now has four doubles, four triples and two home runs in his 15 games. The 25-year-old has also driven in nine runs and is 6-for-7 in stolen base attempts.

WALK DOWN THE LINE: Jhonathan Diaz suffered his second loss of the season last night, both coming against his former team. Walks were a big reason for Diaz’ struggles yet again, as the southpaw walked five more batters in his 2.2 innings pitched last night. The southpaw has now walked five or more batters in each of his last four starts for Tacoma, surrendering 21 free passes over his last four starts, 10 more than he allowed over his first 11 games with the Rainiers (11). Tonight’s starter has been great at commanding the zone, as Michael Mariot has walked just 13 batters compared to 54 strikeouts over 60.2 innings pitched this year. Mariot walked three batters in his first start of the season on April 3 against Salt Lake and has walked two in each of his last two starts, which is unusual for him. In his other 12 games this year for Tacoma, he has just one walk in six games and no walks in the other six.

FOLLOW THE TREND: With back-to-back losses for Tacoma, a pattern has begun, dating back to June 29 at Sugar Land. After alternating wins and losses with the Space Cowboys through the first four games of the series, the Rainiers lost each of the last two games to drop the series. They then won two in a row to start their current series against Salt Lake and have now lost two in a row again. Tacoma hopes the trend continues at least for the next two games, as that would give them their first series win of the second half.

AGAINST SALT LAKE: Tacoma and Salt Lake will play game five of their six-game series with the series now tied at two games apiece after back-to-back wins from Salt Lake. Despite losing two games in a row, the Rainiers still hold the season series over the Bees by two games entering play tonight, at 9-7. They are now 4-3 here at Smith’s Ballpark this year and lead the all-time series by 14 games over Salt Lake, at 398-384-1.

SHORT HOPS: Despite not joining the team until May 15 after being acquired in a trade with Chicago, Jake Slaughter has now recorded five three-hit games, leading Tacoma’s season roster…Jhonathan Diaz suffered his second loss of the season, both to his former team; the southpaw allowed a season-high eight earned runs on seven hits and five walks…in four games against the Rainiers, Michael Stefanic is now hitting .368 (7-for-19) with two doubles, two home runs and eight runs batted in after going 4-for-5 last night.