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May 24 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers vs. Las Vegas Aviators

May 24, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (26-22) vs. LAS VEGAS AVIATORS (24-24) Friday, May 24 • 7:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA LHP Jhonathan Diaz (6-1, 3.18) vs. LHP Hogan Harris (1-1, 7.56)

Friday, May 24 • 7:05 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA
LHP Jhonathan Diaz (6-1, 3.18) vs. LHP Hogan Harris (1-1, 7.56)

TONIGHT’S GAME: Tacoma and Las Vegas will play game four of their six-game series tonight, with the Rainiers currently leading the series two games to one. Jhonathan Diaz will take the ball for Tacoma tonight, looking to get back in the win column. Diaz comes into play tonight with a 6-1 record and a 3.18 ERA through nine games this season. He is coming off his first loss of the year, however, allowing four earned runs over seven innings to the Salt Lake Bees last Friday. Tonight will be Diaz’ third game this year against Las Vegas, facing them on both April 16 and 21 at Las Vegas Ballpark. Opposite Diaz will be another left-hander, Hogan Harris, getting the start for the Aviators. Harris is 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in seven starts with Las Vegas this year, allowing 21 earned runs on 25 hits including five home runs. He has walked 23 batters and struck out 25 in his 25.0 innings pitched, allowing opponents to hit .258 against him. In his start against the Rainiers back on April 19, Harris allowed five earned runs on seven hits including three home runs. He walked five and struck out one over 4.1 innings.

BACK-TO-BACK: The bottom of the fifth inning in the first game of the doubleheader was an exciting one for the Rainiers last night. Brian Anderson and Jason Vosler hit back-to-back home runs to extend the team’s lead. Both occurring with two outs, Anderson’s homer scored three runs, adding to his total of six runs batted in for the game. Anderson’s six runs batted in marked a new season high for Tacoma for an individual player, surpassing five runs batted in which had been accomplished twice, most recently by Blake Hunt on April 28 against El Paso.

WALK IT OUT: Las Vegas’s pitching staff had trouble with their location in game one of last night’s doubleheader, leading to thirteen walks. Luckily for the Rainiers, these extra base runners played in their favor. Nine of the 13 walks came around to score, contributing to Tacoma’s 16-6 victory. The 13 free passes were the most for any team against the Rainiers this year, surpassing the previous high of 11, also done by Las Vegas’ pitching staff on April 16.

PERFECT INNING: Left-hander Tayler Saucedo began his Major League rehab assignment with Tacoma last night after being placed on Seattle’s injured list on May 8th due to a right knee hyperextension. Saucedo was called in for relief in the sixth inning of game one, and he didn’t disappoint. After his first two batters grounded out, Saucedo struck out the third to end the inning.

STOLEN BASES: The Rainiers were hot on the base paths last night, stealing a total of seven bases between the two games. Adding to his record, Ryan Bliss still leads all of Triple-A in stolen bases with 26 on the season. The Rainiers as a team collectively have 101 stolen bases in 2024, leading both the PCL and all of Triple-A by a more than comfortable amount. This record even beats those of the Major League teams, with the Cincinnati Reds falling into second place with 81 for the year. Between the two games played last night, Bliss, Cade Marlowe and Samad Taylor each stole two bases, while catcher Matt Scheffler got in on the fun with one steal of his own. Bliss (26) and Marlowe (24) are first and second in the PCL while Taylor is in fifth with his 14 steals.

STAY HOT: Ryan Bliss extended his hitting streak to six games with three total hits over the two games played last night, all going for extra bases. The infielder went 1-for-1 with a home run and three walks in game one of the doubleheader, giving him a league-leading 37 walks on the season. In game two, he stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. Over the two games, Bliss drove in five total runs and just missed out on more. He was robbed for extra bases by a leaping catch into the wall in game one that resulted in a sacrifice fly and had a home run robbed in game two. The 24-year-old’s six-game hitting streak dating back to May 17 ties his season long and is six games shy of the longest streak of the season for any Rainiers’ player this year.

AGAINST LAS VEGAS: Tacoma and Las Vegas will meet tonight for game four of their six-game series. This is the second series of the season between the Rainiers and Aviators, with Las Vegas taking four out of the six games they played back in April at Las Vegas Ballpark. Through the first three games of the current series, the Rainiers are leading 2-1. Tacoma will look to add to their all-time series record of 307-303 against Las Vegas.

SHORT HOPS: Tacoma made it five straight games without recording an error with their two games yesterday, marking a season-long streak; their previous streak was three straight games recorded four separate times this year…with his home run in game two last night, Michael Chavis now has hit five of his seven home runs this year against Las Vegas...Tacoma won the first two games against Las Vegas in their first matchup at Las Vegas Ballpark and lost each of the next four; they will look for a better result this series after winning the first two and losing the third.