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May 26 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers vs. Las Vegas Aviators

May 26, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (28-22) vs. LAS VEGAS AVIATORS (24-26) Sunday, May 26 • 1:35 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA RHP Emerson Hancock (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP Robert Dugger 0-0, -.--)

Sunday, May 26 • 1:35 PM • Cheney Stadium • Tacoma, WA
RHP Emerson Hancock (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP Robert Dugger 0-0, -.--)

TODAY’S GAME: Tacoma and Las Vegas will play the sixth and final game of the series today with the Rainiers having already won the series, taking four of the first five games. Emerson Hancock will take the ball for Tacoma, set to make his third start of the year for the Rainiers. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA through his first two starts, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and six walks while striking out nine over 12.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .182 against him over that span, set to face Las Vegas for the first time in his career. Opposite Hancock will be Robert Dugger getting the start for the Aviators, set to make his first appearance of the season. Dugger was signed to a minor league contract by Oakland on May 17 this season and assigned to Las Vegas on May 23. The righty is a former draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, getting selected in the 18th round of the 2016 draft by Seattle. He pitched in 17 total games for Tacoma, two in 2016 and 15 in 2021, going 4-5 with a 6.10 ERA in 2021.

SWIPE THAT BAG: Tacoma stole four more bases last night, giving them a league-leading 107 steals on the year. It was the usual suspects doing the damage last night, with Cade Marlowe and Ryan Bliss each getting in on the action. Marlowe stole three bags, the third time a Rainiers player has done that this year, while Bliss stole one. The two are now tied atop the league-leaders with 27 stolen bases this season, on pace to crack into the all-time single-season leaders for Tacoma. The most bases anybody has stolen in a single season was 56 by Jimmy Sexton back in 1981. With his 27 stolen bases this season, Marlowe now has 63 career stolen bases with Tacoma over parts of four seasons. His 63 steals puts him 8th all-time in career steals for Rainiers, needing 30 more steals this year to pass Del Alston (92) and become the all-time steals leader in Tacoma Rainiers history.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Today marks the last of 12 straight games at home for Tacoma, as they wrap up their first of two 12-game homestands this season. Through the first 11 games of the homestand, the Rainiers are 7-4, going 3-3 against Salt Lake and lead 4-1 against Las Vegas entering play today. Their seven wins this homestand give them 18 on the year compared to just eight losses, 10 games over the .500 mark. They haven’t had quite the same success on the road, going 10-14 in their first 24 games away from Cheney Stadium this year. Four of those 14 losses came the last time they went to Sutter Health Park, as Sacramento took four-of-six from the Rainiers.

GRAND SALAMI TIME: With the game knotted 0-0 through three innings yesterday, Tacoma loaded the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch. That brought Jason Vosler to the plate, who quickly gave Tacoma a four-run lead with one swing of the bat. Vosler clubbed his seventh home run of the year, tying him with Michael Chavis and Cade Marlowe for the team lead. He is the only Rainiers player to have a home run of each variety, with four solo home runs and one of each a two-run, three-run and grand slam. It was Tacoma’s first grand slam this year, their first since both Ryan Bliss and Isiah Gilliam hit one in the first inning of a game on Sept. 19, 2023, against Round Rock.

ONE HIT WONDERS: Tacoma recorded just one hit as a team last night in their 6-1 win over Las Vegas, marking their second victory this year with one hit. Their first came back on April 26 against El Paso, winning 3-2 in a seven-inning contest. There was one hit batter and five walks in that victory and Brian Anderson had the lone hit. He recorded a double and all three runs batted in for the Rainiers in that game. Last night, it was Jason Vosler with the lone hit, a grand slam in the fourth inning to give Tacoma a 4-0 lead. The Rainiers recorded more stolen bases (4), hit by pitches (3) and walks (8) than they did hits (1), with six of the nine starters scoring a run.

EMERSON DAY: Emerson Hancock is set to make his third start of the season for Tacoma after starting seven games with Seattle to begin the year. In each of his two starts with the Rainiers, Hancock has delivered quality starts, allowing just two total earned runs in 12.0 innings. In his first outing, back on May 14 against Salt Lake, the former first rounder allowed four hits and four walks, striking out two over 6.0 frames. In his most recent start against the Bees a week ago today, Hancock allowed two earned runs on four hits including a home run. He walked two while striking out a season-high seven batters over 6.0 innings. Today will be his first start against a team other than Salt Lake and likely his last start as a 24-year-old, as he turns 25 on May 31.

AGAINST LAS VEGAS: The Rainiers and Aviators are playing the series finale of their six-game set today, with Tacoma currently leading the series four games to one. Tacoma comes into play today with a one-game lead in the season series, at 6-5, after Las Vegas took four-of-six from the Rainiers in the first meeting between the two teams at Las Vegas Ballpark in April. Last night’s victory for Tacoma moved their all-time record against Las Vegas to six games above the .500-mark, at 309-303.

SHORT HOPS: Tacoma enters play today with 299 runs scored, the fourth-most in the Pacific Coast League; they would be the fourth team to get to 300 runs on the year, trailing Sugar Land (339), Albuquerque (315) and Reno (306)…last night’s victory gave the Rainiers their first series win since taking four-of-six from El Paso back on April 23-28 here at Cheney Stadium...with a win last night and a Sacramento loss, Tacoma is just one game out of first place in the Pacific Coast League West division, the closest they have been to first place since being one game out last Wednesday, May 15.