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May 9 Game Notes: Tacoma Rainiers @ Reno Aces

May 9, 2024

TACOMA RAINIERS (19-16) @ RENO ACES (17-18) Thursday, May 9 • 6:05 PM • Greater Nevada Field • Reno, NV LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-3, 4.15) vs. RHP Cristian Mena (2-0, 3.97)

Thursday, May 9 • 6:05 PM • Greater Nevada Field • Reno, NV
LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-3, 4.15) vs. RHP Cristian Mena (2-0, 3.97)

TONIGHT’S GAME: Tacoma and Reno are set to play game three of their six-game set tonight, with Dallas Keuchel taking the mound for the Rainiers. Keuchel is 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA in five starts this year, allowing 12 earned runs on 26 hits and seven walks, striking out 11 batters over his 26.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .263 against the southpaw. Opposite Keuchel will be Cristian Mena taking the ball for the Aces, entering play with a 2-0 record and a 3.97 ERA. The right-hander has allowed 15 earned runs on 29 hits and 20 walks, striking out 37 batters over 34.0 innings. In his start against the Rainiers back on April 11, he allowed six earned runs on five hits including three home runs, walking five while striking out six over 4.0 innings.

WELCOME BACK: Mauricio Llovera was a lone bright spot for Tacoma’s pitching staff last night, the only pitcher to not allow a run in their 15-6 loss to Reno. For Llovera, it was his first outing since April 19, after spending time on the injured list. The 27-year-old tossed a perfect fifth inning, retiring each of the three batters he faced on just nine pitches. He is now 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in seven games this season, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out eight in 9.1 innings.

TIED IT: Samad Taylor went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk last night, extending his hitting streak to a season-long five games. It marks the second time this year he has recorded a five-game hitting streak, with the first coming on April 14-19. Over his current five-game stretch that started back on May 3, the utility-man is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with five runs scored, five walks and five strikeouts. Taylor has also been creating problems for the opposition once he gets on base, stealing four bases over his current hitting streak.

BLOWN UP: Last night was a forgettable one for Tacoma, as they dropped game two of the series by a score of 15-6. The loss marked their biggest loss of the year and was a season high in runs allowed. They also surrendered a season-high 18 hits in the game. The Rainiers allowed five runs in back-to-back frames, as Reno put up 10 runs over the sixth and seventh innings. Their bullpen ERA went from 4.04 to 4.62 and the team’s ERA in May went from 3.96 to 5.59.

ON THE ROSTER: Emerson Hancock joins Tacoma’s roster today for the first time in his career. The former first-round selection started the season with Seattle, going 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA in seven starts. He was originally optioned to the Rainiers on March 23, but Bryan Woo’s injury opened a spot in Seattle’s rotation and the right-hander stepped in. Last season, Hancock had his contract selected by Seattle straight from Double-A Arkansas on Aug. 9 and was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right shoulder strain on Aug. 21. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list the following day, ending his season.

PROVIDING A SPARK: Blake Hunt drove in half of the team’s runs last night with one swing of the bat, driving a three-run home run. The deep fly was his third of the year and extended his hitting streak to a season-long four games. Hunt is now hitting .306 (19-for-62) on the season, good for the team lead. He has collected four doubles, a triple and three home runs and is tied for third on the team with 18 runs driven in.

BACK ON TRACK: After starting the season with a 2-0 record and a 0.90 ERA through his first two starts, Dallas Keuchel has lost each of his last three starts. The southpaw has allowed 11 earned runs on 21 hits in 16.0 innings over those three games. His last victory came against this Reno Aces team back on April 12, when he allowed one earned run on two hits and two walks, striking out four over 5.0 innings.

AGAINST RENO: Tacoma and Reno will play game three of the series tonight, with the Aces having won each of the first two games. Tacoma still leads the season series by two games, at 5-3, after going 5-1 in their six games at Cheney Stadium back in April. They are trailing the all-time series against the Aces by 40 games, at 106-146.

SHORT HOPS: Since returning to Tacoma from Seattle, Jonatan Clase is hitting just .100 (3-for-30) with a double and an RBI, walking eight times compared to 14 strikeouts…Blake Hunt was “charged” with all 14 earned runs last night, accounting for 17% of his season-long 83 runs allowed when he catches.