Tacoma, WA (7/26/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (40-53) blanked the El Paso Chihuahuas (52-42) 2-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Cheney Stadium. It was the sixth shutout of the season for the Rainiers and their second since July 22. Tacoma took a perfect game into the sixth inning, allowing three baserunners
Tacoma, WA (7/26/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (40-53) blanked the El Paso Chihuahuas (52-42) 2-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Cheney Stadium. It was the sixth shutout of the season for the Rainiers and their second since July 22. Tacoma took a perfect game into the sixth inning, allowing three baserunners on the day.
The Rainiers got an incredible start from Austin Warner. The lefty, who typically pitches out of the bullpen and only had two starts prior to Tuesday, struck out four Chihuahua batters over four perfect innings. The performance was no fluke for Warner, as since May 19, he has allowed just three runs over 23.1 innings (1.16 ERA) with a 0.90 WHIP.
Tacoma broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mason McCoy reached by beating out a soft ground ball to second base, the first hit of the game for either team. McCoy then stole second and advanced to third on a Marcus Wilson groundout. With two out, Jarred Kelenic laced a ball over the head of Luis Liberato in left for a double, giving the Rainiers a 1-0 lead.
LHP Brennan Bernardino relieved Warner and pitched the fifth and sixth innings. Although Bernardino, who has been excellent in limited action for Tacoma (0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings), allowed the first baserunner of the game for El Paso with one out in the sixth, the veteran lefty did not permit a run and struck out four over his two innings of work.
In the sixth, the Rainiers tacked on another run. Kevin Padlo led off the frame with a walk, advanced to second when Brian O’Keefe was hit by a pitch, and stole third. Erick Mejia then flew out to deep right field, driving in Padlo and extending Tacoma’s lead to two.
The combination of LHP Taylor Williams and LHP Kyle Bird shut down the Chihuahuas in the seventh and eighth innings, facing the minimum while striking out four. El Paso made it interesting in the ninth against RHP Drew Steckenrider. With C.J. Hinojosa (walk) on first and one out, Jose Azocar lined a ball into the left field corner. When Hinojosa aggressively rounded third, looking to score on the hit, left fielder Mejia fired the ball in to McCoy. Hinojosa then abruptly stopped and retreated to third, but it was too late, as McCoy relayed the ball to Padlo, who tagged Hinojosa for the second out of the inning. Steckenrider got Will Meyers to fly out to end the game, securing the 2-0 shutout victory.
The Rainiers play next against the Chihuahuas on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. PT at Cheney Stadium. LHP Justus Sheffield will take the ball for Tacoma and is slated to face RHP Pedro Avila.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.