Tacoma, WA (9/20/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (77-69, 40-31) pulled within a game of the Pacific Coast League’s lone second half playoff spot on Wednesday evening, with a 5-2 win over one of the clubs they’re chasing, the Round Rock Express (85-60, 41-30). The Rainiers must win at least three
Tacoma, WA (9/20/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (77-69, 40-31) pulled within a game of the Pacific Coast League’s lone second half playoff spot on Wednesday evening, with a 5-2 win over one of the clubs they’re chasing, the Round Rock Express (85-60, 41-30). The Rainiers must win at least three of their four remaining regular season games to have a chance to qualify for the postseason; two losses will eliminate them from contention. Las Vegas and Reno are the other clubs still alive, and are also playing each other this week.
Tacoma leapt to a 3-0 lead in the second, on an Adam Engel solo homer to left field, and a two-run single by Cooper Hummel, facilitated by an Express error that extended the inning.
The first Round Rock run scored in the fifth; Jonathan Orneles worked a leadoff walk and stole second base, later scoring on a J.P. Martinez bloop double.
Rainiers RHP Darren McCaughan – in his 84th start for the franchise – struck out five over 5.1 IP. McCaughan’s 414 Triple-A strikeouts are third-most in franchise history (since 1960) and the most in “Rainiers” history and the modern era (since 1995/Seattle affiliation). McCaughan allowed three hits and two earned runs on Wednesday.
Round Rock RHP Robert Dugger, a former Rainier and member of the 2021 championship club, needed 4.1 IP to throw 93 pitches. Dugger allowed four runs on seven hits, but only one run was earned (3 BB, 3 K).
Leading 4-2 in the eighth, Engel led off with a single, and scored the insurance run when Robbie Tenerowicz smashed an opposite field double off the wall in right. It was insurance that closer Riley O’Brien would hardly need, striking out two to nail down his 15th save in a scoreless ninth. O’Brien has struck out 42 batters over his last 25.0 IP. Stephen Kolek preceded O’Brien with two shutout frames of his own (2 K).
The midpoint of this weeklong series will be on Thursday, after a 7:05 PT affair at Cheney Stadium. LHP Kyle Hart (Tacoma) and RHP Owen White (Round Rock) is the scheduled starting pitching matchup.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2023 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home 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 by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.