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Rainiers remain in race after another thriller

RF Jarred Kelenic (MLB rehab): 6 innings played, BB in 3 PA
September 2, 2023

Tacoma, WA (9/1/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (70-60, 33-22) ascended to 10 games above .500 overall for the first time this season on Friday night, with a late-inning, 4-2, come-from-behind win over the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (51-79, 18-37). It was Tacoma’s third win in four during this weeklong series,

Tacoma, WA (9/1/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (70-60, 33-22) ascended to 10 games above .500 overall for the first time this season on Friday night, with a late-inning, 4-2, come-from-behind win over the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (51-79, 18-37). It was Tacoma’s third win in four during this weeklong series, and their 15th victory this season when trailing in the seventh inning or later.

The Rainiers remain 2.0 games back of first place Round Rock (35-20) for the Pacific Coast League’s second half playoff spot. Round Rock were 4-2 winners at Oklahoma City on Friday. Tacoma has won 16 of 21 at home, and is 40-27 within the friendly confines of Cheney Stadium this season (19-12 second half).

Sugar Land scored twice in the first inning, with the aid of two Tacoma errors; Corey Julks (double) and David Hensley (single) each found their way home. Four Rainiers right-handers would go on to pitch eight shutout innings from there, setting the stage for some seventh inning dramatics.

Marcus Walden was superb, logging a quality start over 6.0 IP. Both runs against him were unearned, scattering five hits. Walden did not walk a batter, and struck out four. Space Cowboys RHP Brandon Bielak responded with 5.0 shutout innings: 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K.

Still trailing 2-0 in the seventh with two out and nobody on, Tacoma managed to load the bases with a hit and two walks. Ryan Bliss (single) scored on a passed ball, before Jake Scheiner drilled his PCL-leading 30th homer (3-run) to left field for a 4-2 lead, which would stand up as the final. Scheiner has homered three times in four games, and also leads the league with 102 RBI- it’s his second time over 100, after driving in 105 runs for Double-A Arkansas last season.

Scheiner has achieved the seventh 30-home run season in Tacoma’s Triple-A history (since 1960), and the first since Alex Liddi (30) for the 2011 Rainiers. Scheiner’s 18 homers at Cheney Stadium this year are now only one shy of the ballpark record for a single-season; Adrian Garrett hit 19 home runs in home games for the 1971 Tacoma Cubs.

Bliss joined Scheiner with multiple hits for the Rainiers, and reached base three times including a first inning walk. His night ended with three stolen bases.

Juan Then (win), Diego Castillo (hold) and Ryan Jensen (save) each chipped in a scoreless frame to close it out, with a strikeout apiece. Jensen’s save was his first career.

Jarred Kelenic (foot) made a second start in his MLB rehab assignment, and played right field for six innings. Kelenic drew a walk (3rd inning) in three plate appearances.

The penultimate game of this weeklong series will be on Saturday evening, a 6:05 PT first pitch at Cheney Stadium. Tacoma sends RHP Darren McCaughan to the mound, against Sugar Land RHP Spencer Arrighetti.

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.