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Thursday Thumpers:  Tacoma takes series lead

DH Jarred Kelenic (MLB rehab): 1-for-3, BB, 2 runs
September 1, 2023

Tacoma, WA (8/31/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (69-60, 32-22) pulled back within 2.0 games of the Pacific Coast League’s second half playoff spot, with a 5-3 victory over the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (51-78, 18-36) on Thursday evening at Cheney Stadium. First place Round Rock (34-20) was defeated 4-2 at

Tacoma, WA (8/31/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (69-60, 32-22) pulled back within 2.0 games of the Pacific Coast League’s second half playoff spot, with a 5-3 victory over the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (51-78, 18-36) on Thursday evening at Cheney Stadium. First place Round Rock (34-20) was defeated 4-2 at Oklahoma City. The Rainiers have won 15 of 20 at home (since July 26), lead this series 2-1, and finished August 17-10 (10-5 home).

Jarred Kelenic (MLB rehab) and Zach DeLoach rapped back-to-back one-out singles in the first inning, setting the table for Jake Scheiner who promptly homered to left field. The three-run shot was Scheiner’s second of the series and 29th this season- he leads the Pacific Coast League. Scheiner’s 17 home runs at home this season are two shy of the Cheney Stadium record (Adrian Garrett, 1971 Tacoma Cubs).

Tacoma lefty Logan Allen turned in five shutout innings on 73 pitches: 3 H, 4 BB, 2 K. Space Cowboys starter Ronel Blanco lasted 4.0 IP: 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (79 pitches).

Sugar Land tightened the score in the sixth, with a two-out, two-RBI single from JJ Matijevic, scoring Pedro Leon (single) and David Hensley (BB) for the first visiting runs. It was 4-2 Rainiers in the home sixth when Scheiner drove in his fourth run of the night on a groundout, plating Kelenic who led off with a walk and moved to third on a DeLoach double hammered to right. Scheiner’s 99 RBI also lead the PCL, and he’s on the precipice of driving in 100 runs for a consecutive season; he did so for the first time in his career last year at Double-A Arkansas (105 RBI).

DeLoach, who leads Tacoma with 127 hits, led off the eighth with a screaming home run (19) pulled to right field for an insurance tally and a 5-3 lead. The homers from Scheiner (108.2 MPH EV) and DeLoach (107.9 MPH EV) were the two hardest-hit balls of the evening; DeLoach also has the second-most hits in the PCL after a game-high three on Thursday.

Rainiers right-handers Ryder Ryan (1.1 IP, 4 K) and Riley O’Brien (1.0 IP, 3 K) each recorded all outs via strikeout during their scoreless outings; when O’Brien struck out the side in order in the ninth, it finished his 11th save. O’Brien has fanned 27 batters over his last 18.1 IP dating to July 5, and is 7-for-7 in save opportunities during that span.

This weeklong series will continue with game four on Friday, a 7:05 PT first pitch. Nine home games remain at Cheney Stadium in 2023, including six against Round Rock from September 19-24, to end the regular season.

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.