Rainiers hit road after win
Danny Hultzen was only a spectator in the Tacoma Rainiers 6-4 victory against the Reno Aces on Friday night at Cheney Stadium.
But come today, Hultzen won’t be sitting with the rest of the Rainiers’ pitching staff.
The No. 2 pick overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2011 makes his Triple-A debut at Colorado Springs – one step closer to his goal of pitching in Seattle.
“Obviously, we know what he has done in Double-A and we just want him to go out and throw his ballgame,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “It’s the first time at this level, but if he goes out and does what he does, he will be OK.”
Hultzen has plenty to look forward to if the Rainiers can keep up their hitting as they scored six runs against the Pacific Coast League North Division-leading Reno (45-30) after scoring nine runs Thursday – Tacoma’s first wins against the Aces after losing the previous 16 games against them.
Hultzen was called up to Tacoma on Wednesday after going 8-3 with a 1.19 earned-run average and 79 strikeouts at Double-A Jackson.
He was promoted to Tacoma along with Mariners’ top fielding prospect Nick Franklin, who was 1-for-3 in his second game with the Rainiers.
Franklin struck out twice in his first two at-bats Friday – his fourth and fifth strikeouts in seven plate appearances with Tacoma – but ripped a single to center in the sixth and scored on a two-run homer by Luis Jimenez.
Vinnie Catricala hit a home run in the eighth inning – his sixth of the season but first at Cheney Stadium – to push Tacoma’s lead to 6-4.
Catricala made his first start of the season in left field after playing 67 games at third base. Instead, Alex Liddi got the start at third.
Catricala’s fielding error in the sixth allowed a runner to score, but he made up for it as he connected in the eighth inning.
Brian Moran shut down Reno in two innings of relief – his first game with Tacoma (31-43) as he was called up from Double-A Jackson earlier in the day – before Steve Delabar worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.
Delabar allowed one run on two hits and two walks in the rain in his one inning of work.
Hultzen shouldn’t have to worry about rain in Colorado Springs today with an expected high of 97 degrees.
It’s only fitting as Hultzen looks to extend his hot play and continue to prove himself as a bright spot in the Mariners’ organization.
Hultzen (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first Triple-A start at Colorado Springs at 5:05 p.m. (PDT). The Sky Sox did not announce who will start against Tacoma today.