Tacoma Rainiers

Rainiers can’t dig themselves out of hole in second straight loss

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The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They play at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.
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The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They play at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

For the second straight contest, the Rainiers trailed early and couldn’t put enough runs on the board to counter an early onslaught en route to a 11-5 loss to the Iowa Cubs Saturday night at Cheney Stadium.

It was in the third, and seventh innings where the I-Cubs did most of their damage, exploding for four runs in both innings and effectively icing the game in the seventh. Stepping in for relief in the inning, David McKay had one of his toughest outings in recent stints, allowing the first four batters to each base and getting yanked before he could record an out.

“He pitched yesterday and I think it’s important to get these guys used to what they’ll be asked to do at the big league level which is pitch one day and be able to pitch the next day,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “It probably wasn’t the result he was looking for today, but there’s a point where, especially where he hasn’t gotten an out.”

The beginning didn’t look all that pretty for Tacoma either, as just on the game’s second pitch, Iowa leadoff hitter Donnie Dewees smacked a home run into right field to take a quick 1-0 lead out of the gate. Then, Rainiers starter Darren McCaughan ran into more trouble, hitting a batter and giving up another run after a double before escaping the inning without further damage.

The Rainiers were able to respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, but in the third inning, the I-Cubs greatly increased their lead. After allowing a walk and a single, McCaughan gave up back-to-back home runs, allowing four earned runs over the inning and extending the Iowa lead to five.

“He got himself in bad counts and used up a lot of pitches doing it,” Brown said of McCaughan. “Close to 80 pitches through three innings, six runs, they put us in a hole, which we’ve had a lot. I thought we did a nice job battling back and making it a game.”

The Rainiers did fight back, dropping two runs in consecutive innings to pull it relatively close by the fifth. In the fourth it was an Eric Filia two-run homer that brought the game closer, and then three straight doubles from Jordan Pacheco, Filia, and John Andreoli in fifth brought the deficit down to two.

But after surrendering four more runs in the seventh, the Rainiers couldn’t muster enough offense to win, and dropped their second straight.

The Rainiers are still in search of their first series win, and are hoping to change their fortunes Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at Cheney Stadium against the I-Cubs.

Left-handed reliever acquired from Nationals comes in and impresses Rainiers in first appearance

It didn’t take long for fans to see what the Seattle Mariners received from the Washington Nationals in the trade that shipped relievers Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias off to the National League.

On Friday night, Taylor Guilbeau made his Tacoma Rainiers and Mariners organization debut at Cheney Stadium. The left-handed reliever threw a scoreless inning,s striking out two and giving up a hit while flashing impressive velocity.

The move was much needed for a Mariners organization that desperately needs left-handers relievers, and Rainiers manager Daren Brown acknowledged that before their game against the Iowa Cubs at Cheney Stadium Saturday night.

“Any time you get a guy in a trade you feel like it was somebody they liked, it’s obviously someone we liked, that’s why we asked for him,” Brown said. “So it’s just letting them get adjusted to a new club and the things we do and what we’re about.”

The 26-year-old lefty is already the Mariners 22nd-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com. Brown and pitching coach Lance Painter liked what they saw.

“He went out there and attacked and showed really good life on the fastball,” Painter said. “He showed a good bottom on the change-up, and he admits that his slider is still a work in progress but he threw it a couple times. I was very impressed with his first time out.”

Guilbeau said that he found out that he had been traded when his roommate and Fresno Grizzlies’ teammate, Wil Crowe, texted him and told him that the Mariners had acquired him. Later on Wednesday, Guilbeau got a call from Jerry Dipoto and then began making plans to head to Tacoma.

He showed little effects from the shakeup.

“It’s one thing you have to get used to throwing to new catchers,” Guilbeau said. “You could get traded, you go to different teams, get called up, called down, everything. You have to get used to catchers and can’t let that affect you.”

After a solid debut outing, Guilbeau is looking to build off that positive momentum and not let the trade and change of scenery affect how he was performing in Fresno.

“I need to stay healthy,” Guilbeau said. “Don’t let coming over here change who I am, you know, I need to keep what I was doing in Fresno and with the Nationals and bring it over here and keep throwing strikes.”

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