Strikeouts reigned supreme Friday night at Cheney Stadium as the Tacoma Rainiers lost 3-0 to Las Vegas to stretch their losing streak to three games.
All told, the Rainiers struck out 15 times, and the Aviators struck out 13 times. Just two batters — Eric Filia and Las Vegas’ Nick Martini — didn’t have to take the long walk back to the dugout at least once.
The punchout effort was led was led by Aviators starter Sean Manaea, who struck out 12 in seven innings of work.
“His changeup gave us problems, he moved his fastball around, breaking ball had everything working,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “We had a hard time making any kind of adjustments.”
Martini walked to lead off the top of the first, and Dustin Fowler cashed in immediately with a two-run home run off of Tacoma starter Andrew Moore. That ended up being all of the scoring until the eighth, but it was more than the Aviators needed.
Moore went four innings, allowing six hits and striking out five.
He was replaced by Nabil Crismatt, who struck out five more in three shutout innings.
Las Vegas extended its lead in the top of the eighth against Dan Altavilla, his first run allowed in five rehab appearances, but he also struck out two batters of his own.
“If you don’t score you’re not going to win, but I thought our pitchers did a nice job tonight,” Brown said.
Tacoma will play its final home night game of the year Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Mike Wright is scheduled to start on the hill for the Rainiers against Parker Dunshee.
Andreoli is back atop the Tacoma lineup
On Aug. 13, 2018, John Andreoli was in the same spot he was in Friday night: batting leadoff for the Tacoma Rainiers.
But a whole lot happened for the 29-year-old outfielder in those 375 days in between.
“I found it out first-hand this offseason, you really can’t expect anything or plan something out,” Andreoli said before Tacoma’s game against Las Vegas at Cheney Stadium.
That game just over a year ago was the final time last season Andreoli would lead off for the Rainiers. Four days later, the Mariners designated him for assignment. The day after that, Baltimore claimed him off waivers, and by Aug. 21, he was up with the Orioles, where he played the final 23 games of the year.
Then the offseason hit, and Andreoli began bouncing around baseball. Three different teams — including the Mariners — claimed him off waivers before he was traded from San Francisco to Minnesota in late March.
After a rough start to the season with Triple-A Rochester, Andreoli ended up back in Tacoma after yet another trade. In 62 games with the Rainiers, he’s turned it around, hitting .276 with nine home runs and 15 doubles.
“He is a veteran guy that I think gives us a good at-bat to start a game off,” manager Daren Brown said. “I think that’s important. He gets good pitches to hit, for the most part, he takes walks. He’s been doing a nice job of making them throw strikes, and when getting a pitch he can handle, he’s been able to put a good swing on it.”
With much more than a normal year’s worth of experience under his belt, Andreoli has become one of the veterans in the Tacoma clubhouse, and he’s learned to not project too far out ahead of the next few games.
“You just have to — wherever you show up that day — play your heart out, try to win that day, and just enjoy competing,” Andreoli said. “You never know where you’re going to be x-amount of weeks from now. Just enjoy where you are.”
Braden Bishop was added to the Tacoma roster Friday evening. Brown said that he would play Saturday.
Bishop, who made his MLB debut earlier this season, was put on the IL on June 5 with a lacerated spleen. He began his rehab on Aug. 14, and has played seven games with High-A Modesto since.
The rookie outfielder hit .293 in 38 games with Tacoma earlier this season. He’s appeared 10 times for the Mariners.