TACOMA, Wash. – Danny Hultzen tossed six shutout innings and Brad Miller stretched his hitting streak to 22 games as the Tacoma Rainiers blanked the Las Vegas 51s 2-0 at Cheney Stadium on Thursday night.
Hultzen (4-1) limited the 51s to two hits and struck out six in his first start since being activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. The left-hander was placed on the DL on May 29 after he was diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain.
Miller stretched a 1-0 Rainiers lead to two runs with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the sixth inning - his sixth with Tacoma this season - and ended the night going 2-for-4. The shortstop has hit safely in 22 consecutive games dating back to May 29 - the second-longest hitting streak in the PCL. He has reached safely in each of his 26 games since earning a promotion from Double-A Jackson on May 25.
The Rainiers broke open a scoreless game in the fifth. Infielder Robert Andino lined a two-out single that cleared the way for Nate Tenbrink to score the go-ahead run from second base.
Relievers Brian Sweeney (1.1), Brian Moran (1.0) and Logan Bawcom (0.2) combined to strikeout five Las Vegas batters over 3.0 shutout frames. The right-hander Bawcom collected the final two outs en route to earning his team-leading 12th save of the season.
Tacoma has now posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since May 7-8, 2010. The club has not allowed a sun to score in 22 consecutive innings pitched dating back to June 24.
The first-place Rainiers (48-33) host the second game of a four-game series against Las Vegas (40-38) at 7:05 p.m. Reigning PCL Pitcher of the Week James Paxton (4-5, 4.75) is slated to start for Tacoma against 51s right-hander D.J. Mitchell (4-3, 7.42).
Every Rainiers game throughout the 2013 season can be heard live on South Sound Sports 850-AM and is available for online streaming at www.tacomarainiers.com.
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