Oakland Raiders Unveil New Preseason Local Broadcast Team; Tim Brown, Matt Millen

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders will introduce new talent for the team’s three locally televised preseason broadcasts in 2015.

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Veteran announcer Beth Mowins will handle the play-by-play duties and will be joined in the broadcast booth by Tim Brown, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015, and former Raider and veteran television commentator Matt Millen. Nicole Zaloumis will provide sideline analysis, and JT the Brick will return, serving as host and sideline reporter for the telecasts.

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Mark Davis

“I believe we’ve assembled an all-star team for our preseason broadcast,” said Owner Mark Davis. “It means a lot to this organization that we create a great experience for the Raider Nation, in-stadium and at home.”

“It’s an honor to join the Raiders broadcast team with Tim, Matt, Nicole and JT,” said Mowins. “Calling games for one of the premier franchises in the NFL is a real privilege, especially alongside a Hall of Famer and a four-time Super Bowl champion. The Raiders have always taken pride in being innovative and we are excited to engage with Raider Nation in what promises to be an exciting buildup to the new season.”

Tim Brown

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Brown. “Not only is it the Raiders, but I’ll be alongside Matt Millen, who took care of me when I first joined the team. I can’t wait to get started.”

Silver and Black Productions, the Raiders’ Emmy Award-winning in-house television production team, will produce and broadcast three of the Raiders’ four preseason tilts via FOX affiliate KTVU-2/KICU-36, beginning with the team’s preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 14 at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders will travel to Minnesota for a preseason contest on Aug. 22 before returning home for a nationally-televised game against the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 30, to be broadcast on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Oakland closes out the preseason with a road game at Seattle on Sept. 3.

Mowins has worked with ESPN since 1994, beginning as a commentator for women’s college basketball. She began calling college football on ESPNU in 2005, and currently commentates on NCAA Championships in basketball, softball and volleyball in addition to regular season college football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Brown, who was selected for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January, played 16 seasons for the Raiders from 1988-2003 and is the fifth-leading receiver in NFL history with 1,094 catches. The 23rd Raider elected to the Hall of Fame, Brown ranks sixth all time in receiving yardage (14,934) and scored 105 career touchdowns. In 2012, Brown joined SiriusXM Radio as a football analyst and host and he currently is a college football analyst for ESPN, as well as a co-host on a CBS radio affiliate in Dallas.

Millen, who entered the NFL as the Silver and Black’s second-round pick in 1980, played 12 seasons with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins, and was a part of four Super Bowl winning teams. Following his playing career, Millen was an NFL commentator for both CBS and FOX before becoming President and CEO of the Detroit Lions from 2001 to 2008. He returned to broadcasting in 2009 with ESPN, covering both the NFL and college football. He has also served as an analyst and color commentator for NBC, the NFL Network and Westwood One radio. He returned to FOX Sports in May 2015 as the lead game analyst for the Big Ten Network.

Zaloumis is currently the SiriusXM host of B/R Spotlight on Bleacher Report Radio after previously serving as co-host on the NFL Network’s NFL AM show from 2012-14. A Bay Area native, Zaloumis was a host and sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network prior to a stint Comcast SportsNet New England, where she was a main anchor and reporter on the network’s daily show, “Chevrolet SportsNet Central.” She was also a host and reporter in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

JT the Brick currently hosts a nationally-syndicated talk show on FOX Sports Radio. He has handled preseason sideline reporting duties for the Silver and Black since 2008, has served as the host for the “Raiders Report” television show, and has appeared on numerous national radio and television broadcasts.

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats vs Arizona Rattlers Friday July 31st 7:30 PDT

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, CA. – The San Jose SaberCats (15-1) will host National Conference rivals, the Arizona Rattlers (13-3) on Friday, July 31st; kickoff is set for 7:30pm PDT and the game will be on CBS Sports Network as well as 1220AM KDOW.

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With a win, San Jose would clinch the top seed in the National Conference, giving them home field advantage in the opening round and conference championship game. The showdown will feature the past two Arena Football League Most Valuable Players in quarterbacks Erik Meyer and Nick Davila.

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In their last game, the SaberCats erased a 20-point deficit to comeback for a wild, 55-49 overtime victory over the Portland Thunder. Meyer paved the way, completing 68-percent of his passes, adding eight touchdowns and the go ahead score to receiver Ben Nelson. Meyer’s 83 touchdowns rank fifth in the AFL and are the second most in a season for his career.

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In the win over the Thunder, receiver Reggie Gray broke the SaberCats franchise record for receptions and touchdowns in a single season. Gray leads the league with 44 touchdowns (41 receiving) and 147 receptions, propelling the SaberCats offense to an average of 59.1 points per game, trailing the Philadelphia Soul by six points (59.4) for the top mark in the AFL.

Meanwhile, The Rattlers held off a second half rally by the LA KISS, en route to a 68-55 victory on Sunday. Davila, who missed the first matchup earlier this season in Arizona, has thrown seven or more touchdowns in each of the past three games. The reigning league MVP has 79 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games this season.

Davila’s favorite target Rod Windsor, earned Week 16 AFL MVP honors with 113 receiving yards and four touchdowns against the Las Vegas Outlaws and is carrying a streak of 25 consecutive games with a touchdown. The fifth year receiver has 126 receptions 1,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, averaging 115.1 receiving yards per game this season.

After being activated last week, fellow receiver Chase Deadder grabbed a game-high four touchdown receptions, including three in the fourth quarter to hold off the KISS. Deadder increased his total to 14 receiving touchdowns on the season and along with Kerry Reed, who has 23 touchdowns, the Rattlers rank third in scoring offense (56.7 points per game).

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Though the Rattlers have a potent offense, the SaberCats’ defense has stifled their opponents. Through 16 games, San Jose has surrendered a league-low 37.2 points per game and have held six of their opponents under 30 points. San Jose is led by standout defensive back Ken Fontenette, whose 138.5 tackles is a new franchise single-season record and leads the AFL.

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The veteran duo of Francis Maka and Jason Stewart has propelled the SaberCats to a league-high 40 sacks this season. Maka is second in the AFL with 10.5 sacks and is currently San Jose’s all-time franchise sacks leader. Stewart, the 2014 AFL Defensive Player of the Year, has 10 sacks and a total of 20.5 tackles to go along with a forced fumble and recovery. With the combination of ball hawks in the secondary and elite pass rushers, the SaberCats defense will be in a battle against the top scoring offense they have faced this season.

Similarly, the Rattlers have a tremendous defensive back and pair of pass rushers sure to disrupt the flow of any offense. Jeremy Kellem leads the team with 87.5 tackles and leads the AFL with 13 interceptions and 31 pass breakups.

Meanwhile, Tyre Glasper has been a force for Arizona’s pass rush. In his fifth season with the Rattlers, Glasper has set a career-high with 13 tackles for a loss and his 10.5 sacks are tied with Maka for second in the league. Glasper also had his first interception of the season against the KISS this past week. Defensive end Michael McAdoo is second on team with nine sacks in just 12 games, as the Rattlers rank second in scoring defense, giving up an average of 45.7 points per game.

With two games left in the regular season, San Jose is on the verge of matching the 2014 Cleveland Gladiator’s record mark of 17-1 and clinching the top seed with a win over the three-time defending ArenaBowl Champions.

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Las Vegas 51s Roast River Cats 14-2

Photos by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The official scorer announced a game time temperature of 102 degrees – a new season-high for Sacramento – but the Las Vegas 51s brought their own heat to Tuesday’s series opener. The Sacramento River Cats watched as Las Vegas jumped ahead 4-0 in the top of the first and were unable to do anything to slow the rolling 51s, falling 14-2 Tuesday night at Raley Field.

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Tommy Hanson (0-4, 8.22) made his fifth start for the River Cats and immediately found himself in a hole. The 51s wasted no time in tagging the right-hander for four runs, taking advantage of three hits, three walks, a wild pitch, and an error. Hanson needed 37 pitches to get out of the inning and was helped by his infield, as third basemen Kevin Frandsen picked a hard-hit ground ball to start an inning-ending double play.

Las Vegas was far from done, however, and would get to the River Cats staff for 14 runs on 15 hits before the game was over. They also drew nine walks in the contest, tying the most allowed by the River Cats this season.

Sacramento’s offense continued to struggle at home, further emphasizing the growing difference in the team’s home/road splits. Coming off a decisive doubleheader sweep in which the River Cats scored 20 runs on 30 hits in 14 innings, they managed just 2 runs on 7 hits in Tuesday night’s loss.

For the season, the River Cats are hitting an excellent .308 with 53 home runs and 284 runs scored on the road (51 games). At home, they are hitting just .238 with 35 homers and 180 runs scored (53 games).

Sacramento was unable to generate any significant offense against Las Vegas’ right-hander Dillon Gee (5-1, 5.44), who threw a complete game for the 51s. Gee needed 99 pitches (69 strikes) in the outing, and allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking one.

Juan Perez found success against the 51s’ right-hander, going 2-for-4 with his 22nd double of the season. He also scored Sacramento’s second run on a Frandsen groundout in the seventh inning. The first Sacramento run came in the third inning when Frandsen scored on Kelby Tomlinson’s infield single. It was Tomlinson’s 11th RBI with the River Cats.

Sacramento will look to bounce back tomorrow night behind their young right-hander Clayton Blackburn (5-3, 3.84). Blackburn, the third River Cats pitcher to reach five wins this season, has won his last two straight starts. Opposing him will be Las Vegas’ righty Tyler Pill (2-6, 7.60). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Series Preview: Las Vegas 51s; River Cats Look to Play Spoiler Against Division-Leading 51s

Photo by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats will face the Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets) for the fourth and final time this season as Las Vegas makes their second appearance at Raley Field tonight, kicking off a four-game series. The division-leading 51s are looking to extend their lead in the Pacific Southern, but the River Cats are playing for the season series and enter the homestand trailing Las Vegas five games to seven.

Scouting the Teams

Protecting a five-game lead in the Pacific Southern division, the 51s have stumbled slightly coming out of the All-Star break. In their first 12 games since the break, they are 5-7 despite averaging more than five runs a game. The 51s are in the middle of a stretch where they play 21 of 29 games on the road with their stop in Sacramento right in the middle. Las Vegas has played well enough on the road so far this season though, hitting .268 away from their home park and posting a 22-28 road record.

Sacramento is coming off of an offensive outburst on Monday in which they swept a doubleheader with the Albuquerque Isotopes, outscoring them 20-1 in the process. Since the All-Star break, the River Cats have had their ups and downs, holding a record of 7-5 in that 12 game span. The River Cats currently sit 12 games back of the first-place Fresno Grizzlies in the Pacific Northern division. After this four game series, Sacramento will embark on a season-long 13-game road trip.

Players to Watch

Las Vegas’ OF Travis Taijeron comes into the series hitting over .300 in his last 10 games. The right-handed outfielder has smashed two homers while driving in five for the 51s in that time. Taijeron entered the season known for his power and ability to get on base, and has not disappointed. His 17 home runs lead the team and his .406 on base percentage is second among active 51s.

The 51s’ RHP Matt Bowman was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week yesterday. He achieved that honor thanks to his start last Tuesday, in which he threw a complete game 2-hit shutout against the Fresno Grizzlies. In 2015, Bowman holds a record of 7-10 with a 5.32 ERA.

River Cats’ INF Adam Duvall has continued to post excellent numbers in the month of July, both at home and on the road. He is hitting .350 in 22 July games while slugging nine home runs and driving in 29, with four of those home runs and 11 RBIs coming at Raley Field.

Sacramento’s OF Ryan Lollis and INF Kevin Frandsen have both had great success against the 51s this season. The duo are hitting .571 and .474, respectively, with a combined seven runs scored, three extra base hits, and four RBIs.

Matchup History

The River Cats will be looking to take the upper hand on the 51s this series, as the two sides split a four game series at Raley Field back in the second week of the season. Overall in 2015, Sacramento is 5-7 in 12 games against the 51s, with eight of those contests occurring at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. Historically, the River Cats have fared well against Las Vegas, with a record of 146-106 (.579).

Probable Pitchers

Tuesday, July 28 (7:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Tommy Hanson (0-3, 6.41) vs. RHP Dillon Gee (4-1, 6.35)

Wednesday, July 29 (7:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Clayton Blackburn (5-3, 3.84) vs. RHP Tyler Pill (2-6, 7.60)

Thursday, July 30 (7:05 p.m. PDT): LHP Nik Turley (4-5, 5.37) vs. RHP Luis Cessa (0-2, 8.84)

Friday, July 31 (7:05 p.m. PDT): LHP Ty Blach (9-8, 4.00) vs. RHP Matthew Bowman (7-10, 5.32)

Series Preview Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

The Oakland Raiders Place Linebacker Sio Moore on Active/PUP List

Photo By Shawn Jonas

The Oakland Raiders third-year Linebacker Sio Moore will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Raiders confirmed the news on www.Raiders.com as well as the NFL’s Adam Caplan with this tweet.

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Moore had surgery on his hip  late last season and went on the injured reserve list Dec. 16. Moore’s offseason program has included very little on-field time as he rehabbed the injury.

The third-round draft pick out of UConn, has played in 26 games with 140 tackles in two season in Oakland.  Ray-Ray Armstrong will likely fill the void left by Moore with the first team when camp begins. Ex-Seahawks LB and Superbowl MVP Malcolm Smith is also an option at the position.

Napa Valley, Ca.– Moore reported to camp at the Napa Valley Marriott with the rookies, quarterbacks and other players rehabbing due to injury on  Sunday. With the first practice scheduled for Friday the Veterans will  report on Thursday.

The Raiders can activate Moore any time they feel he is ready. Until then, he will not count toward the 90 players on the camp roster.

Sacramento River Cats Vs Albuquerque Isotopes; River Cats Swing Away in Doubleheader Sweep

Photo by Shawn Jonas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After an unexpected rain storm washed away last night’s game, the Sacramento River Cats and Isotopes took part in a doubleheader Monday. Thanks to phenomenal starts from both Ty Blach and Chris Stratton, as well as another big day by Adam Duvall, Sacramento crushed Albuquerque in both games of the doubleheader (10-0 and 10-1) and grabbed the series victory.

Game One

Blach (9-8, 4.00) was masterful in the opening game. The left-hander went the distance, throwing a 7-inning shutout while allowing just 4 hits and no walks. Blach also got the job done offensively, going 2-for-4 at the plate with 2-RBIs.

Every River Cat who played in game one recorded a hit, and all but three recorded multi-hit games. Overall, the River Cats scored 10 runs on 16 hits to provide more than enough offense for Blach.
Sacramento’s offensive outburst was once again led by Duvall. He went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, and 4 RBIs in game one. Carlos Triunfel went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in the second inning. The first four spots in the order (Kelby Tomlinson, Ryan Lollis, Juan Perez, and Duvall) combined to go 9-for-15 in game one of the double-dip.

Game Two

Game two seemed to be a continuation of the first game, as Duvall launched a three-run home run in the very first inning. Overall, Duvall finished the doubleheader going 4-for-8 with 2 home runs, a double, and 7 RBIs. The River Cats would add two more in the second, and then put up 4 runs while sending 10 men to the plate in the fifth.

Right-hander Chris Stratton (1-3, 3.02) finally earned his first Triple-A win in the final game Monday. The former first round pick went all 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4. Like Blach, Stratton also helped himself from the plate, going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.

Monday was the second doubleheader the River Cats have had this season. Earlier in the month on July 7, Sacramento and Reno split a doubleheader at Aces Ballpark, which due to rain delays did not conclude until after one o’clock in the morning.

The River Cats will now look forward to a four game series at Raley Field against the visiting Las Vegas 51s. Toeing the rubber in game one of that series will be the veteran right-hander Tommy Hanson (0-3, 6.41). Opposing him will the another veteran of the Major League level, righty Dillon Gee (4-1, 6.35). First pitch Tuesday is set for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Vs El Paso Chihuahuas; Duvall, Hicks, and Bochy Turn Sure Base Hit into Spectacular Out

Photo by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – What would have been an excellent backhanded play by Sacramento River Cats’ first baseman Adam Duvall turned instead into a contender for the play of the season for Sacramento. Duvall combined with second baseman Brandon Hicks and pitcher Brett Bochy to turn a sure base hit into what was likely the out of the year.

Bochy entered the game in the top of the 8th, taking over for River Cats’ starter Tommy Hanson. On Bochy’s fifth pitch of the night, El Paso’s Alex Dickerson smashed a hard groundball to Duvall’s right. The first baseman moved quickly to his backhand, looking to snag a tricky hop, only to watch as the ball ricocheted off his glove and high into the air.

The ball shot out into shallow right field where Hicks came sprinting across. The second baseman plucked the ball from the air and, on the run, spun and fired the ball toward first base.

His throw was a bullet, but placed perfectly. Bochy, who started the whole thing with his pitch, had moved to cover first on contact. Seeing the ball careen off Duvall’s mitt, the right-hander started to slow, but resumed his sprint as Hicks moved on the ball. Bochy caught the throw in stride, hitting the bag just a split-second before Dickerson came down on the base.

“They’ll be talking about that play for years,” said long time River Cats broadcaster Johnny Doskow. “That was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen,” he added. Doskow has been calling games professionally for almost 20 years, 15 with the River Cats. “I’ve seen a lot of really great plays, but that was definitely one of them.”

On the other side of the ball, third baseman Kevin Frandsen went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. His three hits snapped a three-game skid, during which Frandsen had been hitless in 11 at bats.

His seventh inning double just missed leaving the ballpark, hitting high off the wall in deep left-center. The hit scored Mac Williamson all the way from first and gave the River Cats their first run of the night. Sacramento scored again in the inning as Hicks singled Frandsen home.

Hanson (0-3, 6.41) had his longest outing of the season, going 7 innings while taking his third loss with Sacramento. He gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 2. The one walk was a new best for Hanson since joining the River Cats. Bochy and Erik Cordier combined for two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

The River Cats head to Albuquerque next to take on the Pacific Southern’s Isotopes. The River Cats are 4-4 against the ‘Topes this season, splitting one series at home and one on the road. RHP Clayton Blackburn (4-3, 3.97) will kick off the four-game stint for Sacramento while Rockies prospect Jon Gray (5-56, 4.57) goes for Albuquerque. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rios’ Goal, Win The Division

All photos by Shawn Jonas

The Raiders have missed the post season for the past 12 seasons, but that doesn’t change the expectations for head coach Jack Del Rio. He’s entering the 2015 season letting his players, the league, and the Raider Nation know what his number one goal is.

Del Rio wants the Raiders to secure the AFC West crown in 2015. It would be the Raiders’ first division title since 2002.

“Goal No. 1 is to win our division, and I don’t see why not,” Del Rio said via the Raiders’ team website.

The sentements in the building aren’t just Del Rio’s alone.  Just ask offensive line coach Mike Tice, who tossed out an even loftier goal for the Raiders.

“We’re going to be a championship football team,” Tice said.

The mindset of the entire organization has changed since Del Rio, Ken Norton Jr., Mike Tice and the rest of this coaching staff was assembled.

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Reggie McKenzie has done his part by bolstering the roster with premier talent such as Amari Cooper, Mario Edwards Jr., and Clive Walford in the draft.  The roster has been influxed with a mix of young talent with much added depth in free agency as well.

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The Raiders have the most talent and depth in almost a decade. The biggest question  if these young players can take the next step. The bulk of the players they will rely on have been in  the league less than three years. Derek Carr,  Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper will have a lot of weight on their shoulders in 2015.

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The AFC West quarterback group is an aging one, with the likes of Peyton Manning possibly having only 1-2 years left. Del Rio did coach against him everyday in practice for three years.  Chargers’ Phillip Rivers is also on the backside of his career.  He’s also in th middle of a contract situation. Does he return to San Diego?  Chiefs’ Alex Smith has been very productive in the winning column, but is yet to take that next step as a big passing threat.  Smith didn’t throw a touchdown pass to any wide receivers the entire 2015 season.  Who can forget the Raiders first win of the season on Thursday Night  Football to help knock the Chiefs out of the 2014 playoffs.

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Del Rio’s expectations are lofty, but who’s to say there isn’t a change in the winds.

 

Sacramento River Cats Defeat Albuquerque Isotopes 7-2

July 24, 2015 – 9:11pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Sacramento River Cats kicked off their last road trip of July Friday night, defeating the Albuquerque Isotopes by the final score of 7-2. Clayton Blackburn outlasted Albuquerque’s starter, Rockies’ top prospect Jon Gray, earning his fifth win of the year thanks to some late fielding mishaps by the Isotopes.

Blackburn (5-3, 3.84) pitched what is arguably the best start of his Triple-A career Friday night. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3 over 7 strong innings of work. The start set a new season high for innings pitched (previously 5.0), and tied a season best for runs and earned runs allowed (2).

Not only was he dominant on the hill, but Blackburn also helped out his own cause with the bat. With one on and two out in the fourth, Albuquerque pitcher Jon Gray intentionally walked Carlos Triunfel to face Blackburn. On a 1-1 pitch, the right-hander delivered by grounding a single into right field to drive in a run.

While many believed he would be activated for San Francisco’s weekend series against the Oakland Athletics, Nori Aoki was in the River Cats lineup Friday to make his third rehab appearance. The left fielder played seven full innings, and went 0-for-4 from the plate.

In the top of the eighth, the River Cats got a great opportunity to steal the momentum as they loaded the bases with just one out for the second time of the night. Sacramento couldn’t convert in their first opportunity, but back-to-back errors from shortstop Christian Adames and a sharp RBI single from Adam Duvall allowed 5 runs to score, giving the River Cats a 7-2 advantage. Duvall went 3-for-5 on the night, driving in 3 runs to give him 70 RBIs (third in PCL) on the season.

Albuquerque’s Gray (4-6, 4.53) was a tough opponent for the River Cats. The right-hander pitched 5 innings, and in that time he allowed just 2 runs on 8 hits, walking 3 and striking out 5. Nelson Gonzalez (3-3, 2.40) took the loss after pitching just 1 inning of relief. Gonzalez allowed 5 runs, but just one of them was earned.

Left-hander Josh Osich pitched a perfect eighth inning for the River Cats. Osich was making his first appearance since returning from his Major League debut. In 9 appearances with the Giants, Osich posted a 1-0 record with a perfect 0.00 ERA.

Sacramento will hit the field again tomorrow night, when they send the hot left-hander Nik Turley (4-4, 4.89) to the mound. Turley is 3-2 in his last five starts with a 2.00 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Opposing him from the Isotopes will be righty Boone Whiting (2-4, 5.40). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Nori Aoki Begins Rehab Assignment With River Cats

July 21, 2015 – 10:56am

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.San Francisco Giants’ outfielder Nori Aoki is set to join the Sacramento River Cats today, Tuesday, July 21, for his Major League rehab assignment. Aoki is expected to be in the lineup tonight against the El Paso Chihuahuas at Raley Field.

Aoki was placed on the disabled list with a fractured right fibula by San Francisco on June 24 after being hit by a pitch on the foot a few days earlier. After successfully running the bases yesterday, Aoki was cleared by San Francisco’s training and medical staff to begin a rehab assignment.

Sacramento will be Aoki’s only stop during his assignment, and the left-handed hitter is expected to play five innings tonight and seven on Wednesday with a day off on Thursday. He could be activated by the Giants for the start of their homestand against the Oakland Athletics on Friday of this week.

The Giants signed Aoki this past offseason after facing him and his Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Prior to his injury, Aoki was San Francisco’s primary leadoff hitter. His .317 batting average and .383 on base percentage are both tied for the team lead, and his 12 stolen bases are seven more than any other Giants player.

First pitch for tonight’s game at Raley Field against the El Paso Chihuahuas is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for tonight’s game and the rest of the homestand. For more information, please call 916.371.HITS (4487) or visit rivercats.com.

Player Rehab Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations