FRESNO, Calif. – Looking to even up the? series with the Fresno Grizzlies, the Sacramento River Cats battled but came out on the wrong end of a 7-4 summer’s evening contest. Sacramento made things interesting with a rally in the middle innings, but the surge wasn’t enough to give Ty Blach the run support necessary to earn his 10th win of the year.
Left-hander Blach (9-10, 4.51) did not look sharp out of the gates, as Fresno tagged him for three runs in the opening frame. He would settle down afterwards to give his offense a chance, but a 2-run homer from Matt Duffy in the sixth was too much to overcome. Blach finished the night allowing 6 runs on 9 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3 over 5 innings of work.
Trailing 4-1 entering the fourth inning, the River Cats had a chance to rest and regroup following a delay due to home plate umpire Spencer Flynn needing medical attention after taking a foul ball taken off the mask earlier in the game. Once play resumed, back-to-back singles set up an RBI single for Skyler Stromsmoe, cutting the deficit in half. Stromsmoe finished the night 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
In the fifth, Sacramento threatened with a two-out rally. After a walk from Jarrett Parker, Ben Turner singled to right field to drive him in. Two batters later, Darren Ford line a ball into the gap in left-center field driving in Turner and trying the game. Tuner finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, and is now batting .386 (10-for-26) on the road in Triple-A this season. The game did not stay tied long as Duffy hit a 2-run homer with nobody out in the bottom half.
The top of the order cooled off for Sacramento Thursday night. The first five spots in the order (Everth Cabrera, Ryan Lollis, Kevin Frandsen, Mac Williamson, and Parker) combined to go 0-for-21.
Grizzlies’ starting pitcher Mark Appel (1-2, 4.62) took a no decision after lasting just 4.2 innings. The 2013 first overall pick of the Houston Astros allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4. The win went to RHP Jordan Jankowski (6-3, 3.91) after throwing 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The River Cats bullpen put in another strong night, as they combined for 3 solid innings of work. Steven Okert pitched a perfect sixth inning, striking out 2 in the process. Cody Hall put in 2 innings of work, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3.
Fresno did not look like their usual selves Thursday, as for one night only they changed their names to the Fresno Tacos. With around 50 Taco Trucks at Chukchansi Stadium, Fresno donned white and green uniforms with a bright orange taco logo on the cap.
Things will get back to normal on Friday as the River Cats once again take on the Grizzlies for game three of this four game set. For Sacramento, it will be right-hander Chris Stratton (2-3, 3.56). Stratton is coming off back-to-back wins in his last two starts. For Fresno, LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-3, 4.89) will take the mound. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on rivercats.com and ESPN 1320.
Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations