Sacramento River Cats pile up 15 hits in season’s first win against division rival
Fresno, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (36-50) entered tonight seeking their first win this year against the Fresno Grizzlies (42-41), and did so with a huge night at the plate and support from an equally impressive bullpen. Six ‘Cats had multi-hit nights to help break a deadlocked game in the eighth, while the bullpen held on to close the door late.
After a walk and a balk from Joan Gregorio, Fresno broke through first to take a 1-0 lead at Chukchansi Park. Sacramento quickly followed, however, with a triple from Myles Schroder, his first on the year with the River Cats, which sent home Ryan Lollis to knot things at one.
The game remained locked up at one until the breakthrough fifth inning where back-to-back singles by Travis Ishikawa and Andrew Susac gave Sacramento its first lead of the series. Fresno responded with back-to-back doubles in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game back up at three apiece.
That would be all for Gregorio, who finished just two strikeouts short of a 500 in his career. He entered tonight’s game with 492, needing to match his season-best of eight to reach the milestone. He will have to wait a few more days, however, as he struck out six over five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking three. The 6’7” righty struggled to find the zone tonight, throwing just 60 of his 96 pitches for strikes and also committing two balks.
Succeeding Gregorio would be Steven Okert and Tyler Rogers, who combined to retire nine straight while picking up three more strikeouts. Jean Machi entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, giving Sacramento fans a brief scare allowing one run on two hits, but salvaged the win for Okert, who moves to 4-2. The save is Machi’s first with the River Cats this season.
The key eighth inning rally marked a big step forward for a recently struggling Sacramento offense. Three singles from the middle of the order set the table in front of a triple by Rando Moreno that busted the score open at 6-3. The team picked up three runs on four hits in the eighth alone and finished with 15 hits overall, including three for extra bases.
In just his sixth game with Sacramento, Ali Castillo has made his presence known in the River Cats lineup. Tonight he picked up his fifth multi-hit game, finished 3-for-5, and is now hitting .500. Alongside him, Schroder and Moreno each went 2-for-4 with two RBI apiece.
Sacramento closes out the short series against Fresno tomorrow with right-hander Clayton Blackburn (5-6, 5.01) on the mound. The 2015 PCL ERA Champion opposes Grizzlies’ righty Joe Musgrove (3-3, 4.73). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations