Back-To-Back Starts By Cy Young Winners Zito and Jake Peavy
Longtime River Cats affiliate Oakland returns to West Sacramento for the first time with their new Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds (16-27, 4th American Southern). Before affiliating with the Sounds, the A’s had been the Triple-A affiliate of the Sacramento River Cats (21-23, 2nd Pacific Northern) for 15 seasons. They were also affiliated with the River Cats for a season when the team was in Vancouver as the Canadians before moving to Sacramento. The four game series between the River Cats and the Sounds starts on Monday, May 25, and is the only time the two teams will face each other in 2015.
Scouting the Sounds
The Sounds are coming off a losing series with Fresno as they make their first trip to Sacramento since 2012. Over their last ten games, they are 3-7. Nashville has struggled away from their home park – the new First Tennessee Park – going just 7-16 in 23 games. Recently, they have been playing better and as a team they are hitting .279 on the road, while the pitching staff has an ERA of 4.70.
Your River Cats
The River Cats are 4-6 over their last ten games coming into Monday’s series opener with the Sounds. Sacramento is coming off a series loss to the Memphis Redbirds in which they outhit the ‘Birds 38 to 34 but were outscored 23 to 16. The River Cats pitching staff will look to continue to post strong numbers at home, where they own a 3.18 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Overall, the River Cats are 12-12 at home so far this season.
Players to Watch
Nashville comes into Sacramento with a number of familiar faces on their roster, including Anthony Aliotti and Alden Carrithers, among others. Aliotti is hitting .270 for the season but has been hot lately, going 12-for-40 (.300) with a .378 OBP over his last 11 games. Nashville also brings the veteran left-hander and former River Cats star Barry Zito into town with them. Zito is in his 16th season of professional baseball. The lefty was named to the All-Star team three times and won the 2002 AL Cy Young award while with the Oakland A’s. More recently, Zito is a two-time World Champion with the San Francisco Giants (’10 and ’12).
For the River Cats, shortstop Ehire Adrianza has been on fire over the last week. Adrianza is coming off a nine-game hit streak, the second longest for the River Cats this season (Adam Duvall holds the team-high, an 11-game streak). During that nine-game stretch, the hot-hitting shortstop was 15-for-33 (.455) with 4 doubles, 6 runs, and 3 RBIs. San Francisco Giants right-hander Jake Peavy is also expected to make a rehab start with the River Cats on Wednesday night. He was a pivotal member in the Giants’ push toward the postseason in 2014, going 6-3 in August and September with a 1.98 ERA. Like Zito, Peavy is also a three-time All-Star and a Cy Young Winner, taking home the NL award in 2007.
This series between the Sacramento River Cats and the Nashville Sounds will be the 18th all-time. The River Cats hold a commanding lead over the Sounds, having taken 49 of 68 games. This is Nashville’s first trip to Raley Field since August 5 – 8, 2012. The River Cats have made two trips to Nashville – once in 2013 and again in 2014 – since then. Last season, the River Cats took three of four in Nashville, scoring 32 runs in the four games.
Monday, May 25 (1:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Clayton Blackburn (1-2, 5.51) vs. LHP Sean Nolin (0-0, 1.04)
Tuesday, May 26 (7:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Robert Coello (5-2, 3.44) vs. LHP Barry Zito (1-4, 5.29)
Wednesday, May 27 (7:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Jake Peavy (0-2, 9.39) vs. RHP Zach Neal (2-1, 1.69)
Thursday, May 28 (12:05 p.m. PDT): RHP Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.40) vs. LHP Brad Mills (1-5, 3.91)