WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Nik Turley tossed six no-hit innings, striking out a season-high tying eight batters as the Sacramento River Cats took game one of their series against the visiting El Paso Chihuahuas. The River Cats jumped out to a 5-0 lead, which proved to be just enough as they held on to beat the Chihuahuas 5-4.
Turley came out dealing, striking out a season-high tying eight batters in just three innings of work. The lefty had excellent command of his fastball tonight, painting the corners with 93 and keeping the Chihuahuas off balance with his changeup. He retired the first 16 batters he faced before issuing a one-out walk to El Paso’s Mike McCoy in the top of the sixth. Turley concluded his night throwing 6 no-hit innings with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts on 99 pitches (66 strikes).
In his last four home starts, Turley has allowed just 5 runs (3 earned) in 24.1 innings, good for a 1.10 ERA. He has struck out 26 and walked 6 during that time while only allowing 13 hits. This marks the third shutout start for the lefty this season (10 starts). Overall, Turley is now 4-4 with a 4.89 ERA for the season.
The River Cats struck first with four runs in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, Kelby Tomlinson poked a seeing-eye single just past the reach of El Paso’s diving middle infielders, scoring two. Adam Duvall followed with a sacrifice fly and Jarrett Parker capped the inning with an RBI-single.
Sacramento picked up their fifth run in the fifth inning. With one out, Juan Perez hit a hard groundball just inside the first base bag that slowly rolled into shallow right field, allowing Perez to take second on the play. Chihuahuas’ manager Jamie Quirk came out to argue that the ball was fair, ultimately getting ejected by first base umpire Alex Ortiz. Two batters later Perez scored what proved to be the deciding run on Parker’s sacrifice fly.
The River Cats took their 5-0 lead into the eighth, but the Chihuahuas staged a late-game rally, scoring four times off Sacramento relievers Steven Okert and Erik Cordier. Two hits plus a River Cats error and wild pitch loaded the bases for El Paso before a sacrifice fly, RBI-single, and two-run double made it a 5-4 game. All four of El Paso’s runs in the inning were unearned.
Sacramento will send lefty Ty Blach (8-8, 4.23) to the mound for tomorrow night’s contest. The southpaw is currently second in the PCL in innings pitched, with 110.2, trailing only Nahville’s Barry Zito (116 IP). Opposite Blach will be El Paso’s left-hander Jason Lane (7-6, 5.28). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations