Tag Archives: Chris Denorfia

Sacramento River Cats Implodes Late In 9-2 Loss To Albuquerque Isotopes

River Cats’ streak ends as they drop first game of August

Albuquerque, NM – The Sacramento River Cats (53-62) came into Saturday night’s contest against the Albuquerque Isotopes (49-64) winners of six straight games and an undefeated record in the month of August. In their 9-2 loss tonight however, the River Cats weren’t able to continue their hot hitting while their pitching let the game slip away late.

Right-hander Clayton Blackburn was on the bump for Sacramento making his 19th start of the season and fourth against Albuquerque. Blackburn has struggled on the road this year to the tune of a 6.12 ERA away from Raley Field but pitched well early in this one. Through the first six innings, the 23-year-old allowed two runs on six hits while leaving the Isotopes 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Blackburn hit a skid in his seventh and final inning, however, allowing a leadoff double to start the trouble. A sacrifice bunt and single gave the ‘Topes a 3-2 lead, and things snowballed from there. One out later Albuquerque’s best hitter Jordan Patterson stepped to the dish with one on and two out. The clean-up hitter blasted a two-run home run off the righty, extending the lead to 5-2.

Of the five earned runs by Blackburn tonight, four came with two outs. He finished the night facing a season-high 32 batters, and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. The game would get away from the River Cats late, as left-hander Steven Okert was roughed up for four runs on five hits during his eighth inning appearance.

The offensive highlight came courtesy of third baseman Grant Green tonight, who hit his seventh home run for Sacramento in the fourth inning, a solo-shot which at the time gave the River Cats a 2-1 lead. That would be all the scoring, however, as over their next five innings Sacramento scattered just four hits.

Centerfielder Austin Slater, right fielder Chris Denorfia and Green all registered two-hit games and catcher Tony Sanchez tallied in his first RBI with the club on a sacrifice fly. Tonight’s two runs were the fewest in a game so far this month, a month in which the River Cats lead the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.344) and home runs (9). The offensive couldn’t emulate the success of their 5-0 record this month, finishing the game tonight 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine men on base.

Sacramento will hit the road for an early flight tomorrow morning to Tacoma. Right-hander Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.81) will take the hill for the River Cats in the opener and is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Rainiers this season. Tacoma will send righty Zach Lee (0-4, 5.74) to the mound, who has a 6.00 ERA against Sacramento in two starts. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Hunter Pence Lifts Sacramento River Cats To 5-4 Win Over New Orleans Zephyrs

Susac, Stratton supply the rest for Sacramento

New Orleans, LA – The Sacramento River Cats (43-56) ended their eight-game road trip on a high note Thursday night in New Orleans, defeating the New Orleans Zephyrs (46-50) by the score of 5-4. The win not only earned the River Cats their sixth series win, but brought their record to 5-3 since the All-Star break thanks to some familiar faces.

Making his second rehab start with Sacramento was right fielder Hunter Pence, who suffered a setback in his last appearance July 16 against Round Rock. The San Francisco Giants star seemed no worse for wear, proving he was raring to go by launching a solo home run in his first at-bat of the game. The home run was Pence’s first with Sacramento since May 12 of last year.

The three-time All-Star was not done either, as Pence smacked a double in his next at-bat to leadoff the fourth inning before coming around to score. The right-handed slugger finished the night 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored before being replaced in right field by veteran Chris Denorfia.

Not to be outdone was fellow fan-favorite Andrew Susac, who mashed his second home run in as many games in the winning effort. The talented backstop continued his hot hitting tonight, going 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. The Roseville-native showed off his defensive skills behind the dish as well, picking off Zephyrs’ catcher Tomas Telis to end the sixth inning.

Tonight marked Susac’s second time this month in which he has hit home runs in consecutive games and the fifth time in his last 10 games in which he has gone yard. The right-hander has been locked in at the plate this month as a whole, leading the team in RBI (13) and runs scored (11).

Right-hander Chris Stratton took care of the rest for Sacramento, putting forth another solid outing while picking up his seventh win in his last 10 starts. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Stratton went six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out four and didn’t allow a walk. Over his last three starts, Stratton has struck out 20 of the last 76 batters he has faced.

Jean Machi made things interesting in the ninth as he allowed one run before striking out Xavier Scruggs with the bases loaded to end the game. The save was Machi’s fifth with Sacramento and third on the road trip.

The River Cats will fly home to the friendly confines of Raley Field to open a four-game set against the El Paso Chihuahuas this weekend. Sacramento will send lanky right-hander Joan Gregorio (2-6, 5.92) to the mound and El Paso will counter with their own righty in Michael Kelly (5-0, 3.23). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Unable To Stop Express In Its Tracks

Round Rock wins battle of the bullpens

West Sacramento, CA – It was a back and forth battle between Pacific Coast League bullpens Thursday night as the Round Rock Express (47-45) took the 6-5 win over the Sacramento River Cats (38-54) in 12 innings.

After falling into a July slump, Clayton Blackburn looked to break his three game losing skid with a fresh start coming out of the All-Star break. However, the young right-hander struggled through the first inning and gave Round Rock the early 3-0 lead off three hits and a wild pitch. He later settled in for four scoreless innings, retiring the side in the fourth with three-straight flyouts before an injury removed him from the game in the bottom of the sixth. He finished with 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a season-high four walks.

Sacramento’s offense struck back in the fifth with a long home run from the Triple-A All-Star Gorkys Hernandez, who steamed straight past the Express defense with a two-run homer to tie the game at three. The centerfielder entered tonight hitting .279 with runners in scoring position with two outs and proved again tonight his ability to capitalize on clutch situations. He went 1-for-3 on the night with a run, a walk, and 2 RBI and remains the RBI-leader for Sacramento with 39 on the year.

Manager Jose Alguacil looked to his bullpen to quiet the Round Rock bats and secure the win, but could not quite find what he needed. With the veteran Mazzaro on the mound in the eighth, Round Rock broke through the tie with a two-run double from Doug Bernier with two outs to push the score to 5-3.

The Cats were not finished just yet. Travis Ishikawa was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to lead off the ninth and was followed by a double from Andrew Susac to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Austin Slater then cut the deficit with an RBI groundout and Chris Denorfia followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in the tying run.

The battle of the bullpens continued as the River Cats used a total of seven relievers. Inning after inning, the defense shut down the Express offense, forcing the game into 12 innings. Combined, the pen allowed three runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings of work.

However, it was River Cats who lost again in heartbreak fashion in the bottom of the twelfth. A leadoff double followed by back-to-back base hits loaded up the bases with no outs for Jake Dunning. The right-hander just couldn’t hold on and finished the game by walking in the winning run for Round Rock.

The River Cats look to halt the “E-Train” tomorrow in game two with left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.81) on the mound. He faces off against Round Rock’s righty Nick Martinez (6-4, 4.50). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be head live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations