FRESNO, Calif. – It was all Sacramento River Cats in Sunday night’s 9-3 win, as they scored nine unanswered runs in the first seven innings. RBIs from six different players and another masterful performance from Clayton Blackburn highlighted the victory, avoiding a series sweep in the process.
The River Cats came out ready to battle the Grizzlies and avoid a series sweep. Darren Ford led off the game with his ninth home run to immediately put Sacramento on the board. He finished his night 3-for-5 with a single, a double, a home run, and two RBIs.
Ford, Ryan Lollis, and Juan Perez contributed Sacramento’s three home runs in tonight’s win. They were one homer short of tying their season-high of four home runs in a game. The 2015 record came from the River Cats’ 15-6 win over Salt Lake City where they blasted four home runs, two of which were from Perez.
Trevor Brown led off both the second and sixth innings with doubles, one of which was an RBI-double. Tonight’s game saw six doubles from five different players, which was just one shy of the River Cats’ season-high for doubles. Six players contributed to seven doubles in the April 19th game against Salt Lake.
One triple away from recording the second cycle in River Cats history, Lollis’ 3-RBI night was key for Sacramento. He finished his night 3-for-4 with a single, a double, and a home run. Tonight marked Lollis’ second 3-RBI game and his fifth multi-RBI game this season.
Blackburn had a rough first inning, walking two consecutive batters and loading the bases. He managed to pitch himself out of the jam, and proceeded to retire nine batters in a row, including four strikeouts. Blackburn finished his evening allowing just two hits while walking four and striking out five in 5.1 innings of shutout baseball. He was replaced by Steven Okert, who picked up where Blackburn left off, striking out two and retiring all five of the batters he faced during his 1.2 shutout innings.
Curtis Partch struggled during his outing, allowing all three of Fresno’s runs on five hits, but Mike Broadway’s two strikeouts in the ninth solidified the River Cats’ win. Blackburn picked up his eighth win and lowered his ERA to 3.30 in tonight’s victory.
After a scheduled day off Monday, the River Cats will resume their 14-day road trip in Tacoma. Sacramento leads the season series 7-4 and won their last four-game set 3-1, which was also held at Cheney Stadium. LHP Nik Turley (5-6, 4.86) will be on the mound for the River Cats. Turley has been inconsistent, allowing 5+ runs in 5 starts, but also allowing 2 or fewer runs 7 times. His last outing against Tacoma came at Raley Field on June 7th when he allowed 7 runs on 6 hits in just 2.0 innings. The Rainiers’ starting pitcher is to be announced. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT).
Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations