Tag Archives: PCL

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

Sactown Slugfest Ends In Sacramento River Cats Rout

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Adrianza and Pence lead cast of rehabbers, former Giants in win

West Sacramento, CA – The best offense in the Pacific Coast League took the field Saturday night and then looked on as the Sacramento River Cats (45-56) ran up the score early en route to a 12-0 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (57-42). Sacramento struck for nine runs in the first two innings and coasted to the win behind an excellent combination effort from the bullpen.

Sacramento’s five-run first inning followed last night’s six-run outburst and was highlighted by a two-run blast off the bat of Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza joined the River Cats this afternoon as he continues his rehab for a broken foot and wasted no time getting comfortable, driving the first pitch he saw out to left. Overall, the switch-hitting shortstop went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

“It felt good being back in Sacramento,” Adrianza said after the game. “My foot feels great. I’m ready to help out the big club whenever they think I’m ready.”

In 10 rehab games, Adrianza is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with six home runs, 13 RBI and 10 runs scored between San Jose and Sacramento.

Hunter Pence also made his 2016 River Cats debut tonight, going 1-for-4 with a double in six innings. The two-time World Champ and two-time All-Star is working his way back from hamstring surgery and in three games with the River Cats is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two doubles, a home run, and an RBI.

“It feels good to be out on a baseball field playing and competing. The crowds here are so passionate and fun. I’m trying to get back out there as quick as I can.”

Austin Slater homered for the River Cats, his fourth, as did Andrew Susac, his eighth. Since returning from the All-Star break, the two have combined to hit .299 (20-for-67) with seven home runs, 15 RBI and 16 runs scored. Juan Ciriaco and Rando Moreno each drove in a pair and Kelby Tomlinson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. As a team, the River Cats racked up 19 hits, matching their third highest total this season.

Behind an explosive offensive performance, the bullpen quietly put together an excellent outing, led by spot-starter Austin Fleet. Fleet got the start after throwing just two days ago in San Jose and went three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two.

The Chihuahuas entered this series with a PCL-best .314 team batting average while scoring over six runs per game. In their last 18 innings against River Cats pitching, though, the Chihuahuas have pushed just three runs across while generating 15 hits. Tonight, Fleet combined with Alex Torres, Duke Welker, Matt Reynolds, and Jake Dunning to hand the Chihuahuas their third shutout loss of the season.

The River Cats and Chihuahuas will play two tomorrow to close out this series. Left-hander and PCL wins-leader Ty Blach (10-5, 3.70) will take the mound for game one against El Paso’s Aaron Northcraft (4-0, 4.46). Game two, which will start a half hour after the end of game one, features two bullpen arms going head to head. River Cats reliever Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 2.64) will take on Eric Yardley (2-0, 4.91). Both games can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Ride Hot Start To Third Straight Win

Offense erupts early, Gregorio shuts down Chihuahuas

Sacramento, CA – It was a Welcome Home party of sorts for the Sacramento River Cats (44-56) as they took care of the El Paso Chihuahuas (57-42) 7-3 in front of a packed Orange Friday crowd at Raley Field. The River Cats pounced first on the Chihuahuas, scoring a season-high six runs in the first inning while starter Joan Gregorio kept the best offense in the Pacific Coast League at bay the rest of the way.

Sacramento started off hot, as the first three hitters of the order all reached base safely setting up the veteran catcher Miguel Olivo with bases loaded and no outs. The 13-year-old MLB veteran did not let his opportunity go to waste, clearing the bases with a 389-foot grand slam home run. Olivo, who came in hitting just .208 at home this season, registered his eighth home run and the first grand slam for Sacramento this season.

The first inning saw another first for the River Cats this year. Four batters later, shortstop Rando Moreno launched his first home run this season, a two-run shot that brought the score to 6-0. The shortstop has been on a tear of late, hitting .500 (6-for-12) over his last four games while bringing his average to .307 for the season. Moreno’s home run was his third in 1,917 career plate appearances over six minor league seasons.

From then on, the right-hander Gregorio shut the door on El Paso over his next six innings, giving up just one run on four hits. The 6’7” fireballer came into tonight with a 1-1 record in three starts against the Chihuahuas, having allowed 13 earned runs over 12.2 innings against them. In tonight’s victory, not only did he earn his third win on the season, but he also picked up his 500th career strikeout in the first inning.

Gregorio had all his pitches working tonight, striking out a season-high nine El Paso hitters, six of which came in the first 10 batters he faced. The 19th ranked prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization, Gregorio threw 99 pitches, 67 of which went for strikes en route to shutting down the best offense in the league.

Despite being outscored 62-49 by El Paso in their first 12 meetings, Sacramento was unfazed tonight and have now outscored the Chihuahuas 14-6 in their last two meetings. Of the River Cats’ nine hits tonight, four came courtesy of the top four hitters in the lineup, who also scored four of the team’s seven runs.

Sacramento will seek to win their fourth straight game tomorrow night, a feat they have only accomplished twice this year. Right-hander Austin Fleet (0-1, 4.15) will make his second start for Sacramento this season. He will square off against El Paso’s southpaw Frank Garces (4-3, 4.41), who is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts against the River Cats. 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

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

Sacramento River Cats Top Triple-A Attendance Charts; Raley Field Opens Gates to 670,000-Plus

Photo by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With 12,488 on hand for Monday’s Labor Day season finale against the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Sacramento River Cats have moved into the top spot in overall attendance in all of Minor League baseball for the 2015 season.

In their first season as the Triple-A affiliate of the World Champion San Francisco Giants, the River Cats welcomed 672,354 fans through the gates at Raley Field, more than any other team in Triple-A baseball. That number is nearly a 10% increase from the River Cats 607,839 overall attendance in 2014 and is the most since 2008. An average of 9,338 fans came out to the ballpark per game.

This is the third consecutive year that the River Cats have led the Pacific Coast League in attendance. The last time they finished second in the league was in 2012, when they closed the season with 586,090, behind the Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers). This year, the Express came in at number two in the PCL, with a 595,012 overall attendance (8,623 per game).

Raley Field, with a capacity of 14,014, saw 12 sellouts this season, bringing their all-time sellout total to 95. The River Cats hosted 10,000 or more 25 different times this season.

The Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) led the International League with 669,398. While second overall, the Knights’ 9,428 per game average (71 openings) was the best across Triple-A baseball.

Tickets for next season are available and can be purchased by visiting rivercats.com or calling the River Cats ticket hotline at 916-371-HITS (4487).

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

River Cats Rally Late, Frandsen Hits Go Ahead Double; Sacramento Beat Salt Lake Bees 4-1

Photo by Shawn Jonas

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Sacramento River Cats broke a 1-1 tie with a big three-run ninth inning and took the win 4-1 over the Salt Lake Bees. Sacramento scrapped and clawed to load the bases before Kevin Frandsen came through with a bases-clearing double to score the game’s winning runs.

Before that, the River Cats scored first for the third straight game in the series, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a Juan Perez single. Overall, Perez was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Coming into tonight’s contest, Perez had been on a tear, hitting .438 (14-for-32) with three home runs, seven RBI, and seven runs scored in his last ten games.

Salt Lake tied up the game in the fourth inning on Roger Kieshnick’s RBI-single. The score remain locked at one apiece until the River Cats finally managed to break through in the ninth.

The River Cats worked their way to a bases loaded, no outs situation. Ryan Lollis drew a walk from Salt Lake’s reliever Mike Morin before Juan Perez reached on Morin’s throwing error. Morin then hit Mac Williamson with a pitch to put three men on. After Jarrett Parker went down looking, Frandsen crushed a ball to deep center field, nearly driving it out of the park. The ball bounced off the wall and scored all three baserunners, putting Sacramento ahead 4-1 for good.

Tommy Hanson had a short outing tonight, lasting just four innings, but kept the game close. He allowed 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2. The Bees made Hanson work for it in the fourth inning, as he threw 33 pitches in the frame. He exited after four with the score tied 1-1.

The bullpen picked up where Hanson left off, and combined for 5 strong innings, allowing no runs on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. Steven Okert threw 1.2 innings and picked up his fourth win while Josh Osich recorded his second save of the season with a perfect bottom of the ninth.

Elsewhere in the organization, Kelby Tomlinson had his major league debut tonight as a pinch hitter for the San Francisco Giants in their game against the Atlanta Braves. Tomlinson was in the River Cats’ lineup Sunday night before getting called up today. After blowing a 6-0 lead, the Giants found themselves tied at seven in the 12th inning. Tomlinson pinch-hit in for Yusmeiro Petit and recorded his first MLB base hit with a line drive single to center field. He ultimately scored on a Buster Posey RBI-single, but the Giants were unable to hold onto the lead, losing 8-7 in 12.

Sacramento will send Clayton Blackburn (6-3, 3.50) to the mound for the tomorrow’s series finale. Blackburn has won his last three starts and gone at least six innings with two earned runs or less in each. Salt Lake City’s starting pitcher is TBD. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT).

Sacramento Beats Las Vegas 51’s 4-2; San Francisco Giants Trade River Cats Adam Duvall to Reds for Mike Leake

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.-Early scoring for the River Cats, led by Sacramento’s Kevin Frandsen, proved enough to outlast the Las Vegas 51s in a 4-2 victory Thursday night at Raley Field. Nik Turley was excellent for Sacramento on the mound, tossing seven innings and striking out eight to match his season-high.

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The River Cats kicked things off early, scoring in the bottom of the first inning on Adam Duvall’s run-scoring single. Juan Perez singled with two outs and stole second before scoring on Duvall’s liner to left. The RBI was Duvall’s 80th this season.

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Sacramento kept adding on, scoring three more times in the bottom of the second inning. Trevor Brown and Brandon Hicks hit back-to-back singles before Everth Cabrera was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two outs in the inning, Frandsen smoked a high drive to deep right-center. The ball short-hopped the wall as Frandsen cruised into second standing. The double cleared the bases and put the River Cats up 4-0. The double was Frandsen’s 13th of the season and gave him RBIs 29, 30, and 31 on the season.

Nik Turley (5-5, 4.90) put on another strong performance as he went seven innings, scattering just three hits and giving up one run with one walk. The southpaw also struck out eight in the outing, tying his season-high. This is the third time Turley has struck out eight in a game and the first time he has pitched seven innings this season.

Erik Cordier recorded the save, his ninth of the season. He threw 1 1/3 perfect innings while striking out two.

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Late in the game, news broke that the San Francisco Giants had acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds. Shortly after, infielder Adam Duvall was pulled from the game for the River Cats. It was confirmed after the game had concluded that Duvall was included in a trade to the Reds to bring Leake to San Francisco.

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Duvall posted excellent numbers for the River Cats in 2015, hitting .279 with 26 homers (2nd in the PCL) and 80 RBI in 100 games. He had a hot July, hitting .346 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He also started at first base for the PCL All-Star team earlier this month.

Sacramento looks to take the series tomorrow behind right-hander Curtis Partch. He will make his first start for the River Cats this season. Partch has made 36 appearances in relief and has posted a 1-2 record with a 3.65 ERA. Las Vegas will send right-hander Logan Verrett (3-1, 2.93) to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

San Francisco Giants Aquire Cincinnati Reds RHP Mike Leake In Exchange for River Cats Adam Duvall And RHP Keury Mella

All photos by Shawn Jonas

West Sacramento, Calif. – Late in the game, news broke that the San Francisco Giants had acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds. Shortly after, infielder Adam Duvall was pulled from the game for the Sacramento River Cats. It was confirmed after the game had concluded that Duvall was included in a trade to the Reds to bring Leake to San Francisco. The Giants also included RHP Keury Mella in the deal.

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Adam Duvall posted excellent numbers for the River Cats in 2015, hitting .279 with 26 homers (2nd in the PCL) and 80 RBI in 100 games. He had a hot July, hitting .346 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He also started at first base for the PCL All-Star team earlier this month.

Sacramento River Cats Beat Oklahoma City Dodgers 7-3 Behind Strong Outing From Ty Blach

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Ty Blach took the mound Wednesday night and dominated the Oklahoma City Dodgers, shutting them out through eight magnificent innings. A first-inning home run from Juan Perez gave Blach and the Sacramento River Cats an early lead, one they would never give up on their way to a 7-3 win over the Dodgers.

Blach was lights out in his 11th start of the season, pitching 8+ innings while allowing 2 runs on 8 hits and striking out 7. He kept the Dodgers off balance all night, mixing his fastball and a devastating change up to continuously get ahead of batters. His command was on point, as he threw 74 of his 105 pitches for strikes and for the sixth time this season, Blach did not walk a single batter, further improving on his PCL best 0.89 BB/9. Blach’s 8 innings pitched is the most thrown by any River Cats pitcher this season.

Juan Perez led off the game for the River Cats, and wasted as little time as possible as he hit the second pitch of the game over the left field fence to give his side an early lead. It was the first leadoff home run by a River Cat since July 22, 2013 (Jemile Weeks). Perez finished the game 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.

Sacramento added to their lead in the fourth inning when Jarrett Parker hit an RBI single to center, making it 2-0 River Cats. The base hit was the 500th of Parker’s minor league career. In the fifth, the River Cats added two more thanks to a two-out bases-load single by Travis Ishikawa.

The River Cats padded their lead in the eighth, as Perez, Kevin Frandsen, and Casey McGehee all contributed RBIs to push their lead to 7-0. The Dodgers would counter in the ninth, as O’Koyea Dickson drove in their first run of the game, making the score 7-1 and knocking Blach out of the game. Oklahoma City would add two more on a home run by Andy Wilkins, but that would be all they could push across.

OKC starter Matt Shelton didn’t have a chance against Blach, and threw just 4 innings while allowing 2 runs (all earned) on 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. The Dodger bullpen had to put in extra work, combining for 5 innings of relief, allowing 5 runs (all earned).

The River Cats will look for their third straight win on Thursday as they send right-hander Clayton Blackburn (1-3, 4.32) to the hill. Blackburn enters the start with the second best WHIP on the Sacramento starting rotation at 1.44. Opposing him will be righty Deck McGuire (1-1, 1.98). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Nik Turley Is Impressive in River Cats 3-2 Win Over Oklahoma City Dodgers

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – After getting out to an early lead, the Sacramento River Cats took the series opener against the Oklahoma City Dodgers 3-2 Tuesday night. Three runs in the very first inning were enough as Sacramento hung on thanks to a solid return to Triple-A from Nik Turley and a strong finish by the bullpen.

The River Cats got out to an early 3-0 lead with help from singles by Darren Ford and Casey McGehee. Travis Ishikawa drove home Darren Ford on a single of his own, and Juan Perez soon followed with a two-run single to bring home McGehee and Ishikawa. The Dodgers scored a run in their half of the inning, and one again in the seventh, but the River Cats’ pitching came through late to nail down the series opener.

After being designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants, both McGehee and Ishikawa ended up in Sacramento and are trying to work their way back, using tonight as a platform to prove they’re worthy of a spot on the Giants’ roster. McGehee went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Ishikawa went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI-single.

Kevin Frandsen made his debut as a River Cat in tonight’s game after signing a minor league contract with the Giants over the weekend. The Giants originally drafted him in the 12th round of the 2004 amateur draft. Frandsen went 2-for-3 with two singles against the Dodgers Tuesday evening.

Tonight was Nik Turley’s first game back pitching for the River Cats and he did not disappoint. After 37 games on the Disabled List with a blister issue, he made one start with Class-A Advanced San Jose before being transferred back to Sacramento. Turley pitched 6 solid innings tonight in just his second start of the season with the River Cats, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts.

Cody Hall picked up Turley in the seventh inning and, despite allowing an unearned run, kept Sacramento’s lead. Erik Cordier relieved Hall in the middle of the eighth inning to get the River Cats out of a jam unscathed. Mike Broadway pitched a shutout ninth inning, recording his fifth save in as many tries. The bullpen combined for 3 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks with 2 strikeouts.

Game two of the series will continue tomorrow, with the River Cats sending LHP Ty Blach (4-5, 3.82) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Zach Lee (5-3, 2.38). Blach’s 1.03 BB/9 is the second best in the PCL behind Oklahoma City’s Scott Baker. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of Sacramento RiverCats Media Relations