Tag Archives: Steven Okert

Chris Shaw Homers, Extends Hit Streak But Sacramento River Cats Fall

Sacramento can’t keep pace with Cubs in 7-3 defeat

Des Moines, IA – The Sacramento River Cats (49-67) fell for a second straight game to the Iowa Cubs (55-59) in Wednesday’s matinee by a final score of 7-3.

Chris Shaw was the highlight this afternoon for Sacramento, slugging his 13th home run of the year while simultaneously extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Trevor Brown also went deep, launching his first long ball of the season in the eight inning.

Right-hander Casey Kelly got the start for Sacramento, going six innings while allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits. Kelly also struck out six Iowa hitters and yielded two walks before giving way to the River Cats bullpen. Left-hander Steven Okert allowed two runs to follow in the seventh, ending his 6.2 inning scoreless streak, and righty Collin Balester surrendered two more in the eighth.

Right-hander Roberto Gomez (3-6, 4.76) will get the start tomorrow afternoon for Sacramento and will oppose Iowa’s right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng (4-1, 2.10). First pitch is set for 10:08 a.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Orlando Calixte and Conor Gillaspie Lead Sacramento River Cats To Win In Return

Duo combine to go 3-for-7 with two runs, three RBI in 5-2 win over Reno

West Sacramento, CA Orlando Calixte and Conor Gillaspie made their returns to the River Cats lineup Saturday night, helping lead the Sacramento River Cats (24-37) to a 5-2 win over the Reno Aces (39-24) at Raley Field.

Sacramento took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back, getting a bases-loaded walk from Tim Federowicz and a two-run single from Calixte. After Reno got a run of their own in the third, the River Cats responded by scoring two more runs to take a 5-1 lead. Seven of the eight River Cats position players had a base hit in tonight’s win.

The final Aces run came off starter Roberto Gomez who made his third spot-start of the season tonight. He threw a season-high 74 pitches (43 strikes) and held the best offense in the Pacific Coast League to two runs. From there on, the bullpen closed the door with left-hander Kraig Sitton picking up the win, his team-leading fifth of the season. Submariner Tyler Rogers relieved Sitton in the seventh and earned his third hold followed by Steven Okert who earned his first save in the ninth.

The River Cats will send right-hander Dan Slania (0-7, 7.85) to the hill for the third and decisive game of the series. Left-hander Aaron Laffey (2-0, 3.99) will get the ball for Reno. First pitch is set for 1:05 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 Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Joan Gregorio, Clutch Hitting Lift Sacramento River Cats Over Isotopes 5-4

River Cats need extras to collect their third straight win for the first time this season

Albuquerque, NM – The Sacramento River Cats (22-33) earned their third straight victory 5-4 in a back-and-forth, extra inning ballgame against the Albuquerque Isotopes (28-28). The three-game winning streak is their first such run of the 2017 season.

Joan Gregorio was excellent in this one, as he went seven innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out two and walking none. The big righty settled for a no decision, throwing 96 pitches (68 strikes). He dropped his ERA to 2.97.

After a home run in Saturday’s game that was a thing of legend, Mac Williamson hit another bomb on Sunday, this time to dead center. Tonight’s blast came in the 4th inning and tied the game at one.

Sacramento got huge hits up and down the lineup on Sunday. Outfielder Wynton Bernard came up with three big hits, each in critical situations, while veteran Juan Ciriaco had perhaps the biggest play of the game, executing a perfect squeeze play to drive in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning. Steven Okert earned the win as he set the final six Isotopes hitters down in order.

The River Cats head back home tomorrow to face their rivals to the south, the Fresno Grizzlies. For Sacramento it will be the lefty Michael Roth (4-4, 4.44) kicking off the series, and opposing him for Fresno will be the right-hander Trent Thornton (2-2, 4.88). 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, Extra Inning Walk-Off Spoils Incredible Comeback

Home run barrage brings Sacramento back from down five before falling in 11

Reno, NV – After fighting back in amazing fashion to take the lead late, the Aces walked-off in the 11th, as the Sacramento River Cats (18-30) dropped the series opener to the Reno Aces (31-19) by a score of 7-6.

Sacramento starter Dan Slania was hit hard early, but managed to keep the River Cats within striking distance by getting through six innings, allowing four runs on ten hits and three walks while striking out four.

After a brilliant start by Aaron Laffey stymied the River Cats offense, Sacramento made noise against the Aces bullpen. Home runs by Juan Ciriaco and Jae-Gyun Hwang in the 8th made it 5-3, then long balls by Orlando Calixte and Ryder Jones gave the River Cats a 6-5 lead in the 9th. Steven Okert came on but allowed a game-tying sac-fly to send the game to extra innings.

The Aces were able to break the tie in the 11th inning against Roberto Gomez when Ronnie Freeman singled up the middle to drive in the winning run for the 7-6 victory.

The River Cats take on the Aces again tomorrow night in game two, as San Francisco Giants top prospect Tyler Beede (3-2, 3.31) will lead Sacramento as they face Reno lefty Anthony Banda (4-2, 4.44). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats  Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Opening Day Roster

New manager Dave Brundage leads roster loaded with promising prospects and veteran talent


West Sacramento, CA
– The Sacramento River Cats are excited to announce their 2017 Opening Day roster. Included on the roster are a number of returners from the 2016 squad plus a whole crop of prospects rising through the system. Among those on the roster are eight of the San Francisco organization’s Top 30 prospects, including the top two prospects in the system.

Tyler Beede and Christian Arroyo, the number one and two Giants prospects respectively, are joined by Joan Gregorio (#8), Steven Okert (#12), Austin Slater (#19), Chris Stratton (#23), Chase Johnson (#25), and Ryder Jones (#30). Last year, the Opening Day roster included seven of the organization’s Top 30 prospects.

Eight different players on the roster will be making their Triple-A debut, including Jae-Gyun Hwang, a Korean Baseball Organization All-Star. Hwang signed with the Giants this offseason and put together a very strong Spring Training, hitting .340 with five home runs and 15 RBI.

Leading this talented roster will be new River Cats manager Dave Brundage. Brundage joined the organization this offseason, bringing with him two decades of managerial experience. He is coming off an excellent 2016 season in which he led the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs to an 85-58 record, the second best mark in Triple-A. Joining him are returning hitting coach Damon Minor and pitching coach Dwight Bernard. Also returning are athletic trainer LJ Petra and strength & conditioning coach Adam Vish.

Full 2017 Sacramento River Cats Roster*

Pitchers (16)
Beede, Tyler                  RHP
Blackburn, Clayton         RHP
Crick, Kyle                     RHP
Gomez, Roberto            RHP
Gregorio, Joan              RHP
Johnson, Chase            RHP
Okert, Steven                LHP
Osich, Josh                   LHP
Reynolds, Matt              LHP
Rogers, Tyler                 RHP
Romero, Ricky               LHP
Roth, Michael                LHP
Sitton, Kraig                  LHP
Stratton, Chris               RHP
Suarez, Albert                RHP
Webb, Ryan                  RHP

Catchers (2)
Arnold, Jeff                   C
Federowicz, Tim            C

Infielders (7)
Arroyo, Christian            IF
Blanks, Kyle                  IF
Castillo, Ali                    IF
Ciriaco, Juan                 IF
Hwang, Jae-Gyun          IF
Jones, Ryder                 IF
Tomlinson, Kelby           IF

Outfielders (5)
Bernard, Wynton            OF
Calixte, Orlando             OF
Moncrief, Carlos            OF
Ruggiano, Justin            OF
Slater, Austin                 OF

*The River Cats will be making five moves to cut the active roster to 25

The River Cats open the 2017 season this Thursday, April 6 at home against the visiting Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners). First pitch is set for 7:05 pm with 6:05 pm gates. Tickets for Opening Night and the rest of the first homestand are still available. Tickets can be purchased online at rivercats.com, over the phone at (916) 376-HITS, or by visiting the Round Table Pizza Box Office at Raley Field.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

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

Sacramento River Cats Stratton’s Career-High 12 Strike-Outs Shuts Down The Express

Machi leaves Round Rock stranded in the ninth to save 3-2 win

Round Rock, TXChris Stratton brought the Express offense to a halt Saturday night, dominating game three of the series and setting a new career-high in strikeouts. The right-hander, with the support of his closer and just enough offense, lifted the Sacramento River Cats (40-54) to a 3-2 victory over the Round Rock Express (47-47).

In his first road start back with Sacramento, Chris Stratton proved his Major League abilities on the mound. The starter made a complete one-eighty from his previous start against Round Rock on August 18, 2015 in which he gave up three runs on four hits across four innings of work while walking four. Tonight, he managed seven strikeouts in the first four innings alone and finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts. He allowed just one run on three hits across his eight innings while walking one.

While Stratton seemed to be in control on the mound, his offense struggled to give him the key hit to break the game open. The Sacramento bats were steaming all night with nine hits through the first seven innings but were kept to just one run. Overall, they picked up 13 hits on the night, but left 12 men on base and were just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Through the first six innings of the night, the only scoring managed by either side came by way of the solo home run. The Cats were the first to strike in the fourth inning with a long shot by Austin Slater on an 0-2 pitch over the left-centerfield wall. The Express responded though, in the fifth, with a solo homer of their own off the bat of Joey Gallo.

The clutch hit from the River Cats finally came in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out. Gorkys Hernandez, the team-leader in RBI, banged a single out to left field, scoring Slater and Travis Ishikawa to break the tie and put the Cats up 3-1.

However, it was Jean Machi who saved the win for Stratton. Steven Okert took over in the ninth looking to close out the game, but gave up a run on three consecutive doubles and left with the bases loaded with one out. He handed the ball to Machi, who slammed the door shut and picked up his fourth save on the year by leaving all three Express runners stranded for the 3-2 win.

San Francisco Giants favorite Hunter Pence, who joined the River Cats on a rehab assignment this afternoon, logged two at bats before turning the right field reigns over to Ryan Lollis. The first pitch to Pence struck his left leg in the first inning, and then he singled in the third before being lifted for a pinch runner. The right fielder is tentatively scheduled to rehab with Sacramento for about a week as he recovers from a torn hamstring he suffered at the beginning of June.

Sacramento will send the tall right-hander Joan Gregorio (2-5, 5.63) to seize the series finale tomorrow night. Opposing him will be Round Rock’s right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 4.98). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT) and 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 Snaps Streak In Heartbreaking Fashion

Sacramento River Cats can’t pull away from Rainiers in 5-3 loss

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (38-52) came into Saturday night’s game looking to be within single digits of first place Tacoma for first time since May 31. In their 5-3 loss to the Rainiers (48-40), they not only saw the game slip through their fingers, but also a chance to climb closer in the Pacific Northern Division.

The Rainiers jumped out to an early lead in front of a sell-out Raley Field crowd, putting a three spot on the board in the first inning against Sacramento starter Chris Stratton. Tacoma catcher Mike Zunino hit his 16th home run of the year to punctuate Stratton’s three run debacle, giving them the early lead. Prior to tonight’s game, in three home starts, the right-hander had only allowed seven runs in 22 innings pitched.

Susac started the scoring for Sacramento in the second inning, smashing Rainiers’ starter Zach Lee’s 3-1 pitch 424 feet over the centerfield wall. The home run was his second in as many games and fourth on the year. The River Cats added two more runs in the third thanks to RBIs from third baseman Ali Castillo and first baseman Ryan Lollis, knotting the game at three runs apiece. Entering tonight’s game, the River Cats held a 10-33 record when opponents scored first.

Both Stratton and Lee would leave the outcome of this one up to their respective bullpens, as the game would stay tied until the ninth inning.

For the second game in a row, the Rainiers tagged the River Cats bullpen for two runs, with tonight’s damage being done once again by Zunino, launching a two-run shot over the left field fence for the winning runs. Right-hander Jean Machi was the culprit tonight, coming in for relief of left-hander Steven Okert in the ninth, allowing a double before serving up Zunino’s second long ball of the game. On the night, Tacoma managed to get base runners in scoring positions in six of the nine innings.

Six of the Sacramento’s seven hits tonight came in the first three innings of tonight’s loss. Susac finished 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, extending his hitting streak to four games. Through the first three games of this series, the 26-year-old is now 5-for-12 (.416) with six RBI.

The River Cats will look to finish the first half of the season on a high note before the All-Star break. On the hill for Sacramento will be the young right-hander Joan Gregorio (2-4, 5.07) and for Tacoma it will be righty Jordan Pries (1-1, 4.26) making his second start for Tacoma (sixth game). First pitch is set for 7:05 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 Offense Roars In 6-4 Victory Over Fresno Grizzlies

Sacramento River Cats pile up 15 hits in season’s first win against division rival

Fresno, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (36-50) entered tonight seeking their first win this year against the Fresno Grizzlies (42-41), and did so with a huge night at the plate and support from an equally impressive bullpen. Six ‘Cats had multi-hit nights to help break a deadlocked game in the eighth, while the bullpen held on to close the door late.

After a walk and a balk from Joan Gregorio, Fresno broke through first to take a 1-0 lead at Chukchansi Park. Sacramento quickly followed, however, with a triple from Myles Schroder, his first on the year with the River Cats, which sent home Ryan Lollis to knot things at one.

The game remained locked up at one until the breakthrough fifth inning where back-to-back singles by Travis Ishikawa and Andrew Susac gave Sacramento its first lead of the series. Fresno responded with back-to-back doubles in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game back up at three apiece.

That would be all for Gregorio, who finished just two strikeouts short of a 500 in his career. He entered tonight’s game with 492, needing to match his season-best of eight to reach the milestone. He will have to wait a few more days, however, as he struck out six over five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking three. The 6’7” righty struggled to find the zone tonight, throwing just 60 of his 96 pitches for strikes and also committing two balks.

Succeeding Gregorio would be Steven Okert and Tyler Rogers, who combined to retire nine straight while picking up three more strikeouts. Jean Machi entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, giving Sacramento fans a brief scare allowing one run on two hits, but salvaged the win for Okert, who moves to 4-2. The save is Machi’s first with the River Cats this season.

The key eighth inning rally marked a big step forward for a recently struggling Sacramento offense. Three singles from the middle of the order set the table in front of a triple by Rando Moreno that busted the score open at 6-3. The team picked up three runs on four hits in the eighth alone and finished with 15 hits overall, including three for extra bases.

In just his sixth game with Sacramento, Ali Castillo has made his presence known in the River Cats lineup. Tonight he picked up his fifth multi-hit game, finished 3-for-5, and is now hitting .500. Alongside him, Schroder and Moreno each went 2-for-4 with two RBI apiece.

Sacramento closes out the short series against Fresno tomorrow with right-hander Clayton Blackburn (5-6, 5.01) on the mound. The 2015 PCL ERA Champion opposes Grizzlies’ righty Joe Musgrove (3-3, 4.73). 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

Rain Delay Doesn’t Slow River Cats Offense; Sacramento Defeats Tacoma Rainiers 6-2

TACOMA, Wash. – The Sacramento River Cats and Rainiers were delayed just over half an hour this morning due to rain, but the wet conditions and late start didn’t faze Sacramento in the least as they picked up their second straight win in Tacoma and third straight overall. Nick Noonan and Darren Ford both homered for the River Cats as Sacramento rolled to a 6-2 victory.

Noonan, making just his second start for the River Cats, shined this afternoon. Starting at shortstop, the right-handed hitter was 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. The homer put the River Cats up 2-1 and gave them a lead they would not relinquish. Noonan later singled in the fourth inning, driving in two more to extend Sacramento’s lead to 4-1.

Ford also contributed to the scoring, blasting a solo home run to left field in the top of the seventh. The home run, which was his second in the last two games, was his 11th of the season. He was 1-for-5 in the game overall.

Ford’s home run last night set a new season-high for the outfielder, and he continues to add on. Previously, the most home runs Ford had hit in a season was nine. He reached that mark twice, in both 2007 and 2009.

Mac Williamson also had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. The right-handed hitting outfielder has struggled lately at the plate, going just 2-for-20 over his last five games, but looked much more comfortable in his at bats today.

Overall, the River Cats offense tallied six runs on 12 hits. The Sacramento bats have really come to life as of late, having racked up 32 hits and scored 24 runs over their last three games.

Ty Blach picked up his 10th win of the season for the River Cats, becoming the first Sacramento starter to reach the double-digit mark this season. The left-hander went five innings and allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk with four strike outs. He benefited from some solid defense behind him as the River Cats turned three double plays to erase a number would-be rallies.

Brett Bochy, Steven Okert, and Mike Broadway combined to pitch four shutout innings. Broadway entered the game with two down in the eighth before pitching a scoreless ninth en route to his 10th save of the season. He is a perfect 10/10 in save opportunities and has now lowered his ERA to 1.04.

The River Cats and Rainiers will resume things tomorrow night at the regular time with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. It’ll be Chris Stratton (2-4, 3.52) on the mound for Sacramento. Stratton has been excellent on the road, posting a 2-2 record with a 2.98 ERA in eight road starts. For Tacoma, it’ll be the lefty Roenis Elias (3-1, 8.03). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations