WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats squandered another excellent start by Chris Stratton as they dropped their series finale with Salt Lake 7-1. The right-hander went eight strong innings for the second start in a row but remains winless despite owning an outstanding 1.53 ERA.
The River Cats and Bees took a 1-1 tie into the ninth inning before Salt Lake exploded for 6 runs on 5 hits and an error. Former Giants prospect Gary Brown delivered the first blow, a two-run single to center with one out in the inning. They added two more on a double by Kaleb Cowert and another pair on a two-run home run off the bat of Grant Green. Cody Hall, who entered the game in the ninth with a 2.97 ERA, recorded just one out and was responsible for five of the six runs.
Mac Williamson’s error in the ninth was the first committed by a River Cat in the series. Sacramento’s defense had gone 35 innings without a miscue and made a number of nice plays in tonight’s game, including a fantastic diving play up the middle by shortstop Kelby Tomlinson.
Chris Stratton was excellent for the River Cats once again, throwing eight innings of one run ball. He scattered 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in the outing and lowered his Triple-A ERA to a sparkling 1.53. Despite allowing just 6 earned runs in 35.1 innings since joining the River Cats, Stratton is still looking for his first Triple-A win.
This was Stratton’s second straight start to go eight innings. He threw eight shutout against the 51s in Las Vegas in his last start, but took a no decision as Sacramento fell 4-3 in extra frames.
On the offensive side of the ball, newcomer Xavier Avery provided a fresh look at the top of the lineup, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. His fifth-inning single drove in Darren Ford for the River Cats’ only run.
The 25-year-old outfielder hit .378 in his last 10 games with Triple-A Toledo (Detroit Tigers), recording 5 runs, 14 hits, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, and 2 stolen bases before opting out with the Tigers and joining the Giants organization.
The River Cats head to Reno next, where they’ll take on the Aces in a four-game set. Clayton Blackburn (2-3, 4.22) will get things started for the River Cats tomorrow night as Gabriel Arias (4-1, 3.61) takes the mound for the Aces. The game is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch and cane be heard live online at rivercats.com and on ESPN 1320.
Game Recap Courtesy to the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations