Image by George H. Young Photography
Originally published on Sacramento Press.com on May 27, 2012
In the second day of veteran Manny Ramirez’s stint at Raley Field, it was third baseman Brandon Inge who shined in the River Cats 10-0 victory against the Reno Aces on the cold Saturday night.
Inge fueled the River Cats offense, going 5-5 with two doubles, two home runs, three runs and seven runs batted in.
Ramirez is currently playing a 10-game stint with the River Cats before being eligible to play with the Oakland Athletics following a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy last year.
Ramirez chose to retire last season with the Tampa Bay Rays instead of serving the suspension before coming back this year and signing with the Athletics.
Ramirez is batting .240 with two RBIs and no home runs in seven games with the River Cats thus far, and is eligible to join the Athletics on May 30, the same day he turns 40 years old.
The 11,236 people in attendance applauded Ramirez every time he stepped up to the plate, hoping to see the right-handed slugger hit a homerun for the River Cats, but Ramirez finished 1-5 with a single in the sixth inning.
River Cats starting pitcher Bruce Billings was once again stellar, finishing the game with eight strikeouts and allowing no runs on three hits in eight innings of work. Billings is now 4-1 on the season, with a 2.63 earned run average.
Sacramento pounced all over Aces starting pitcher Patrick Corbin early and often, scoring a run in each of the first four innings.
The River Cats first got on the scoreboard on a home run from Inge in the first inning, giving the Cats a lead that would never be threatened. Inge’s second homer came in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, he sent a ball soaring over the left field wall for a grand slam, extending the River Cats lead to 8-0.
Inge extended the lead to 10-0 when the bases were loaded once again in the seventh inning, but this time Inge singled to bring in two runs and give him his sixth and seventh RBIs for the night.
The Aces barely threatened the River Cats to get on the board, only tallying four hits during the contest. They threatened in the second inning when outfielder Cole Gillespie doubled to right field to lead off the inning, but Billings was able to get out of the inning, getting two ground outs and a strikeout.
The Aces also threatened in the ninth inning with River Cats reliever Erick Threets pitching. Upon giving up a single, Threets threw a wild pitch that advanced outfielder Jake Elmore to second. Threets was then able to get the batter to fly out to end the game and secure the 10-0 victory.
Photo by David Alvarez Photography
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on May 4, 2012
The Sacramento River Cats extended their winning streak to three with a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Raley Field Thursday night.
Starting pitcher Bruce Billings gave the River Cats another solid outing to bring his record to 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. He provided seven innings of work, giving up no runs on five hits and striking out six.
Sacramento was able to pounce on Sky Sox starting pitcher Brandon Hynick early, giving Billings two-run support in the first inning.
Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell started the inning with a triple to deep center field. Mitchell then scored on a double from Collin Cowgill to give the River Cats their first lead of the game. First baseman Chris Carter kept the rally going when he hit a double of his own to score Cowgill and extend the lead to 2-0 before the following batters failed to score Carter.
Hynick found trouble again in the fifth inning, giving up two more doubles and one more run before being pulled off the mound in favor of relief pitcher Zach Simons. Simons then walked Carter and hit Brandon Moss to load the bases with one out. But the River Cats were only able to score one, with Cowgill scoring on a single from Josh Donaldson to make the score 4-0.
The Sky Sox threatened to score against Billings in the sixth inning when they had two men on with two outs, but Billings was able to work out of it by getting Matt McBride to ground out to second base.
Already up 4-0, Sacramento added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to give them a six-run lead heading into the final frame.
Colorado Springs’ only run came in the top of the ninth inning when River Cats pitcher Merkin Valdez came in to close out the game. Valdez promptly gave up a double to McBride who was brought across home plate by Brandon Wood to put the Sky Sox on the board and bring the score to 6-1. With the nearly full moon shining 4,212 fans in attendance, Valdez then struck out two batters and got a groundout to end the game.
Photos by David Alvarez
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on May 2, 2012
Third baseman Josh Donaldson led the River Cats to a 7-1 victory against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Raley Field Tuesday night.
Donaldson finished the game 3-4 and a walk, including a two-run double that gave the Cats the lead in the fifth inning. Donaldson finished the game with three runs batted in.
Sacramento starting pitcher Graham Godfrey had another solid outing as he pitched six innings and struck out five batters while giving up six hits and one unearned run.
Colorado’s only run came in the second inning when shortstop Brendan Harris reached base on an error by River Cats shortstop Adam Rosales. Harris then reached third on a hit-and-run play with right fielder Hernan Iribarren at the plate. Harris was eventually brought home on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Brown to give the Sky Sox an early 1-0 lead.
Sacramento tied the game up in the third inning when center fielder Jermaine Mitchell reached first on an error but then was able to make it to home plate following a walk and another Sky Sox error. Mitchell finished the game 0-3, ending his hitting streak at nine games. Mitchell did score two of the River Cats seven runs, reaching base on an error and a walk.
The River Cats threatened to extend their 3-1 lead in the sixth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out but eventually failed to do so. With the bases loaded, Sky Sox pitcher Jared Wells was able to work out of the inning, getting Rosales to fly out to the shortstop, followed by getting Mitchell to fly out to left field.
But the Sky Sox couldn’t keep the River Cats from scoring for much longer.
Following a single from designated hitter Chris Carter in the seventh inning, River Cats first baseman Brandon Moss hit a two-run home run to deep left-center field to extend the lead to 5-1. Moss has a team-high six home runs on the season.
After hitting two hard-hit balls that were caught by the outfield, outfielder Michael Taylor was able to finally find the grass when he hit a double off the wall to continue the River Cats rally.
Taylor reached third base on his sixth stolen base before continuing across home to bring the score to 5-1 when Sky Sox catcher Wilkon Castillo’s throw found the outfield.
Sacramento added one more insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Donaldson hit a single to score second baseman Brandon Hicks.
River Cats reliever Merkin Valdez came in at the top of the ninth inning and only allowed one hit to preserve the River Cats 7-1 victory over the Sky Sox, making Sacramento 17-9 for the season.