Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 30, 2012
The Sacramento River Cats lost their third straight game as they fell to the Salt Lake Bees 10-3 on Thursday night at Raley Field.
The Bees were able to attack River Cats starting pitcher Brad Peacock early, quieting the 6,428 fans in attendance.
After getting the first batter of the game out, Peacock gave up a single and walked Bees left fielder Ryan Langerhans to put runners on first and second with just one out. Peacock was unable to get out of the situation, giving up another single that scored Kole Calhoun to put the Bees on the board first, for the second night in a row.
River Cats Kila Ka’aihue, who usually plays first base but was playing left field for Thursday’s game, was tested early as to whether his arm could get the ball to home plate consistently. Ka’aihue’s first throw was inaccurate and ended up on the line, allowing Calhoun to score easily. Ka’aihue was tested on the very next batter when Bees first baseman Efren Navarro singled to left and Ka’aihue threw home once again but not in time, allowing Langerhans to score and the other runners to advance to second and third base.
Bees catcher Robinzon Díaz finished the scoring for the inning with a single of his own to left field that scored two more runs, allowing the Bees to lead the game 4-0 after just one inning.
Salt Lake continued to add to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings, with one run and four more runs, respectively.
Three of the runs scored in the fifth inning came off a three-run home run, the fourth of the season for right fielder Doug Deeds, which scored Díaz and Paul McAnulty.
The River Cats were able to sustain a small rally in the bottom of the fifth inning and put their first two runs on the board.
With the bases loaded and one out, first baseman Daric Barton hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field that scored Eric Sogard to give the River Cats their first run of the night. The sacrifice fly also advanced Adam Rosales to third base.
Rosales scored the River Cats’ run when Bees pitcher Francisco Rodriguez threw a wild pitch, allowing Rosales to come home and bring the deficit to 9-2.
But the River Cats were unable to produce enough offense to come back, only scoring one more run in the sixth inning when Sogard hit a sacrifice groundout that scored Ka’aihue.
But Bees right fielder Calhoun got that run back for the Bees by hitting a home run against the River Cats for the second night in a row, bringing the game to the final score of 10-3.
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 28, 2012
The Sacramento River Cats struggled on Wednesday night as they dropped their second game in a row, falling to the Salt Lake Bees 7-2 at Raley Field.
The River Cats began to struggle early in front of the 7,741 people in attendance, who accompanied a variety of canine fans brought to the park for Raley Field’s “Bark in the Ballpark” night. The promotion brought a wide variety of fans to the ballpark, from humans, to chihuahuas, to great big St. Bernards, one of which assisted in the throwing of the first pitch.
Sacramento sent out right-handed pitcher Bruce Billings as the starting pitcher. Billings entered the game with a 2.86 earned run average, which was good for being second best in the Pacific Coast League. He also had a 3-1 record at home coming into the contest, but encountered adversity while on the mound Wednesday night.
After striking out the first three batters he faced, Billings gave up three consecutive singles to start the second inning and put the Bees on the scoreboard first. Billings was able to get the next batter, Bees second baseman Adam Heether, to ground out into a double play. But Billings couldn’t capitalize on the double play.
With a runner on third base, Bees designated hitter Paul McAnulty hit a ground ball up the middle that River Cats second baseman Eric Sogard dove for, but was unable to send to first base in time, leaving McAnulty safe at first with an RBI single.
Already down 2-0 with two men on and two outs, Billings then gave up a three-run home run to Bees center fielder Kole Calhoun to put the Bees up 5-0 after just two innings.
Meanwhile, the River Cats offense struggled to give Billings any run support. Sacramento was unable to get anything going until the bottom of the fifth inning.
After right fielder Michael Taylor walked to lead off the inning, Sogard hit a single that allowed Taylor to advance to third base with no outs. Taylor crossed home plate on a single by catcher Anthony Recker that put Sacramento on the board, but still trailing 5-1. But that was all the River Cats were able to score that inning.
Billings was unable to stop the Bees from scoring when he gave up another home run, this time to Ed Lucas, which put the score at 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. The home run marked a new season high for Billings in home runs (two) and runs (six) allowed in a single game.
Sacramento got a run back in the bottom of the seventh inning on a throwing error that allowed first baseman Daric Barton to score from third base.
Relief pitcher Justin Souza was not able to limit the Salt Lake runs, either. Souza came in to relieve Billings in the eighth inning and promptly gave up a home run to the second batter he faced, third baseman Luis Jimenez. Jimenez sent the first pitch he saw from Souza deep over the fence in left field to give the Bees the 7-2 lead.
Bees starting pitcher Greg Smith was stellar, limiting the River Cats to just one run on six hits, spread out over six innings of work.
Sacramento will hope to get back to winning when they face the Salt Lake Bees again Thursday night at Raley Field at 7:05 p.m.
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 4, 2012
The Sacramento River Cats overcame adversity to defeat the Fresno Grizzlies 10-7 on Friday night at Raley Field.
The 10,501 fans in attendance witnessed an offensive outburst that lasted nearly three hours and forty minutes. Fans were able to see a plethora of pitchers, with 11 pitchers seeing the mound throughout the game.
Designated hitter Manny Ramirez was once again a last-minute scratch, being given the day off as a medical precaution for the tightness in his calf that kept him out of Thursday’s game as well.
Adding to the adversity, starting pitcher Bruce Billings faced just two batters, giving up two singles before having to leave the game due to cramping in his left hamstring.
Ramirez’s replacement, Brandon Moss, turned out to be the offensive key to the River Cats’ victory. Moss went 2-5 with a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
Down 3-5, the River Cats opened up the game with a six-run fourth inning that gave them a 9-5 lead. The River Cats sent 12 batters up to the plate in the inning and capitalized on Moss’ 3-run bomb to deep center field.
The Grizzlies weren’t going to go down easy, as catcher Jackson Williams hit his fourth home run of the season to score Brock Bond and bring the Grizzlies to within two and the score to 9-7 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
River Cats lead-off man Grant Green was able to give the Cats an insurance run in the very next half inning, hitting his sixth home run of the season and extending the Cats’ lead to 10-7.
Cats pitchers would then keep the Grizzlies off of the scoreboard, with Evan Scribner locking up the save and securing the River Cats 10-7 lead.
Two of the six pitchers used by the Grizzlies attended college right here in Sacramento. Grizzlies starting pitcher Jason Stevenson was born in Redding, Calif. but attended Sacramento City College. Stevenson pitched just two innings, allowed two hits and three earned runs, struck out one and struggled with his command while walking four.
Grizzlies relief pitcher Mitch Lively is also a local product, having attended California State University, Sacramento. Lively pitched 1 and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits, four unearned runs and striking out four batters.
The win gave the series win to the River Cats and also improved the River Cats to 35-21 on the season, just 1.5 games out of first place of the Pacific Coast League, Southern Division.