Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on July 30, 2010
The Sacramento River Cats were defeated by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox for the second straight game, losing by a score of 5-2 on Thursday night at Raley Field.
The Cats were able to pounce on Sox's starting pitcher Alan Johnson (9-6)
early in the first inning, scoring two runs.
The Cats' Corey Wimberley was able to lead off the game with a single to
right field. The Cats' next batter, Eric Sogard, hit a single of his own to right field, advancing Wimberley to third base with no outs.
With Chris Carter batting, Sogard got caught in a rundown on a pick-off
attempt by Johnson, allowing Wimberley to steal home and beat the throw for
the first run of the game. Sogard was also able to reach second base
safely, completing a successful double steal.
Carter proceeded to hit a single to left field, advancing Sogard to third
base, still with no outs in the inning. Cats' right fielder Michael Taylor
was able to score Sogard for the Cats' second run, but did so by grounding
into a double play. Steve Tolleson would eventually fly out to right field
to end the inning, but not before the Cats had done some damage by putting
the first two runs on the scoreboard.
Holding a 2-0 lead, Cats' starting pitcher Kyle Middleton (6-7) cruised past
the Sky Sox's batters for five innings, until he encountered problems in the
top of the sixth inning.
After a one-out single and a walk to the Sox's Matt Miller, Travis Metcalf
put the Sox on the scoreboard with a two-RBI double to to left field, tying
the game at two runs a piece.
After a mound visit, Middleton gave up a two-run home run to the next Sox
batter, Mike Paulk, putting the Cats behind the Sox 4-2. The Sox would
score another run off of Cats reliever Justin James before ending the inning
with the lead at 5-2.
This lead would ultimately remain intact, as the game remained scoreless for
the final four innings, and the Cats lost by the score of 5-2. With that
loss and a Fresno win on Thursday night, the Cats now trail the Fresno
Grizzlies by one game for the top of the division.
With Wimberley's steal of home on Thursday night, he now has 42 steals for
the season, one short of Eric Patterson's club record, set just last year.
Wimberley will look to tie or break Patterson's record on Friday night as
the series continues against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at 7:05 p.m. at
Photos by Ahsan Awan
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on July 29, 2010
The Sacramento River Cats were defeated by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox by a score of 5-3 on Wednesday night at Raley Field.
The Sky Sox started the game strong, quickly scoring a run in the first inning. River Cats' starter Clay Mortensen (11-4) opened the game by hitting the Sox's lead-off batter, Eric Young Jr., to put him on first. After Young stole second base, Matsui grounded out to Cats' catcher Josh Donaldson to advance Young to third base with one out. Two batters later, Sox's Matt Miller hit a two-out double to right field to score Young for the first run of the game.
The River Cats saw their first run of the game come in the bottom of the third inning with a solid two-out rally. With two outs and nobody on base, Cats' Corey Wimberley hit a double down the third-base line. Cats' Eric Sogard followed Wimberley with a double of his own, scoring Wimberley from second.
Colorado Springs was able to break the tie in the top of the fifth inning due to a costly error by Cats shortstop Steven Tolleson. With a runner on first, Sox's Chris Frey hit a soft bouncer back to Mortensen who threw it to Tolleson to start what looked to be an inning-ending double play, but Tolleson dropped the ball and was unable to record a single out.
Sox's Paul Phillips then singled to right field to load the bases with one out. Eric Young Jr. took advantage of this opportunity with a single to right field, scoring McKenry and Frey, while Phillips was gunned out by Cats' Michael Taylor while trying to advance to third. Mortensen was able to get out of the inning without further damage by getting Matsui to line out to left field.
With the River Cats trailing by a score of 4-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cats made one last late push at getting the win. With two out already in the inning, Wimberley was able to start another rally with a single to right field. Eric Sogard followed with a single of his own to left field. Chris Carter then walked on a full count.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, the Cats' Taylor singled to left field with a hard line drive, scoring both Wimberley and Sogard to make the score 4-3. With the bases once again loaded and still two outs in the inning, Cats' Dallas McPherson would strike out to end the rally short. McPherson was soon ejected from the game after arguing a call that deemed his check swing a strike.
The River Cats came up empty in the ninth inning after the Sox scored an insurance run in the top of the frame, leaving the Cats falling to the Sky Sox by a score of 5-3.
Due to the River Cats' loss and the Fresno Grizzlies' win in extra innings on Wednesday night, the Cats now find themselves tied at the top of the PCL Pacific South Division with the Grizzlies.
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 9, 2010
The Sacramento River Cats rallied late once again to beat the Portland Beavers 4-3 Thursday night at Raley Field.
Portland took an early lead when Anthony Contreras hit a three-run home run off Cats' starting pitcher Clay Mortenson, who was seeking his Pacific Coast League leading 11th win of the season.
The River Cats tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning when Steve Tolleson doubled into left field, bringing first baseman Chris Carter to bat with a runner in scoring position and no outs. Carter promptly hit a home run to deep center field, bouncing it off a roof, and Tolleson scored, bringing the Cats to within one run of the Beavers.
Three batters after Carter's home run, Michael Taylor hit another home run to right field, with two outs, evening the score at three runs apiece.
An interesting situation arose in the bottom of the sixth, with the River Cats up to bat. Tolleson was on second and Carter on first with no outs, when designated hitter Dallas McPherson hit a ball to shallow right field that looked as if it had been caught. The first base umpire said no, catching Carter and Tolleson in between bases. Carter was forced out at second and Tolleson was tagged out in a run down for an odd double play.
Manager Tony DeFrancesco argued the call in between innings, and eventually was ejected by second-base umpire Angel Campos. This was DeFrancesco's third-straight ejection at Raley Field.
The score remained tied at 3-3 as the Cats went into the bottom of the ninth inning. With the “rally pants” out, the Cats rallied to get the win.
Cats' catcher Josh Donaldson walked to lead off the inning. Then Adam Heether doubled down the third-base foul line, sending Donaldson to third base. Beavers' relief pitcher Adam Russell intentionally walked Erik Sogard to pitch to Corey Wimberley, who hit the walk-off chopper over the second baseman's leaping glove to score Donaldson.
This was the River Cats' fifth win in a row, placing the team four games back from the Fresno Grizzlies for the top of the PCL Pacific South Division. The Cats meet the Beavers again Friday night.