Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on Aug. 4, 2010
The River Cats failed to find their mark as they walked a PCL-season-high 15 batters en route to a loss against the Las Vegas 51s by a score of 7-5 Tuesday night at Raley Field.
Cats starting pitcher Kyle Middleton (6-8) started the walking with seven walks of his own before his relievers also proved to be unable to find the strike zone, walking a combined seven more batters bringing the total for the game to 15. The 15 batters walked by the Cats sets a new franchise record for the most walks; the record was previously 13.
The Cats started the game strong offensively, as they were able to score two runs in the first inning. The Cats' Corey Wimberley led off the inning with a walk, then Eric Sogard and Chris Carter followed up with two singles to score Wimberley from second.
Michael Taylor hit a single of own to score Sogard from second base and put the Cats up 2-0 for the early lead. With Carter on second and Taylor on first, Dallas McPherson struck out, and Steven Tolleson grounded into a double play to end the inning.
With the score tied at 3-3, the Las Vegas 51s were able to take their first lead of the game with a three-run home run. With two outs in the inning and Las Vegas' Jarret Hoffpauir and Mike Jacobs on base, Jason Lane launched a deep fly ball over the left center field wall to take a 6-3 lead over the River Cats.
Down 7-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the River Cats began to make a late comeback in an attempt to steal the game. With one out already in the inning, Sogard walked to start the rally. Carter then singled on a pop up that first baseman Mike Jacobs misplayed and the ball fell harmlessly to the ground in the infield.
With Sogard on second and Carter on first with two outs, McPherson doubled on a line drive to left, scoring Sogard. Tolleson followed up with a single to left field, scoring Carter and advancing McPherson to third.
With Travis Buck batting, Tolleson advanced to second base, putting the tying run on second. With a chance to tie the game with a base hit, Buck watched strike three cross home plate and was called out to end the game, with the Cats losing 7-5.
The Fresno Grizzlies also lost on Tuesday night, keeping the River Cats 2 games behind the Grizzlies for first in the PCL Pacific South. The Cats now go on an eight-game road trip before returning to Raley Field Aug. 13.
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