Photo by David Alvarez Photography
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on July 3, 2012
The Sacramento River Cats were unable to continue their win streak as they fell to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 5-3 on Monday night at Raley Field.
The River Cats entered the game with a modest three-game winning streak but a late-inning rally fell short to give the River Cats the loss.
River Cats starting pitcher Bruce Billings has been exceptional for much of the year, apart from his last two starts, which he lost. Although he struck out seven batters, he also gave up five earned runs on six hits in five innings of work for the River Cats.
Billings started strong with a three-up-three-down first inning, but then the Sky Sox were able to get on the board in the second inning. Following a single by Sky Sox first baseman Matt McBride, designated hitter Chad Tracy hit a two-out home run to give the Sky Sox the early 2-0 lead after two innings of play.
Colorado Springs added to their lead in the fifth inning by putting three more runs on the scoreboard. Just like the second inning, all three of the runs came with two outs already recorded.
After a single to DJ LeMahieu, Billings gave up another two-run home run, this time to Andrew Brown, who hit a deep ball to right field for his 13th home run of the season. The very next batter, Billings gave up another home run to right fielder Tim Wheeler to round out the Sky Sox
scoring for the night, giving them a 5-0 lead after five innings. The home run was Wheeler’s first home run of the season.
With the River Cats down 5-0, Sacramento right fielder Shane Peterson was called out on strikes in the bottom of the fifth inning. Following the strikeout, River Cats manager Darren Bush quickly ran to argue the call. During the argument, home plate umpire Scott Mahoney ejected the River Cats manager.
Sacramento remained scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when Stephen Parker singled to score Kila Ka’aihue from second base to bring the deficit to 5-1. The score caused the Sky Sox to replace starting pitcher Edwar Cabrera with Joe Torres, who promptly struck out Jermaine Mitchell to end the threat. Cabrera had a very solid game, pitching 6.2 innings and striking out 13 while giving up just one run on two hits.
The River Cats had one last rally in them in the ninth inning. Following scoring two more runs and having Mitchell on at second base and the tying run at the plate, Sky Sox relief pitcher Zach Putnam got River Cats left fielder Grant Green to line out to end the game, securing the Sky Sox 5-3 victory.