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Three more homers propel River Cats
09/07/2008 1:46 AM ET
The Sacramento River Cats continued their home run binge with three more long balls Saturday as they beat the Salt Lake Bees, 8-3, to win their best-of-5 Pacific Coast League playoff series in four games.

The defending PCL champions await the winner of the Iowa-Oklahoma series in the best-of-5 Finals, which begin Tuesday.

Travis Buck, Donnie Murphy and Chris Denorfia went deep in the clincher, giving Sacramento 16 homers in the four-game series. The River Cats won three in a row after dropping the opener at home, 13-10.

"We just didn't pitch well the first game," Sacramento manager Todd Steverson said. "Our offense was clicking, but after that first game we were able to hold them down and out hitters stayed hot. We pulled it together."

Buck belted a solo shot in the first inning, Murphy -- who had four homers in the series and four RBIs on Saturday -- ripped a two-run blast in the second and Denorfia added a solo jack in the fifth.

Overall, Denorfia was 3-for-4, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

The River Cats hit three homers in Wednesday's opener, then belted five apiece in Games 2 and 3.

"These guys really play together," said Steverson, who took over when Tony DeFrancesco moved up to Oakland this season. "They go out every day and go about their business and go about it well. They enjoy coming to the park and playing the game."

Vincent Mazzaro (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits, fanning six and walking four, over seven frames to pick up the win.

Salt Lake starter Nick Adenhart (0-1) was roughed up for seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven without issuing a walk.

As the River Cats prepare for the Championship Series, Steverson wants his team to make the most of the opportunity.

"I want them to be able to enjoy the experience, have fun and go out and do what they're done all year," he said. Box score

In other PCL action:

Oklahoma RedHawks 9, Iowa Cubs 6
Max Ramirez belted a grand slam and Casey Benjamin chipped in a solo shot as the RedHawks outlasted the Cubs to knot their best-of-5 series at 2-2. Bobby Scales homered and drove in four runs for Iowa. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.