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Mortensen tosses eight two-hit frames
River Cats hurler induces 16 ground-ball outs in 11th victory
07/24/2010 1:05 AM ET
Clay Mortensen shares the Pacific Coast League lead with 11 victories.
Clay Mortensen shares the Pacific Coast League lead with 11 victories. (Sacramento River Cats)
After suffering his first loss in two months, Clay Mortensen bounced back with eight sterling innings on Friday night.

The A's prospect allowed two hits over eight scoreless frames as the Sacramento River Cats held on for a 2-1 win over the Tacoma Rainiers.

He struck out three and walked one while inducing 16 ground-ball outs. The former first-round Draft pick threw 65 of 102 pitches for strikes and did not allow a runner past second base.

Mortensen retired the first 10 batters before giving up a one-out single in the fourth inning. Former top pick Dustin Ackley led off the eighth with a single for the Rainiers' only other hit off the right-hander.

The River Cats collected only four hits. Leadoff man Corey Wimberley singled twice, stole his Pacific Coast League-leading 37th base and scored a run. Second baseman Eric Sogard delivered an RBI triple in the third.

Sacramento's Michael Taylor went 0-for-4, snapping his 17-game hitting streak, but he drove in the Cats' second run with a groundout.

Sacramento survived a scare in the ninth as reliever Jon Hunton gave up a pair of hits and a run before Michael Benacka struck out Matt Tuiasosopo to end the game and record his second save.

Mortensen improved to 11-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.50. The 25-year-old shook off a rough outing at Salt Lake in his previous start last Sunday. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- on a season-high 12 hits over 4 1/3 for his first loss since May 18. He had won six games in eight starts between the defeats.

Tacoma starter Michael Pineda (3-1) suffered his first Triple-A loss, despite matching a season high with 11 strikeouts. He allowed one run on one hit over five frames and did not walk a batter.

The River Cats have won five straight and seven of nine on their 12-game road trip. Friday night's victory gave them a half-game lead over second-place Fresno in the Pacific South Division and the top record in the 16-team circuit.

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