San Bernardino, CA: The Inland Empire 66ers roughed up former MLB All-Star Trevor Cahill in a four-run first inning and held on for a 4-2 win on Thursday night at San Manuel Stadium. The win evened a four game series at a game apiece.
The 66ers got to Visalia's Cahill (0-1) in his first start with the Rawhide after being designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks this week. He hit Mark Shannon with a pitch with one out in the first. Shannon stole second, his first of three thefts on the evening. Wade Hinkle then doubled in the right-center gap to score Shannon. Cahill then hit Dennis Raben to put men at first and second. Inland Empire's Cal Towey promptly obliterated a light-tower level homer out to right to give Inland Empire a 4-0 lead with one out in the first. It was Towey's fifth homer of 2014.
Cahill, a 2010 American League All-Star with Oakland, then retired the next six men he faced in his two inning performance. He allowed the four runs on two hits with two hit batsmen and four K's.
Inland Empire (24-44) would threaten but not score again on the night. Spencer Arroyo tossed five shutout frames for the Rawhide out of the pen allowing just three hits and fanning five to keep Visalia (35-33) within shouting distance.
The Sixers staff made big pitches when they needed to on Thursday. Elliot Morris lasted just four innings as a 32-pitch first inning doomed his hopes for a long outing. Despite the no-decision, he whiffed eight batters on the night. Matt Hernandez allowed Visalia's two runs over two frames. Socrates Brito tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and Steve McQuail blasted his first homer of the season to halve the 66ers' lead 4-2.
Austin Adams earned his first win of the season with two stellar innings of work out of the pen. The Cal League All-Star tossed two scoreless allowing just one walk while striking out three. Jairo Diaz tallied his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Inland Empire pitching punched out 14 Rawhide batters in the game. Visalia was 0-11 with runners in scoring position.
The series continues Friday at 7:05 pm. It can be heard live at 66ers.com.