The Fresno Tacos (55-40) smothered the Sacramento River Cats (41-55) 8-3 Tuesday night from Chukchansi Park. Tacos starter Josh James (3-4) enjoyed the run support en route to the win. He hurled six innings, scattering four hits, three runs (earned), while walking a pair and punching out 12 (one looking). In 11 starts, James has fanned 90 in 59 frames pitched. He has five games with double-digit strikeouts, including two versus the River Cats (also 12 on July 1st at Raley Field).
In the bottom of the third, Fresno leaped out to a 4-0 advantage after bringing nine batters to the plate. A Derek Fisher (2-for-5) RBI single to left added Jake Marisnick (3-for-5) after he doubled. Then, Yordan Alvarez lasered a single to right, plating Fisher and Taylor Jones (2-for-5). Finally, J.D. Davis (2-for-3) came around to score on a double to left by Jack Mayfield (2-for-4). The two-bagger expanded Mayfield's current team-high hit streak to nine games.
A three-run bottom of the fourth extended the Tacos lead to 7-0. Marisnick vanquished a two-run clout to the left-center gap. It was his third longball of the season. Later, Davis found green grass in left, knocking in Fisher. An error by Sacramento in the bottom of the fifth made it 8-0. That would signal the end for River Cats starter Daniel Camarena (0-5, loss). He lasted four and one-third innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
Sacramento cut the deficit to 8-3 in the top of the sixth. Chris Shaw tagged a double off the wall in left, plating Orlando Calixte (3-for-4). Then, Ryder Jones (2-for-4) smoked a double to center, sending a pair across the plate.
River Cats reliever Jose Valdez followed Camarena by chucking two and one-third scoreless frames, whiffing five. On the other hand, Ken Giles and Dean Deetz combined for four punchouts in two shutout innings. It was Giles Triple-A debut with Fresno.
Tacos lefty Buddy Boshers finished the 8-3 victory off with a perfect ninth, whiffing two more. With 18 strikeouts on the evening, the staff has fanned 919 hitters on the year, 93 more than second-place Memphis.
Both teams continue the set with game three of four Wednesday night from Chukchansi Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PT. Fresno RHP Cy Sneed (8-4, 3.11) and Sacramento righty Casey Kelly (8-7, 5.20) are the probable matchup.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.