West Sacramento, Ca.---Sacramento River Cats (77-62) first baseman Anthony Aliotti (2) hit a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Fresno Grizzlies (65-73) 4-3 on Wednesday night at Raley Field. With the win, the River Cats are now two games back in second place behind the Las Vegas 51s who split a doubleheader at Colorado Springs. However, Las Vegas holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Sacramento if they should finish in a tie. Each team has five games left in the regular season.
Fresno jumped out of a 3-0 lead after four innings. The Grizzlies scored a run in the first on a throwing error by Sacramento third baseman Dusty Coleman on an attempted fielder's choice. That was off the bat of first baseman Chris Dominguez who scored center fielder Angel Pagan who led off the game with a single.
The Grizzlies added two more runs in the fourth on a base-loaded, two-out single by catcher Jackson Williams.
However, the River Cats were able to advantage of a Grizzlies miscue in fifth. Fresno right-handed starter Mitch Lively walked Sacramento catcher Ryan Ortiz to open the inning. Following Ortiz, it was Coleman who lifted a fly ball toward center, Pagan had to twist, and turn to get to the ball but ended up dropping it for an error, and that placed runners at the corners. Sacramento would plate two in that inning on a ground out to second by shortstop Andy Parrino, and, and a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Hiro Nakajima.
The River Cats would tie the game in the sixth inning on a sacrifice by Aliotti.
The Grizzlies did not threaten in the later portion as they had their last ten batters set down. Sacramento pitchers combined to strikeout 11
Lively lasted five innings, he gave up two hits, two runs (both unearned), he walked three, and struck out five. Right-hander Brett Bochy allowed one run in two innings, while it was right-hander George Kontos (3-2) who served up the home run. He went one inning (plus), gave up a hit, one run (earned), no walks, and he struck out two.
The winner for Sacramento was right-hander Brian Gordon (1-0). River Cats starter Arnold Leon lasted 5 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, three runs (all earned), he walked one, and struck out five with one wild pitch.
The final Fresno road game of the 2013 campaign will be on Thursday night at 7:05. Right-hander Austin Fleet (1-4) will pitch for Fresno against Sacramento left-hander Andrew Werner (11-14).
The Grizzlies had nine hits; all were singles.
Sacramento leads the season-series 8-7. This season the squads have played six one-run games against each other with the River Cats having won five.
On this road trip, the opponents (Las Vegas, Sacramento) have had three game-ending hits against Fresno.
It was the third time this year the opposition was won a game with a homer. On June 18th in Reno--pinch hitter Ed Easley hit a Grand Slam to cap a 14-10 Aces win while on May 25th at Colorado Springs, first baseman Ben Paulsen hit a two-run homer in the 12th for a 7-5 Sky Sox win.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.