Avelino, River Cats sweep way to PCL title
When the ball came off the bat, it appeared as though Abiatal Avelino had grounded into an inning-ending, rally-killing double play as Sacramento trailed Round Rock by a run in the eighth inning on Friday night. Moments later, it became clear the ball -- and the game -- were heading
When the ball came off the bat, it appeared as though
The Giants' No. 27 prospect lined a single off the glove of pitcher
After eight runs were scored in the first three innings, the game went quiet until the bottom of the seventh. With runners on first and second,
The Express' didn't stop there, however. After rehabbing Astros shortstop
Gameday box score
Sacramento quickly took advantage as
After taking one pitch and fouling off another, Avelino slapped a grounder up the middle to set up an apparent double play. Instead, the ball ricocheted off Garza's glove and rolled into shallow right field. As McCormick tracked it down, Heyward trotted in from third and Freeman raced around from second to give Sacramento a 6-5 lead.
Avelino reached base in all eight of the River Cats' postseason contests, going 12-for-37 (.324) with nine RBIs. He finished the regular season with a .283/.315/.444 line and 62 RBIs in 121 games.
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After escaping the seventh, Venditte (1-0) got one more out and allowed a single in the eighth to earn the win.
It's the fifth PCL championship for Sacramento, which had not won one since claiming back-to-back titles in 2007-08. It's also the first Triple-A title for a San Francisco affiliate since the Phoenix Giants won the PCL crown in 1977.
The River Cats will play International League champ Columbus on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship Game.
Jordan Wolf is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @byjordanwolf.