The Sacramento River Cats finished their road series against the Salt Lake Bees with a 5-3 loss, splitting the matchup. Salt Lake managed 14 hits and scored three runs in the fifth inning to take the win.
One highlight of the game was great relief pitching from both sides. Just one run was scored after the fifth. Edwar Ramirez of the Cats allowed only one hit through 1.2 innings. Fernando Hernandez threw 2.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Matt Palmer of Salt Lake collected the win after allowing no hits through 2.1 innings, adding three strikeouts to his season total.
Offensively, Eric Sogard was solid out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with a double, run scored, RBI and walk. Corey Wimberly also recorded two hits. Four Bees had multi-hit games, including a 4-for-5 game from Peter Bourjos.
Sacramento got a quick run up on the board thanks to a Sogard triple to lead off the game. Sogard's shot to center paved the way for a Michael Taylor RBI groundout, his 51st RBI of the season.
Salt Lake answered immediately in the bottom of the first. Bourjos and Luis Figueroa hit back-to-back singles to left field. Mark Trumbo's fly ball to right field advanced Bourjos to third before he was driven in by a Nate Sutton base knock.
The Salt Lake singles machine kept on rolling against Pacific Coast League All-Star Clayton Mortensen, stringing together three consecutive base hits from Nick Gorneault, Drew Meyer and Bourjos for another run in the second. By the end of the inning the Bees already had six hits in the game.
With one out in the third, Sacramento tied the game when Wimberly and Sogard combined for back-to-back doubles.
Sacramento had another scoring opportunity in the fifth, but could not create any runs with the bases loaded. Bees starting pitcher Daniel Cabrera walked Sogard, struck out pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson, and then walked Michael Taylor and Chris Carter. Reliever Matt Palmer took over for Cabrera and struck out Dallas McPherson to end the frame.
The Bees took the lead back in the fifth. The offense led off the inning with three consecutive hits -- a Luis Figueroa double, Maicer Izturis single to right, and Mark Trumbo RBI single. Nate Sutton hit into a Wimberly error at short, bringing another run home. Trumbo scored on a fielder's choice by Robb Quinlan.
The last run scored was the end of the line for Mortensen, who was replaced by Ramirez. He allowed an uncharacteristic 12 hits in his outing and only struck out two batters.
In the eighth, Sacramento narrowed the gap. Taylor led off with a single to right field. Reliever Bobby Mosebach threw a wild pitch and allowed Taylor to advance to second. On another single to right, Jeff Baisley batted Taylor in.
Sacramento is now 53-42 on the season. The Cats start a four-game road series against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox with a game Monday at 6:05 p.m. Following that series they play four against Tacoma, and then come back home to square off against Colorado Springs again.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.