Straily sharp vs. Hultzen in marathon

Savastano plays hero with perfect frame, walk-off shot in 18th

By Robert Emrich / Special to | July 18, 2012 11:50 PM ET

Sacramento's Daniel Straily may have been the lesser-known name heading into his matchup Wednesday, but he pitched like a marquee hurler.

Straily struck out eight and allowed a run on two hits over eight innings, but it was first baseman Scott Savastano who played hero with a perfect frame on the mound and a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 18th inning as the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers bested the River Cats, 2-1.

The Athletics' 24th-rounder in 2009 allowed a pair of doubles, one by rehabbing Mike Carp in the first inning and another to Darren Ford to start the ninth, the last batter he faced. Straily, who walked two, retired the side in order in five of his eight innings and set down the eight straight hitters before Ford's double.

Straily, who had not gone more than seven innings since joining the River Cats on June 21, lasted longer than Rainiers starter Danny Hultzen. The Mariners' No. 1 prospect allowed a run on three hits while fanning eight over six innings.

In the 18th, Savastano took the hill. He got Kila Ka'aihue and Grant Green to ground out, with a long flyout by Michael Taylor sandwiched in the middle. With one out in the bottom of the frame, he smacked a home run over the fence and onto a neighboring roof off of outfielder Shane Peterson.

The game lasted five hours and 32 minutes and was the longest in Sacramento history. The River Cats had never played past 16 frames since they entered the Pacific Coast League in 2000.

Rich Thompson took over for Straily and got Nick Franklin out on a sacrifice bunt for the first out. Carp tied the game with a sacrifice fly, a run that was charged to Straily. Thompson fanned Luis Antonio Jimenez to end the frame and he finished with two hitless innings out of the bullpen.

Straily has had the kind of season that puts player on the fast track to the Major Leagues, going 6-6 with a 2.64 ERA and a Minor League-leading 162 strikeouts. Since joining Sacramento, the 23-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with a 1.10 ERA in six Pacific Coast League starts.

Jermaine Mitchell hit a solo homer for the River Cats.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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