TACOMA, WA -- What was a pitchers' duel through five and a half innings slowly turned south for the Sacramento River Cats in their 2018 season opener. After a one hour and 28-minute rain delay prior to the start of the game, the Tacoma Rainiers put up a five-spot on the
TACOMA, WA -- What was a pitchers' duel through five and a half innings slowly turned south for the Sacramento River Cats in their 2018 season opener. After a one hour and 28-minute rain delay prior to the start of the game, the Tacoma Rainiers put up a five-spot on the home scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth and that was all they needed, winning 5-0.
Rainiers starter Christian Bergman hurled 5.2 scoreless innings striking out eight River Cats hitters while allowing six hits and one walk. Overall, the Sacramento lineup struck out 12 times on Thursday night.
River Cats reliever DJ Snelten, after pitching a scoreless fifth frame in relief of starter Andrew Suárez, struggled during the sixth inning. Three of Tacoma's five runs were charged to him as the tall left-hander surrendered a single and two walks. Right-hander Madison Younginer replaced Snelten with the bases loaded and no one out and gave up two hits and a walk as the final two runs of the inning crossed the plate.
Tacoma's bullpen wrapped things up after Bergman's stellar outing, pitching 3.1 one-hit innings while striking out four, including right-hander Mike Morin who punched out three of the four River Cats hitters he faced.
Game two of this five-game series will take place Friday evening beginning at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Casey Kelly will face fellow righty Rob Whalen.
• Starter Andrew Suarez kept the Rainiers at bay early with four scoreless, one-hit innings, but four walks and a handful of deep counts led to a high pitch count and an early exit
• The River Cats hitters managed seven hits, including three doubles, but were only able to advance a runner to third base once
• Outfielder Austin Slater and catcher Héctor Sánchez were the only River Cats hitters to not strike out on Thursday, as Slater finished 2-for-4 with a double and Sanchez 1-for-4 with a single