Kyle Blanks slugged a three-run blast in the ninth inning, but it was too little too late as the Sacramento River Cats (15-22) fell 6-4 to the Oklahoma City Dodgers (19-17) Monday night.
Blanks came on as a pinch hitter with two outs and two on in the ninth and launched a moonshot home run to centerfield. The blast cut the deficit to two runs, but the Dodger's Brandon Morrow closed out the inning to give Oklahoma City the series opener.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead against the River Cats and starter Chris Stratton. Oklahoma City's starter Wilmer Font was perfect through six innings, ultimately striking out 15, the most by a starter against the River Cats in the team's history.
Orlando Calixte ended Font's bid for a perfect game with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning. Austin Slater then singled to break up the no hitter and Chris Marrero drove in Calixte, giving the River Cats their first run of the night.
Game two will feature Sacramento's Dan Slania (0-4, 8.79) against the Dodgers' Fabian Castillo (1-2, 5.63). First pitch is set for 5:05 pm (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and starting at 6 p.m. on the air on 105.5 FM.
Stratton's short start: Chris Stratton's 3.1-inning start was his shortest regular season start since April 21, 2015 when he lasted just three innings as a member of the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Font's excellent start: Oklahoma City's starter Wilmer Font retired the first 18 River Cats he faced…of those 18 outs, had 12 strikeouts, three flyouts, and two groundouts…went on to strike out 15 total, the most ever by a starter against the River Cats.
In a pinch: Kyle Blanks hit his second pinch hit home run of the season…the last came on April 16 at Las Vegas…Blanks is 4-for-8 with two home runs and four RBI as a pinch hitter this year.
Doubles: Third baseman Jae-Gyun Hwang doubled for the third consecutive game tonight…leads the River Cats with 11 doubles this season.
Looking for three straight: Sacramento has yet to win three straight games this season…have won back-to-back games on five different occasions.
The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2017 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.