West Sacramento, CA - It was a familiar feeling for the Sacramento River Cats (27-42) through five innings Friday night, but the second half of the game brought a new ending to the story. In Sacramento's 5-4 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (39-28), the River Cats not only broke their six-game losing streak, they also snapped their three-game losing streak against the Chihuahuas.
It was fan-favorite Travis Ishikawa playing hero tonight for Sacramento as the San Francisco Giants' veteran gave the River Cats' their fourth walk-off win of the season, sending the Raley Field crowd of nearly 10,000 home happy. The first baseman came in hitting .185 with just one RBI in his ninth game with Sacramento, but in the 11th inning with the bases loaded, hit a single to bring home centerfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Hernandez has a penchant for being a part of River Cats walk-offs as he has scored the winning run in all four of Sacramento's walk-off wins.
In a pitching rematch from a week ago, the Sacramento offense found El Paso's Daniel McCutchen just as difficult the second time around. The right-hander was perfect through the first five innings without recording a strikeout. When third baseman Grant Green got the first base-knock of the game in the sixth inning it broke a streak of nine-straight hitless innings for Sacramento.
Green's single up the middle would be the spark the River Cats needed, as pinch-hitter Ryan Lollis followed by blasting his second home run of the year and second pinch-hit home run for Sacramento this year. The two-run sixth inning would also break a 17-inning scoreless spell.
Heading to the bottom of the ninth, the River Cats still trailed 4-3. With one down in the inning, it was right fielder Mac Williamson's turn at bat. The powerful right-fielder turned on a fastball from Chihuahuas' Michael Dimock, crushing it 440 feet to left field and tying the game at four. The River Cats next hit would come in the 11th inning, the game-winner.
Left-hander Ty Blach made his third start against El Paso in his last four starts, a tough task against baseball's best offense. "The Preacher" went six innings, allowing four runs, on six hits while walking two and striking out four. Vin Mazzaro, Michael Broadway and Jake Dunning, who picked up the win tonight, all put forth spotless performances. In total, the Sacramento staff struck out 11 El Paso hitters.
The River Cats will try to make it two in a row Saturday night. The River Cats' starter is TBA, but he will face off against the Chihuahuas lefty Frank Garces (1-1, 3.47), who is making his second start this season against Sacramento. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). The game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.
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 2016 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.