Big fifth inning pushes River Cats to victory

Avelino shines in debut with two hits and two steals

(Ralph Thompson)

By Sacramento River Cats | September 2, 2018 1:34 AM

LAS VEGAS, NV -- The Sacramento River Cats (55-83) took down the Las Vegas 51s (69-69) with a 7-3 victory on Saturday night to even the series.

Sacramento's five-run fifth inning, fueled by a costly 51s error, proved to be the deciding factor. The inning would have been over on a Myles Schroder flyout, but left fielder Dominic Smith dropped the ball and allowed two runs to score. Newly-acquired shortstop Abiatal Avelino would then single to score Schroder, followed by first baseman Brock Stassi's second double of the game -- both of which plated Avelino.

The 23-year old middle infielder from the Dominican Republic, acquired Thursday in a trade which sent Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees, was stellar in his debut, recording two hits and two stolen bases while playing a clean shortstop.

The River Cats will play a rare 7:05 p.m. (PT) game on a Sunday as right-hander Jordan Johnson (1-6, 4.91) takes the ball for Sacramento while the 51s are set to send righty Drew Gagnon (6-6, 4.74) to the mound. Catch all of the action live online at, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.FM.

Additional Notes

• It had been exactly two months since a River Cats player had stolen two bases in a game until Avelino accomplished the task in his debut. Fellow shortstop Kelby Tomlinson was the last to do it, nabbing two bags on July 1 at home against Fresno.

• The River Cats will need to score eight runs over their final two games to avoid setting a new record for fewest runs scored in franchise history.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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