West Sacramento, CA - On a 107 degree night in the Nevada desert, it would be the Las Vegas 51s (41-36) who felt the heat from the Sacramento River Cats (32-47). It was the Ty Blach show tonight, as the southpaw smoked the Vegas offense, tossing his third career shutout en route to a 6-0 victory.
Blach was on point from the outset and made by far his strongest showing of the season. After falling into a rough slump in his last three starts, allowing 14 earned runs and picking up two losses, the lefty seemed to find his groove in this one. He worked the inside corner all night, striking out six and retiring 27 of 32 batters faced.
The San Francisco Giants No. 22 prospect had two complete games last year and recorded the River Cats' first complete nine-inning game of the 2016 season while earning his team-best seventh win. He allowed just six hits across his nine innings of work without walking a batter. The southpaw was also efficient at one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the league, throwing 94 pitches, 72 for strikes.
Sacramento put together a clean game from start to finish. They jumped out to a quick lead thanks in part to shaky command from 51s starter Duane Below. The Las Vegas lefty issued back-to-back lead-off walks to Gorkys Hernandez and Ruben Tejada before Andrew Susac stung a line drive two-run double which gave Sacramento an early 2-0 advantage. The River Cats finished the night just as swiftly with a 6-4-3 double play followed by flyout to leftfielder Travis Ishikawa that gave the team their first shutout win since June 4th against Albuquerque.
Offensively, Sacramento took advantage of a big night from a slumping fan favorite. Susac, though he has struggled in the month of June and saw his average fall from .263 to .205, seemed comfortable in the desert heat on Monday night. The catcher picked up four RBI on the night, bringing his total to 18 on the year. He finished 2-for-4 and is now hitting .216.
Backing him up were outfielders Hernandez and Ishikawa, who picked up the other two RBI. Hernandez, who went 4-for-5 last night, has been absolutely on fire for the River Cats this series. Tonight, he went 2-for-3 with his 5th home run, three runs and two walks. He is now 8-for-13 (.615) against Las Vegas during this series.
The River Cats take on the 51s in the series finale tomorrow with another left-hander, Adalberto Mejia (1-0, 3.38), who is looking for his second win with the River Cats. He faces off against Vegas' righty Gabriel Ynoa (9-2, 3.40) who leads the PCL in wins. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. (PT) and 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 2014 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.