SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- After building a six-run lead, the wheels fell off for the Sacramento River Cats (6-8) as three different pitchers combined to allow eight runs in the sixth inning during a 10-7 loss to the Salt Lake Bees (9-6).
The River Cats received five scoreless frames from right-hander Dereck Rodriguez and were up 6-0 through five and a half innings. But when the first three hitters of the sixth reached base off Rodriguez, including two home runs, he was pulled and replaced by Joan Gregorio. The right-hander failed to record an out, surrendering five earned runs on four hits and two walks, and the lead was gone. Thankfully, when Jose Valdez entered with runners on the corners with still no one out, he proceeded to strike out three of the four batters he faced to end the threat.
Sacramento did climb back to within one in the seventh thanks to a solo home run from catcher Hector Sanchez, but former River Cat Chris Carter crushed his second homer of the game to reach the eventual final score.
Second baseman Alen Hanson and outfielder Austin Slater had stellar nights at the plate for the River Cats. Hanson raised his batting average to .463 with a four-hit showing that included two doubles and a triple while Slater finished the evening 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, putting his season average at .433.
Right-hander Tyler Beede will make his 2018 River Cats debut after returning from San Francisco where he made two spot starts, including his major-league debut on April 10. The Bees will counter with LHP John Lamb (0-0, 3.38), who will serve as the first left-handed starting pitcher the River Cats will have faced this season. First pitch of the series finale will be at 5:35 p.m. (PT).
Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and at 7:05 p.m. on Money 105.5 FM.
• The River Cats' pitching staff set season records for both runs in an inning (8) and hits in an inning (8) during Thursday's sixth frame.
• Austin Slater has hits in seven of eight games he has played this year, and in all seven of those games, at least one of his hits went for extra bases. His seven doubles continue to lead the Pacific Coast League.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.