Homers Hinder Cats in Loss to Dodgers
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Seeking to snatch consecutive victories against the top team in the Pacific Coast League after a walk-off victory 24 hours ago, the Sacramento River Cats had an early lead against the Oklahoma City Dodgers after scoring in their first trip to the dish, but three multi-run
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Seeking to snatch consecutive victories against the top team in the Pacific Coast League after a walk-off victory 24 hours ago, the Sacramento River Cats had an early lead against the Oklahoma City Dodgers after scoring in their first trip to the dish, but three multi-run innings by Oklahoma City pushed them past Sacramento to a 11-4 victory.
Starting quickly in the first after Tanner Andrews (1-2) faced the minimum to start the game, the River Cats (22-26) got the action going thanks to Luis Matos as he singled and stole second. Tyler Fitzgerald joined him on base with a walk and following a double steal where they both moved into scoring position, Matos scored the game’s first run on an RBI groundout from Colton Welker. Though it was only the first inning, the three stolen bases already tied the Sacramento season high.
However, the lead did not last long as the Dodgers (35-13) used a four-run inning for the third time in as many games to seize control of the contest. A single and walk had two on before the second out of the inning, but Oklahoma City needed only two hits to drive in all their runs, with the first an RBI single from Devin Mann. Following was Justin Yurchak as his first homer of the year came in the form of a three-run shot to make the game 4-1.
Both teams went without effort in the third, but Oklahoma City added onto their advantage in the fourth with another pair of big swings. The frame started with a solo home run from Jonny DeLuca, and three batters later Mann struck again with a two-run blast.
It was tough sledding for the River Cats in the middle innings, as Oklahoma City starter Robbie Erlin (4-1) settled down following the early run by retiring the next 13 consecutive batters, spanning from the final out of the first through the end of the fifth. Breaking that streak with a leadoff single in the sixth was Matos, his fifth multi-hit contest in his seven games with Sacramento, which led him to score once more later in the frame with the RBI again going to Welker when he singled through the left side.
The inning continued to look promising as the River Cats had the bases loaded with just one out following a walk to Matt Beaty, but Erlin put the exclamation point on his outing by striking out each of the next two batters to limit the damage.
Seeking to build a comeback similar to last night, Sacramento put two more runners aboard in the home half of the seventh. Getting on base first with a single through the left side was Michael Gigliotti, while Matos reached for a third time when he drew a one-out walk. Both Gigliotti and Matos swiped a bag while on base to give the River Cats five for the contest, which is their most in a game since they also collected five steals against Round Rock back on July 15, 2016. Unfortunately, both runners were left stranded after an inning-ending strikeout.
That allowed the Dodgers to add more insurance to their lead, tacking on four more in the top of the eighth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, and after the first run of the inning crossed from a bases loaded walk by Michael Busch, it seemed as if the River Cats could limit the damage thanks to a couple of flyouts. Again, Oklahoma City worked its two-out magic by clearing the bases on one swing from DeLuca with a triple to center that brough the score to 11-2.
Battling through the final out, Sacramento extended its consecutive-game home run streak to 10 games just two batters into the bottom of the ninth thanks to Will Wilson, who crushed his fifth dinger of the year on the first pitch of his at-bat deep over the wall in left field. Scoring on the play was Ricardo Genoves, who reached to begin the inning with a knock to shallow left field.
Once more the River Cats had the rally on, as singles from Gigliotti and Matos prior to a walk by David Villar loaded the bases with only one out. In a similar script to previous innings, a pair of strikeouts brought the end of the game with the final sitting at 11-4.
Leading the way at the dish was Matos with his 3-for-5 effort, scoring a pair of runs and swiping a pair of bags along with a walk. Also collecting a two-hit game was Gigliotti, closing his night at 2-for-4, while Wilson added the biggest of the game and was 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. From the mound, Jorge Guzman matched his season-long outing of 2.1 innings without allowing a run, and Erik Miller tossed a clean ninth inning.
Game four of this six-game set will get underway at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow night from Sutter Health Park.