West Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento River Cats (36-32) won a roller coaster series opener against the Iowa Cubs (37-32) by a score of 7-6. Second baseman Ryan Howard picked up his second extra-inning, walk-off hit in the last three days.
Southpaw starter Conner Menez was mowing down Cubs Saturday night as he set down a River Cats season-high 10 batters in his six innings of work. The lefty exited the game with a 4-3 lead, but would not factor into the decision after the River Cats lost the lead in the top of the seventh.
After putting up a three spot in the first, Abiatal Avelino added on with a solo shot to dead center in the third. After temporally falling behind, Levi Michael singled home Avelino to tie the game at five in the eighth inning.
Later, in the tenth inning, down by a run with runners on first and second, Howard ripped a two-run double down the left field line to send River Cats fans home happy. The young infielder was mobbed on the infield by his teammates - a familiar sight as Howard also picked up the extra-inning winner on Thursday night.
The Sacramento River Cats will send lefty Andrew Suarez (3-4, 6.07) to the mound for the Father's Day matinee. The Iowa Cubs will counter with righty Alec Mills (3-2, 6.00). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, or on Money 105.5 FM.
- Flame throwing right-hander Ray Black, the Giants number 14 prospect (MLB Pipeline), touched 100 MPH with a fastball in the ninth inning. He tossed a perfect inning by striking out the side in order on 16 pitches.
- Austin Slater was awarded first base twice following a hit-by pitch on Saturday night. He now finds himself among the Pacific Coast League leaders (tied for sixth) with eight hit-by-pitches this season.
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. Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the River Cats' 20th season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). The only place to guarantee official River Cats tickets is at 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.