FRESNO, Calif. -- The Sacramento River Cats (56-48) fell 3-1 to the Fresno Grizzlies (53-51) in Thursday's series finale but will head home having moved into first place by three games during their 11-game road trip.
Right-hander Dereck Rodriguez struck out seven in six shutout innings while allowing just two hits. But the bullpen immediately lost the lead as the Grizzlies launched a pair of seventh-inning solo home runs. They would go on to add an insurance run in the eighth and win by that margin.
The front half of the batting order set the table as the first four hitters reached base a combined seven times, but the club scored just one run. Outfielder Chris Shaw led the way drawing two walks, tripling in the sixth, and scoring on a Cristhian Adames single.
The River Cats return to Raley Field following their longest road trip of the season, and it will be left-hander Conner Menez (2-0, 3.82) getting the ball coming off his impressive major-league debut last Sunday. The visiting Tacoma Rainiers will send Nabil Crismatt (0-2, 8.59) to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, on Money 105.5 FM (PT).
• Had the River Cats managed to sweep Fresno, the would-be six-game winning streak would have been their longest since 2016 when the club won six straight from July 31 to August 5.
• Scoring the only run for the River Cats on Thursday night was Chris Shaw, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with just the 10th triple of his career. He took over the team lead for longest active hitting streak as catcher Francisco Peña's 11-gamer came to an end, though he did reach base twice with two walks.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.