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River Cats blow late lead to El Paso in 5-3 loss

Chihuahuas' three-run eighth undoes Stratton's strong start
Sacramento's Chris Stratton threw 111 pitches against El Paso July 20, 2017. RalphThompson/River Cats (Ralph Thompson)
July 21, 2017

West Sacramento, CA - The Sacramento River Cats (40-57) took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning against the El Paso Chihuahuas (49-49) but watched it slip away as El Paso scored three times to steal the game 5-3.

West Sacramento, CA - The Sacramento River Cats (40-57) took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning against the El Paso Chihuahuas (49-49) but watched it slip away as El Paso scored three times to steal the game 5-3.

Sacramento starter Chris Stratton put forth an excellent outing over his 6.2 frames tonight, allowing two runs on seven hits before giving way to the bullpen. The right-hander threw a career-high 111 pitches (74 strikes) tonight while striking out seven. He was in line for his fifth win of the season until the Chihuahuas' late comeback. River Cats relievers Kraig Sitton and Derek Law could not hold the Sacramento lead, allowing three runs in the eighth inning, three runs that ultimately decided the game.
Third baseman Ali Castillo gave Sacramento the early 2-0 lead in the second inning, singling home Tim Federowicz and Ryan Lollis. Juniel Querecuto had the third and final RBI for the home side tonight while also extending his hitting streak to six games. With the loss tonight the River Cats split the four-game series with El Paso.
The River Cats will hit the road to take on the Tacoma Rainiers for a four-game set. Right-hander Jose Flores (0-1, 3.94) will get the start for Sacramento and righty Chase De Jong (3-4, 5.96) will go for Tacoma. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.
Postgame Notes
Stratton: Chris Stratton threw first pitch strikes to 18 of the season-high 30 batters he faced…over his last four starts, he's thrown 71% strikes (417 pitches, 294 strikes)…has fanned 28 batters of his last 26 innings pitched.
Castillo: Ali Castillo extended his hitting streak to five games tonight…hitting .500 (8-for-16) over that span with four RBI and four runs scored…he's hitting .500 against El Paso and seven of his 17 RBI this year have come against the Chihuahuas.
Parker:Jarrett Parker also extended his hitting streak to five games in tonight's loss…hitting .429 (9-for-21) with three runs over that stretch…he now has 14 walks in 20 games with Sacramento.
Cats vs. Dogs: The River Cats still own the better record against the Chihuahuas, winning five of the eight games they've played so far this season…Sacramento has outscored El Paso 43-39 but have been outhit 84-81.
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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. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2017 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.