Las Vegas, Nevada - The Sacramento River Cats (38-36) leaned on their bullpen to keep them in the game, then used timely hitting to defeat the Las Vegas Aviators (41-33) 4-3. After losing their first five games at the brand new Las Vegas Ballpark, the River Cats have now won two straight in the Aviators' home yard.
First baseman Aramis Garcia got the River Cats on the board in the third with a solo home run, his 11th of the year. With the early run, Sacramento has scored first in each of the three games in this series. The River Cats then used small-ball to scratch across their next three runs: an RBI-single from Abiatal Avelino in the fourth, a Ryan Howard RBI-infield-single in the eighth, and a sacrifice fly from Francisco Peña that drove in the eventual winning run.
The River Cats bullpen, which was near the top of the Pacific Coast League in ERA coming into the series, had an awful first two games in Las Vegas, allowing 12 earned runs in 7.1 innings. On Saturday however, lefty Sam Selman, and righties Ray Black and Tyler Rogers combined for 4.1 innings of shutout baseball to keep the River Cats in the ballgame before closing the door in the ninth.
The River Cats will go for three in a row against the Aviators on Sunday afternoon in game four of this five-game series. Sacramento will send right-hander Enderson Franco (2-2, 6.71) to the mound for his 14th start, and the Aviators will counter with righty Jake Buchanan (3-5, 6.04). First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, on Money 105.5 FM.
• Aramis Garcia's third inning home run was his 11th of the season, and made tonight his third consecutive game with a home run. He joins Mike Gerber and Mike Yastrzemski as the only River Cats to hit home runs in three straight games this year.
• Lefty Sam Selman retired all seven of the batters he faced in tonight's 4-3 victory, lowering his ERA to 1.84 and his opponent batting average to .121. While he did only strike out one batter, he is still fourth on the team in strikeouts with 48 in 29.1 innings (14.7 K/9).
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.