Metairie, La. - Late-inning drama saw the Sacramento River Cats (32-31) roar back from down 0-2 with two runs in each the ninth and tenth innings to beat the New Orleans Baby Cakes (35-29) 4-3.
After being held scoreless by Baby Cakes righties Zac Gallen and Joe Gunkel for eight innings, the River Cats came stormed back with two runs in the ninth inning to force extras. Shortstop Abiatal Avelino followed a leadoff hit-by-pitch with a double to put Sacramento runners at second and third. Catcher Ronnie Freeman then came up with an RBI infield single and third baseman Ryan Howard hit a fly ball deep enough for Avelino to tag up and score - tying the game at two.
In the tenth, the River Cats took advantage of two walks, an error, a balk and a sacrifice fly to plate two more runs and take the lead for the first time in the game.
The River Cats got a solid outing from lefty Conner Menez, who was making his season debut for Sacramento. Menez tossed five innings of two-run baseball, striking out a season-high nine batters. Pat Venditte, Sam Selman, Jandel Gustave, Sam Coonrod and Fernando Abad shined on Sunday as well, combining to toss five innings, giving up no earned runs while striking out seven. Abad retired the final three hitters to nail down his eighth save of the season.
Lefty Andrew Suarez (2-4, 6.81) will take the mound tomorrow in the series finale for the River Cats. New Orleans go with right-hander Dustin Beggs (4-2,4.73). First pitch is set for 5:00 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 beginning at 6:00 p.m. (PT).
- The Sacramento pitching staff struck out 16 New Orleans hitters, bringing their total to 611 on the year. With the season-high strikeout total on Sunday, the River Cats passed the Baby Cakes (603) for the Pacific Coast League strikeout lead.
- Lefty Sam Selman continues to make batters look silly at the plate, striking out two of the three batters he faced this afternoon. On the season, Selman has now fanned 42 of the 90 batters he has faced (46.7%).
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.