RENO, Nev. -- The Sacramento River Cats (46-43) moved into first place heading into the All-Star break with a record-breaking 21-7 blowout victory over the Reno Aces (39-50) on Sunday afternoon.
After trailing 6-2 through two innings, the Sacramento offense would explode for 19 unanswered runs over the course of the next seven frames. The five-run third inning, which put the River Cats ahead for good, was comprised of two big home runs - a three-run shot from shortstop Abiatal Avelino and a two-run bomb from first baseman Chris Shaw. Both players would finish the game with four runs batted in.
As the game got out of hand, third baseman Zach Green hit his team-leading 22nd home run of the season in what was his fifth time reaching base in the ballgame. He would single in the ninth to finish the afternoon going 3-for-4 with three walks.
Then in the ninth, the River Cats would add three more runs on five hits to smash a franchise record for most hits (27) in a game. Their previous high (24) had been set twice in team history, most recently on April 30, 2016 at Salt Lake.
The River Cats will return from the break primed for a four-game showdown with the Pacific Northern division rival Fresno Grizzlies, who sit just a half game back of Sacramento. Right-hander Enderson Franco will be on the hill for River Cats facing a pitcher yet to be determined by Fresno. 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.
• During their record-breaking ninth inning, relief pitcher Williams Jerez hit a solo home run for his first pro hit since 2013. Jerez, drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2011, was an outfielder in their farm system for three seasons before being converted to a pitcher. Though he had 14 extra-base hits during those three years as a position player, Sunday's blast was his first ever home run.
• Jerez was one of three River Cats pitchers to record a hit as starter Andrew Suarez singled in the fifth and reliever Steven Okert knocked in a run with a single in the eighth. Okert, who had just struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh, recorded just his second pro hit and his first RBI.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.