West Sacramento, CA - The Sacramento River Cats (1-0) started off the 2017 season with a bang, coming from behind to defeat the Tacoma Rainiers (0-1) by a score of 6-5 Saturday night at Raley Field.
Both offenses came ready to play, scoring a combined eight runs in the first two innings. Sacramento starter Clayton Blackburn yielded two runs in the first frame but the River Cats offense answered back three runs of their own. Christian Arroyo doubled in the inning and Austin Slater highlighted the frame with a two-run double to make it a 3-2 game.
The scoring spree continued into the second inning when Blackburn gave up a three-run homer to Tacoma right fielder Tyler O'Neill. Blackburn lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on six hits with a strikeout before the bullpen took over and shutdown the Rainiers the rest of the way.
The two 'pens traded zeros until the eighth inning when the River Cats offense roared back to life. Slater drove in another with an RBI-single and an error on Tacoma's O'Neill allowed the tying run to also come home. Later in the frame, right fielder Orlando Calixte played hero by driving in Slater to give the River Cats the lead.
The River Cats will send right-hander Tyler Beede (0-0, 0.00) to the mound for Sunday's matinee. Beede, the No. 1 prospect in the Giants' organization, will be making his Triple-A debut and will square off against Rainiers' right-hander Dylan Unsworth. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "I thought the bullpen on a cold night did a nice job coming in. Collectively, Sitton did a nice job, Roth, and obviously Johnson in his Triple-A debut was outstanding." - River Cats Manager Dave Brundage on the River Cats bullpen.
STRONG 'PEN: The Sacramento bullpen was terrific tonight, allowing just one hit over six innings…Chase Johnson threw two perfect innings in his Triple-A debut…Josh Osich earned his first save of the season.
TRIPLE-A DEBUTS: Three River Cats made their Triple-A debuts tonight: Christian Arroyo, Jae-Gyun Hwang, and Chase Johnson…Arroyo and Hwang were a combined 2-for-8 with two runs scored.
FORMER 'CATS: Rainiers starter Chris Heston and reliever Jean Machi both made appearances tonight after spending last season with the River Cats...Heston's line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
ARROYO'S DEBUT: The No. 2 prospect in the Giants' organization, Christian Arroyo made his Triple-A debut tonight and finished the game 1-for-4 with a double and one run scored.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.