ROUND ROCK, TX - The Sacramento River Cats (32-34) defeated the Round Rock Express (29-36) in their first matchup of the season. The River Cats jumped in front with a six-run second inning and held on to win 7-5.
The Sacramento offense got off to a fast start, exploding for six runs in the second inning. Ronnie Freeman crushed a three-run homer to left field, and four batters later Gregor Blanco hit his first home run with the River Cats, a two-run shot to right. Blanco went 3-for-5 on the night with two RBI and a run scored.
Starting pitcher Taylor Hill picked up his first win as a River Cat on Wednesday evening. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on seven hits, and struck out three batters in his five innings of work.
The River Cats are back in action tomorrow against Round Rock for the second game of this short three-game series. Right-hander Casey Kelly (6-5, 5.12) takes the hill for Sacramento and he'll match up with fellow righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-3, 4.31). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.FM beginning at 7:00 p.m. (PT).
· Leadoff hitter Steven Duggar had an excellent night after his hit streak was snapped on Monday. He went 3-for-5 with his 21st double, an RBI, a run, and his 10th stolen base.
· Right-handed pitcher Ray Black ended the seventh inning with back-to-back strikeouts, including a 102 MPH fastball to strike out Express' Tommy Joseph.
· Closer Derek Law slammed the door with a six-out save. He did not allow a hit in his fifth save of the season, getting through the eighth and ninth with just 16 pitches (11 strikes).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.