WEST SACRAMENTO, CA -- Jose Valdez's seventh-inning wild pitch allowed the winning run to advance to third base, and eventually home on a sacrifice fly, as the Tacoma Rainiers (4-5) edged the Sacramento River Cats (4-5) by a final score of 3-2.
Right-hander Tyler Herb settled down after giving up two runs on two walks and two singles in the opening frame, retiring 14 of his final 17 batters faced. Herb struck out six in six innings in what was the longest outing by a River Cats starting pitcher in the young season.
Mac Williamson cleared the fence for the third consecutive game, crushing a line-drive home run to straight-away left field to tie the game at two in the first. He has hits in his first seven games this season, including three doubles to go along with his four total homers.
Williamson's bomb, though, was one of just six hits, and the only extra-base hit, the River Cats were able to muster off Rainiers starter Rob Whalen. The 24-year old right-hander struck out six and walked one in six strong innings while the bullpen allowed just one baserunner and struck out six more in their three innings of work.
Game two of this four-game series is set for Saturday at 7:05 p.m. as the River Cats will turn to right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (0-0, 9.82), who will be making his Raley Field debut. Tacoma will counter with another righty, Max Povse (0-1, 5.40).
Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.5 FM.
• Williamson's first inning home run left the bat at 115 miles per hour and traveled 404 feet.
• Infielder Josh Rutledge recorded his first hit of the season -- a single in the second inning -- after starting the year in a major slump of 0-for-14 with eight strikeouts.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.