Three Sky Sox errors led to an explosive seven run third inning for the Sacramento River Cats. The game was tied 1-1 going into the inning, and starter Billy Buckner induced a ground ball to lead off the inning that was misplayed by first baseman Mike Jacobs, allowing the baserunner Eric Sogard to reach. The next batter grounded back to Buckner, who threw the ball away trying to get Sogard out at second. After a bases clearing double by Jai Miller, second baseman Matt Macri botched a throw to first from another soft ground ball. Buckner allowed four more hits in the inning, including two home runs. He allowed nine runs total over four innings pitched, but only two of the runs were earned.
Claudio Vargas came in relief of Buckner, and gave up three runs over three innings, including another home run for Sacramento. Sean White and Jim Miller pitched the final two innings of the game cleanly. Buckner walked away with his second loss of the season, only his third total decision on the season thus far.
Offensively, third baseman Ian Stewart and right fielder Cole Garner were the stars. Each had multi-hit games (Stewart with three, Garner with two including a triple), and each scored a run for the team. Center fielder Willy Taveras led off the game with his fifth home run of the season. Only first baseman Mike Jacobs did not have at least one hit in the game for the Sky Sox, though he did get a RBI on a sacrifice fly. Both teams only struck out three times each during the game.
The Drillers struck out 13 times against Frisco RoughRiders pitching, including three from first baseman Ben Paulsen, who was also the only Driller to not get a hit. Interestingly, every other player in the lineup got exactly one hit, including doubles from designated hitter Darin Holcomb, left fielder Scott Beerer and third baseman Warren Schaeffer, triples from shortstop Thomas Field and center fielder Tim Wheeler and Wilin Rosario's ninth home run of the season.
Starter Cory Riordan has had some hard luck losses this year, but this was not the case this time. In his sixth loss on the season, Riordan walked just one batter and struck out five but allowed 11 hits over five innings pitched, leading to five earned runs. Relievers Daniel Turpen and Casey Weathers pitched the sixth through the eighth cleanly. Fringe prospect Adam Jorgenson continued to struggle, allowing three walks and a home run while making just two outs in the ninth inning. Sean Jarrett recorded the final out.
Two and a third more games to cover below the jump.
Offense was hard to come by for the Nuts during the game as a two-run home run in the fourth inning by right fielder Kent Matthes, his eighth of the season, proved the only run production provided by the lineup, as well as its only extra base hit. Left fielder Eliezer Mesa had two singles and the only multi-hit game of the night. In his return from the disabled list, first baseman Zuanich struck out three times, as did catcher Dallas Tarleton. The Nuts struck out 16 times against the Visalia Rawhide during the game, though it did last 13 innings.
The Nuts pitching staff was largely effective, striking out 18 opponents of their own. Starter Parker Frazier would allow two runs (one unearned due top a throwing error by Frazier himself) in the sixth inning, his final inning pitched of the day. Over that six innings he struck out eight batters, walked four, and allowed three hits. Reliever Leuris Gomez pitched the final three innings of regulation play, striking out another seven batters while walking two and allowing just one hit.
With the game tied at two, the first reliever to throw extra innings was Will Harris, who pitched two good innings which included the final three Visalia strikeouts of the game. Kurt Yacko threw a good twelfth inning, but fell apart in the thirteenth. After getting two quick outs, including one on the second successful pickoff of the game (the other came from Frazier), Yacko gave up a single, walked two batters, then gave up the game winning hit, and received his second loss of the season.
The Savannah Sand Gnats gave up more walks (12) than hits (9) to the Tourists in this unusual game. One year after being drafted, right fielder Joey Wong had two singles in the game, while catcher Dustin Garneau's seventh home run of the season was the only remaining hit; everyone else in the lineup was blanked, though designated hitter Bryce Massanari walked three times and ended up scoring twice. Second baseman Russell Wilson struck out three times.had a monster night with three hits, including his eighth home run of the season, four RBI and two runs scored himself. Though not quite as impressive as his three home runs earlier in the week, left fielder Cory Dickerson's three singles knocked in another two runs. Third baseman
Starter Erik Stavert picked up his second win of the season while giving up the one Savannah run over six innings, in which he allowed three walks, six hits, and struck out another six. Reliever Taylor Reid got a three inning save in the blowout, his first of the season and second of his short career.
The DSL game was suspended due to rain after the third inning. Starter Radhames Valerio had allowed the one run on one hit and two walks. This game will presumably be covered in another pebble report when it is resumed.