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Matheny homers 2nd straight game, Hjelle forces 13 ground outs as River Cats fall to Rainiers

Rainiers 4, River Cats 2
Sacramento right-hander Sean Hjelle fires in a pitch against El Paso (6/26/22). (Ralph Thompson Photo)
August 6, 2022

West Sacramento, Calif. — A towering two-run home run by shortstop Shane Matheny was not enough to lift the Sacramento River Cats (43-60) to victory as they fell 4-2 to the Tacoma Rainiers (46-56) on Orange Friday. Tied at zero in the bottom of the third, Matheny lined a slider

West Sacramento, Calif. — A towering two-run home run by shortstop Shane Matheny was not enough to lift the Sacramento River Cats (43-60) to victory as they fell 4-2 to the Tacoma Rainiers (46-56) on Orange Friday.

Tied at zero in the bottom of the third, Matheny lined a slider for a 404-foot two-run shot (108.7 MPH exit velocity). The homer was Matheny’s second in as many days. He is 6-for-22 (.273) with four RBIs in six Triple-A games.

An error and a couple well-placed hits in the sixth spoiled an otherwise excellent outing by right-hander Sean Hjelle (4-6). The 25-year-old struck out three and forced 13 ground outs while allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and no walks in 6.0 innings.

Sacramento brought the tying run to the plate with no outs in the ninth, but Tacoma righty Drew Steckenrider struck out three straight for his second save.

The River Cats will bullpen Saturday’s game. The TBD opener will take on lefty Austin Warner (2-2, 5.28) at 6:37 p.m. (PT). Watch Johnny Doskow and Steve Sax call the game on the CW-31, or listen online at rivercats.com or on the MiLB First Pitch app.

Additional Notes

  • Right-hander Gregory Santos, the Giants’ No. 14 prospect on MLB Pipeline, struck out the side on 11 pitches in a perfect seventh inning.
  • Rehabbing San Francisco right-hander Zack Littell struck out one in a one-hit shutout inning of relief.
  • Righty Michael Stryffeler, who was acquired from Seattle on Aug. 2 in exchange for lefty Matthew Boyd and catcher Curt Casali, struck out two and walked two in a scoreless ninth inning.