WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats led the majority of the series opener against the Oklahoma City Dodgers thanks to big hits from Matt Beaty and Isan Diaz, but a timely rally for Oklahoma City in the eighth spurred them to take game one from Sacramento by a
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats led the majority of the series opener against the Oklahoma City Dodgers thanks to big hits from Matt Beaty and Isan Diaz, but a timely rally for Oklahoma City in the eighth spurred them to take game one from Sacramento by a 7-4 final.
Setting the tone early for the River Cats (21-25) was left-hander Kyle Harrison, who was dealing from the first pitch against the Dodgers (34-12) and recorded five of his first six outs via the strikeout. Four of those came consecutively between the first two innings, and following an error at second base on a pop up, Harrison was able to strike out the side in the second.
Those two frames were a sign of things to come for Harrison, who went on to punch out four more batters while working around a walk in the third and a hit batter in the fourth for a season-best of nine strikeouts. Though he sat down the side in order just once and scattered three base runners (all in different innings), the southpaw closed out his line without allowing a hit for just the second time this season, the other occurring against this same Oklahoma City squad back on April 30.
That performance allowed the River Cats to be the team to break the scoreless contest during their trip to the plate in the third, with Beaty coming up clutch courtesy a two-out, two-RBI double that hooked down the right field line. Scoring on the play was Luis Matos and David Villar, both of whom had earned their way aboard with a free pass.
Tides started to turn following Harrison’s exit prior to the fifth, with the Dodgers recording their first hit of the game when a ball hit by Jahmai Jones landed in right center just past both Matos and right fielder Clint Coulter. That put a pair of runners in scoring position with one out thanks to a walk by Justin Yurchak prior to the double, but the freshly entered Chris Wright limited the damage to a single run from a wild pitch.
Sacramento quickly stole the run back in the bottom of the frame thanks to another loud pop from Diaz, taking a ball over the right field fence for his second home run in as many games that doubled the River Cats’ lead to 3-1. Overall, it was the eighth consecutive game with a big fly for Sacramento, further extending their season-best streak.
However, while the River Cats got through the sixth and seventh innings by stranding a trio of Oklahoma City runners, the Dodgers managed to wrestle the lead away during their at-bats in the eighth with a four spot. A Michael Busch single started the inning, and he scored two at-bats later on a double down the left field line by Ryan Ward.
Soon after, the tying run crossed the plate courtesy a single to left from Hunter Feduccia, with Oklahoma City officially taking the lead just one batter later by plating two more on a double over the head of Matos in center field from Yurchak.
The Dodgers added insurance runs during the away half of the ninth, as a leadoff walk immediately stung when Luke Williams hit his sixth homer of the year to center field, pushing the Dodgers’ advantage to 7-3.
Attempting to build a comeback, a pair of walks and a wild pitch had two in scoring position for Sacramento, but they scored only once on an RBI groundout to Matos leading to the 7-4 final.
Charged with the loss was Daniel Tillo (1-4), as he surrendered all four runs in the Oklahoma City seventh following a scoreless sixth inning by Cole Waites. Even in the loss the Sacramento pitching staff was still working hard, punching out a total of 17 batters which was one off their season high of 18 that they did in their first game against Oklahoma City this season on April 25.
Picking up his third win of the campaign was Justin Hagenman (3-0), who scattered a pair of hits over 2.2 innings with two strikeouts.
All five Sacramento hits came from different bats, including Matos extending his active hitting streak to five games after he went 1-for-5 with an RBI. Also ending 1-for-5 was Diaz thanks to his solo homer, and Beaty drove in two on his double while finishing 1-for-4.
Both teams will be back in action at the same time tomorrow for game two, as first pitch on Wednesday gets tossed at 6:45 p.m. from Sutter Health Park.