Things didn't look good early for Sacramento, but the River Cats used a seven-run second inning to erase an early deficit and they cruised to an 11-3 victory over the Tacoma Rainiers.
Gary Daley, Jr. got the start for the River Cats. He was called up on Sunday from High-A Stockton to make the start, as the River Cats had a hole in their rotation from when their parent club, the Oakland A's, recalled Tyson Ross earlier in the week. Ross had originally been slated to be the River Cats' Opening Night starter. Daley took Joey Devine's spot on the Sacramento roster. Devine is temporarily inactive, as he has left the team to be with his wife, who gave birth to their first child.
It was a rough start for Daley initially. He walked top Seattle Mariners prospect Dustin Ackley to start the game and Ackley was quickly moved to third base on a Greg Halman double. Matt Tuiasosopo drove Ackley home with a single. Tuisosopo then stole second and Mike Carp walked to load the bases.
Next came Alex Liddi, who drove home Halman with a sacrifice fly to centerfielder Jai Miller. It looked as though the River Cats were going to get two outs on the flyball, as Miller hit the cut-off man and caught Tuiasosopo trying to advance to third. However, Sacramento third-baseman Adrian Cardenas threw the ball away during the rundown and everyone was safe.
The error wound-up not hurting the River Cats, as Tacoma ran into an unusual double-play to end the inning. Carlos Peguero hit a groundball back to Daley, who threw to first for the out. Inexplicably, Carp, who was at second, tried to advance to third on the play even though the runner at third, Tuiasosopo, had stayed at the base. The River Cats got Tuiasosopo in a run-down and that ended the inning.
That play seemed to turn the tide for Daley and for the River Cats. In the second inning, Sacramento would send 13 batters to the plate. The inning's big blow would come off of the bat of Miller, who followed a Wes Timmons single and a Cardenas walk with a long three-run homer that landed on the roof of the River Cats' clubhouse in left-center field. Sacramento would score four more times in the inning, with Miller picking up a fourth RBI later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk.
The River Cats would tack on three more runs in the third inning and another in the fifth and the River Cats' lead was never threatened. Daley recovered from his rough first inning to go five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks. He threw 79 pitches and earned the win.
Willie Eyre took over for Daley in the sixth and made quick work of the Rainiers for the next three innings. He allowed only two hits and he struck-out two. Trystan Magnuson worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the game.
The River Cats' pitching staff kept Ackley, Scout.com's top-rated second base prospect, to an 0-4 day with a walk. Tuiasosopo was the best Tacoma hitter on the day, collecting three hits in three at-bats.
Several Sacramento hitters had big days at the plate. Miller led the way with two hits, two walks and five RBIs. Matt Carson had two RBI singles. Timmons had two RBIs and reached base three times, while Cardenas had two hits, two RBIs, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He is batting .455 in the early going. All told, Sacramento reached base 24 times in the game.
Below are photos from the game.
ALL PHOTOS BY CHRIS LOCKARD/SCOUT.COM