With their magic number down to one, the Sacramento River Cats wasted no time clinching their 10th division title in 12 seasons. Sacramento used a 17-hit, six-walk offensive barrage to pummel the Tucson Padres by a score of 15-2. The Reno Aces are likely to be the River Cats' opponent in the semi-final round. Reno currently has a 9.5 game lead over Tacoma.
Jermaine Mitchell got the River Cats off to a fast start when he led-off the game with his third triple for Sacramento (16th overall) this season. Wes Timmons, promoted back to Sacramento on Monday from Double-A Midland, followed with a double and the River Cats were off-and-running. They scored three times in the top of the first.
Tucson briefly made the game close in the bottom of the second when they scored two unearned runs off of Sacramento starter Travis Banwart. Those would be the only two runs of any kind Banwart would allow in seven strong innings. He scattered four hits and a walk and he struck-out four. Banwart lowered his ERA to 4.77 and he earned his seventh win of the season.
Adam Rosales was the only River Cats' batter not to reach base. Every other River Cat reached at least twice. Jai Miller connected on his 30th homerun of the season and he drove-in two runs. Chris Carter also homered, his 15th of the year for Sacramento. He had a team-high four RBIs. Mitchell, Timmons and Carter each scored three times, while Michael Taylor led the River Cats with three hits and Adrian Cardenas had three RBIs.
Neil Wagner threw a scoreless eighth before Fernando Cabrera closed out the Sacramento win with a scoreless ninth. Sacramento has won four straight and seven out of eight.
Other News and Notes
- The River Cats have had some roster shuffling this week. Catcher Anthony Recker was promoted to the big leagues on Tuesday and the A's optioned catcher Landon Powell to Sacramento. The A's also traded third-baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Colorado Rockies. Infielder Wes Timmons was promoted to Sacramento from Double-A Midland and catcher Joel Galarraga was added from the Mexican Summer League.
- Jai Miller is the third player in River Cats' history to reach the 30-homer plateau. Chris Carter hit 31 homeruns last season and Graham Koonce set the franchise record with 34 in 2003.
- A week ago, it looked as though Chris Carter's streak of hitting at least 20 homeruns would end at four seasons. However, with five homers in his last 10 games, Carter now has 18 for the season and is poised to reach that total again. His Triple-A OPS is up to 869 for the season and he has a 944 OPS in August.
- After not collecting a hit during the River Cats' recent homestand (0-for-24), Michael Taylor is 8-for-20 on Sacramento's current roadtrip.
- Jermaine Mitchell's 16th triple of the season gives him 51 extra-base hits in 116 games. He has a 913 OPS for Sacramento this month.