The Sacramento River Cats mounted a huge comeback in the ninth inning on Thursday night, scoring six runs in the ninth to tie the game at 11. Scott McClain's sacrifice fly scored Doug Clark in the tenth to give the River Cats an inspired win, 12-11, over Portland.
Jason Perry hit a three-run homer, his second homer of the game, in the ninth inning to cap the River Cats' six-run outburst. Perry had three hits to raise his average to .250. He has been red-hot since starting his AAA stint with one hit in his first two weeks with Sacramento. He has four AAA homers and has had a breakthrough season thus far, hitting better than .400 in AA before his promotion.
McClain also had a big night, with four RBI including the game-winner. Nate Espy and Raul Casanova chipped in with two hits apiece and Clark scored three runs and stole his 15th base of the season. All told, the River Cats had 13 hits and seven walks.
Starter Jason Windsor struggled for the first time since being promoted to AAA. He allowed eight runs in 5.1 innings of work. However, the River Cats huge comeback prevented Windsor from suffering his first loss since Opening Day. Ron Flores earned the win by getting the final two outs in the top of the tenth inning, his third win in AAA this season. John Birtwell pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.12.
Ziegler, Midland Lose Heart-Breaker To Corpus Christi
The Midland Rockhounds dropped a close one to Corpus Christi on Thursday, as Chance Douglass and Brad Ziegler locked horns in a pitcher's duel. Ziegler had a complete game, but allowed the winning run with one-out in the ninth to fall, 2-1.
Travis Buck accounted for all of the Rockhounds' offense, as he launched his second AA homerun of the season in the seventh inning. That gave Midland a short-lived 1-0 lead, which they would lose in the bottom of the inning.
Locked in a 1-1 tie in the ninth, Ziegler allowed a lead-off double, a sacrifice bunt and a walk-off hit to lose the game. His record fell to 5-3, although his ERA also fell to 3.38. It was his first complete game of the season. He scattered 10 hits and one walk over 8.1 innings of work and induced one double-play.
Brian Snyder, Brant Colamarino and Brian Stavisky had the only other hits for Midland.
Ports Blanked In Lake Elsinore
Michael Rogers wasn't at his best on Thursday, but he would have had to be perfect to even preserve a tie. Stockton managed only two hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch against Mike Elstrom, who went the distance, as Stockton fell 5-0.
Rogers allowed five runs (three earned) in three innings of work to lose his third game of the season. It was his first bad start since early April. Trent Peterson kept the Ports in the game by working three scoreless innings and Brad Sullivan and Jeff Coleman also worked scoreless frames. It wasn't enough, however, as the Ports were unable to muster any offense.
The Ports didn't get a hit until the fifth inning, when they had two runners on with no-outs. However, John McCurdy lined into a double-play, ending the Ports' chance to score.
Shields Shines As Kane County Wins Again
Trey Shields joined Vince Mazzaro and Jason Ray as six-game winners for the Kane County Cougars, as he went seven strong innings in the Cougars' 5-1 win. Jeff Baisley collected his minor league-high 58th RBI and Isaac Omura and Justin Sellers had two hits apiece in the win.
Shields struck out six and walked only one during his outstanding performance. He allowed only seven hits and the one run and he lowered his ERA to 5.22. Brad Kilby worked a perfect 1.1 and Steve Sharpe recorded the final two outs via the strikeout.
Kane County moved to 37-23 on the year with the victory.