It has been a long-time coming, but after years of quietly putting up solid numbers at every level…
Sacramento Photo Gallery: 'Cats Come Up Aces
Donning pink pin-striped jerseys, the River Cats got off to a fast start on Saturday against former A's and River Cats right-hander Seth Etherton. Eric Patterson started off the game by tripling on a flyball to right-field that was lost in the sun by right-fielder Brandon Watson. Patterson would come home one out later on a Tom Everidge sacrifice fly.
In the second inning, Travis Buck started the inning with a slicing double down the left-field line. After Eric Munson moved him over to third with a groundball to second, Buck scored on a Chris Denorfia sacrifice fly to center.
Reineke held the Aces scoreless through three innings, in part thanks to two double-plays - a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the second and a more conventional six-four-three double-play in the third. He lost the shut-out in the fourth when Rusty Ryal smashed a line-drive homer to left. It was Ryal's third homerun of the series.
Sacramento got back that run in the bottom of the fifth when Everidge hit a two-out single to center to score Patterson, who had doubled earlier in the inning. Everidge finished with two RBIs and Patterson had a double, a triple and two runs scored.
Reno kept the game close by answering with a run in the sixth to make the game 3-2. The run scored on a Brandon Allen homerun to right. The two solo homeruns would be the only runs allowed by Reineke in seven strong innings of work. He would give up six hits and one walk and he struck-out two to earn his fourth win of the season.
The Sacramento bullpen ensured that Reno would get no closer than 3-2. Chris Schroder took over for Reineke in the eighth and he pitched a one-two-three inning to keep the game at 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth. That was when the River Cats got some insurance for closer Jeff Gray.
Reno turned to veteran Tom Gordon, rehabbing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, to pitch the eighth. The 41-year-old Gordon got his inning off to a shaky start, walking the first two batters (Daric Barton and Everidge) on eight pitches. After an Aaron Cunningham bunt moved the runners to second and third, Gordon uncorked a wild pitch to score Barton. Buck put the game on ice for Sacramento with his second double of the game, driving in pinch-runner Matt Carson with the River Cats' fifth run.
Gray threw a scoreless ninth, pitching around two hits, to earn his team-leading 12th save. He has a 1.87 ERA on the season. Sacramento is now 57-36 and they have a 9.5 game lead over Reno.
Below are photos from the game.
ALL PHOTOS BY CHRIS LOCKARD/SCOUT.COM
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