Sacramento's game against the Oklahoma RedHawks had a major league feel at the beginning, with major league veterans Brett Tomko and Brandon McCarthy taking the mound for Sacramento and Oklahoma, respectively. However, the game quickly became about offense, with Sacramento leading the way with 11 runs on 14 hits and three walks. Oklahoma managed nine hits and eight walks, but were limited to only four runs thanks to an unusual triple-play and two more traditional double-plays.
The game began as a battle between Tomko and McCarthy. Tomko, who was signed as a minor league free agent by the A's last week, was slated to throw 50 pitches, as the River Cats are looking to stretch Tomko out as a starter for the playoff race. Fifty pitches only got Tomko through 1.2 innings, as he allowed four runs on four hits and two walks.
On the opposite side, Oklahoma City sent McCarthy to the mound for his first rehab start since fracturing his shoulder blade. McCarthy was also on a limited pitch count, and he, too, didn't make it far into the game. McCarthy went only one-plus innings, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk, before being lifted.
Sacramento wouldn't stop their scoring with the exit of McCarthy, however. After scoring five times in the first two innings, the River Cats would tack on single runs in the fourth and fifth and four runs in the sixth. The big star at the plate for Sacramento was centerfielder Matt Carson, who went three-for-four with five RBIs, including a three-run homer. Left-fielder Chris Denorfia had a big game, as well, collecting three hits and two RBIs.
The win for Sacramento went to Jerome Williams, who took over for Tomko in the second. Williams darted in and out of trouble, but managed to toss 5.2 scoreless innings despite walking six batters. He was helped on defense by two double-plays and a most unusual triple-play.
The triple-play came in the sixth inning. Oklahoma had the bases loaded and none-out when former A's prospect Dustin Majewski hit what appeared to be a sacrifice fly to left. Chris Denorfia made the catch for the first out and threw home. Catcher Eric Munson received the throw after the runner had crossed home plate and he quickly fired to third, where Gregorio Petit was covering. Petit stretched and a made a nice play on the throw, tagging out the runner coming from second with his foot still on the bag. It appeared to be a double-play with a run scoring, but the umpires ruled that the runner tagging from third had left too early and called him out, as well, ending the RedHawks' rally.
Williams also got some help in the eighth inning. He loaded the bases again, this time with one-out. He was lifted for reliever Mickey Storey, who was called up that day from High-A Stockton to help a depleted Sacramento bullpen. Storey, a 2008 draft pick, had never pitched above A-ball before Saturday night. Using a mix of nasty 69-73 MPH curveballs and some well-placed 89-91 MPH fastballs, Storey struck-out the first two batters he faced to get Williams and the River Cats' out of the inning unscathed. Storey would then strike-out the first batter of the ninth inning and finished off the game with two ground-outs.
Sacramento moved to 70-44 on the season with the win.
Top Rangers' prospect Justin Smoak takes a swing with top A's prospect Brett Wallace's bat.
Elk Grove native Brad Kilby was honored on Elk Grove Day at Raley Field.
Veteran Brett Tomko got the start for Sacramento.
Brandon McCarthy got the rehab start for Oklahoma City.
Eric Patterson steals third. He had two stolen bases in the game.
Eric Munson takes one in the back.
Matt Carson connects on a two-RBI double.
The River Cats catch Greg Golson stealing.
Adrian Cardenas chats with Tony DeFrancesco at third.
Matt Carson races around the bases to score.
Adrian Cardenas connects on an RBI single.
Jerome Williams tossed 5.2 scoreless innings.
Chris Denorfia starts a triple-play with a catch and throw in left...
...Eric Munson fields Denorfia's throw and throws to third...
...Gregorio Petit stretches for Munson's throw and tags out the runner while recording the third out by tagging third.
Brett Wallace connects on a single to center.
Matt Carson follows through on a 3-run homer.
Moon over Sacramento.
Mickey Storey made an impressive Triple-A debut.
Storey had RedHawks' hitters flailing at the ball.
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SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento River Cats brought out the big lumber on Saturday night in front of 12,989 fans at Raley Field. Sacramento, paced by Matt Carson's five RBIs, routed the Oklahoma RedHawks by a score of 11-4. We have the photos inside...
Sacramento Photo Gallery: 'Cats Rout RedHawks
The River Cats' pounded out 14 hits and 11 runs. We have photos from the game.