It looked like the Sacramento River Cats were going to walk away from this game with ease, but after a late resurgence by the Salt Lake City Bees; it took a clutch at bat from Corey Wimberly in the bottom of the 9th to seal the victory. This Saturday night win in front of a sell-out crowd extended the River Cats win streak to six games and allowed them to reach .500 for the first time since early May.
The River Cats were able to get on the board early and often, scoring seven runs in the first five innings. With an RBI single by second baseman Eric Sogard.in the second inning to start things off, the pace was set early for the River Cats. Eric Sogard extended his hitting streak to 13 games, passing up his season-high streak of 12 straight games with a hit.
In the third inning, Matt Watson homered on a fly ball to left center. But the fourth inning was where the ‘Cats did most of the damage.
The River Cats took advantage of a poor performance from Salt Lake City pitcher Will Smith, who walked five batters in the fourth and allowed four runs.
Third baseman Dallas McPherson homered to right field to start the inning off and the River Cats went through their entire lineup finishing the inning with McPherson at the plate. Chris Carter sent two runs in with a double and Smith walked in the final run of the inning.
Following the fourth run of the inning, Smith was pulled and the Bees were able to find that third out.
At the end of the fifth inning the River Cats had a comfortable 7-1 lead, but the Bees made things interesting in the eighth, with back-to-back three run innings to tie it up. Although some fans left early thinking the game was headed into extras, most of the fans stayed put, in hopes to see the Saturday night fireworks. And fireworks are what they saw.
In the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and an outfielder brought in to help plug the infield, Corey Wimberly hit the walk-off single to finish off the Bees. It was the first hit for Wimberly but the most important hit of the game, keeping the River Cats from blowing their six run lead.
Clayton Mortenson was unable to get the win but it wasn’t because of a bad outing. Mortenson, who went in to the game leading the team in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched, had another solid game Saturday night. Mortenson struck out seven, allowed only four hits and allowed one run that was unearned. Taking Mortenson’s ERA to 3.66 on the year.
Watson and Carter both brought in two runs while Wimberly added another steal to his league leading total of 27.
The River Cats are now 35-35 and look to break above .500 today against the Bees. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm. Travis Blackley has started four games this year and has posted a 1.63 ERA and a 1-1 record.
The All-Star voting ends June 25, so get your votes in for your favorite River Cats.