Eric Sogard’s three-run homer in the seventh inning propelled Sacramento to a 5-1 victory over Salt Lake on Monday night at Raley Field.
The Bees have played well on the road, winning six of eight games as the visitors entering Monday. The River Cats, on the other hand, had struggled at home, winning only five of 12 games by the river entering Monday.
River Cats right-hander Yadel Marti entered the game looking for his first win of the season. Before tonight, Marti had a 5.49 ERA and no marks on his record. Salt Lake starter Eric Junge, who started two games against Sacramento last year(0-1, 9.00 ERA), came into this one with a 0-1 record and a 4.62 ERA. Both pitchers allowed eight hits on the evening, but it was Marti who came out the winner.
Two former River Cats currently play for Salt Lake. One of the league’s hottest players, Jeff Baisley, has had a great start for Salt Lake batting .404 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. The River Cats held him in check, keeping him to a single on the night. The other River Cat turned Bee, Kevin Melillo, is currently on the disabled list.
The River Cats took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Shane Peterson singled home Josh Donaldson.
Salt Lake scored two innings later, tying it up 1-1 when first baseman Efren Navarro hit into a fielder’s choice.
Both teams were unable to bring anybody in until the seventh inning when Josh Horton flied out to left, bringing in Adrian Cardenas for a 2-1 River Cats lead. That one-run lead lasted seconds as Sogard hit the first pitch he saw for a three-run homer to shut the door on Salt Lake.
Reliever Willie Eyre took over for Marti in the eighth. Eyre, who struck out three in 2.0 innings of work, has been a bright spot in the River Cats bullpen. Eyre has a 0.89 ERA and has allowed just nine hits this season keeping batters to a .129 batting average so far this season.
The River Cats move to 15-10 on the season and will face the Bees again Tuesday. Bobby Cramer, who was playing for Oakland before being added to the River Cats on April 28, will start for Sacramento.