It was a see-saw affair in a cold and wet Tacoma for the Sacramento River Cats and the Tacoma Rainiers on Monday night.
The River Cats were relentless, coming back from an early 3-1 deficit to win 7-6 off of a line drive double by Adrian Cardenas in the eighth inning. The double to right brought Matt Carson in to score and Manager Daren Brown out of the dugout and into the clubhouse early, after he voiced his concerns on the play at home.
This win would be their fifth straight and the fourth consecutive win in which they had to come back after being down.
Despite an early home run by shortstop Eric Sogard, Sacramento found themselves down 4-1 after the first inning. RHP Josh Outman, who could be a viable option for Oakland with Dallas Braden being assigned to the DL, had a start similar to that of a week ago where he had an extended first inning. On April 13, Outman threw 41 pitches in the first inning only going 2.0 innings while allowing four earned runs. Outman threw 35 pitches in the first inning of Monday night, allowing four runs in the first but playing better as the night wore on, retiring eight of nine batters at one point in the game.
Outfielder Matt Carson helped chip away at the Rainiers with a one-run double in the second inning and a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the River Cats their second lead of the ballgame, giving Sacramento a 5-4 lead.
That one-run only lasted a short while until Tacoma third baseman, Alex Liddi, doubled to right, bringing in two runs. Luckily for Sacramento they would find the lead again and be able to hold onto it until the end.
Catcher Josh Donaldson, who has struggled to see the ball this year batting .094 on the season, chose a good time to hit his first home run of the year, tying the game in the sixth.
Carson found himself in another position to put his team up after stealing second with one out. The red-hot Cardenas was able to bring him in, although Daren Brown and Rainier catcher Josh Bard didn’t see eye-to-eye with home plate umpire, Brian Sinclair. Cardenas’ hit gave him his second on the night and his team leading, seventh multi-hit game.
“We always pride ourselves on the mental game of baseball,” said Cardenas. “I don’t want to take my at-bats to defense and vice versa. I think that’s key. When you realize some of the humps that you need to overcome and achieve before you are fortunate enough to be in the big leagues.”