River Cats Complete Sweep Of Ports

STOCKTON, Ca. - As it normally does at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton the wind was blowing out to left center at a strong rate and the balls soon followed. The Sacramento River Cats defeated the Stockton Ports for the second night in a row, this time by a 9-8 final score in a game that saw eight home runs.

Before the game even started the signs of it being an exhibition contest were clear as Stockton Ports pitcher Josh Bowman was in the Ports locker room getting dressed in a River Cats grey uniform to make the start against what will be his teammates during the regular season.

No stranger to Banner Island Ballpark, River Cats' outfielder Jermaine Mitchell led off the game with a triple and a few pitches later he trotted home as Daric Barton, who was put on the disabled list by the A's today, hit a blast to rightfield off of Blake Hassebrock for a two-run home run. Michael Taylor would later hit a line-drive double to right to score Stephen Parker. The top of the first inning ended with runners on 2nd and 3rd with just two outs.

After a first inning that saw the Ports go down in order, they started to find their home run stroke as new Ports third baseman Miles Head learned about the short porch in right field with a fly ball that barely found the rocking chairs. Max Stassi wasted no time as he took Bowman's very next pitch and lined a laser shot to left for a solo home run of his own.

Despite suffering what looked to be a hand injury in the bottom of the second inning, Derek Norris would stay in the game and then get the River Cats back on the board in the top of the third inning with a solo homer to left. He then was replaced between innings by Joel Galarraga as Norris went back to the River Cats locker room with the trainer. Adam Rosales would later hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning and Chris Carter lofted a pitch into the bullpen for a solo homer in the fifth inning for the River Cats' fourth home run of the night.

Ryan Pineda led-off the third inning for the Ports with a triple and would score on a groundout. One inning later Rashun Dixon hit the Ports' third home run of the night as his two-run shot to center cut the deficit and made the score 7-5. A pinch-hitting Tony Thompson lined the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning for the game's eighth home run. With the help of River Cats' miscues, the Ports scored a second run in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the game at eight.

Ports' reliever Jose Guzman pitched two scoreless innings of relief before the River Cats retook the lead off of Zach Thornton in the eighth inning. Brandon Hicks hit a line drive shot to center that a diving Myrio Richard was unable to come up with or knock down as it got to the wall. Hicks raced his way to third for a one-out triple. Rosales would get him in with a sac-fly to center.

Pedro Figueroa pitched a perfect eighth inning for the River Cats while Erick Threets made it exciting in the ninth by allowing a single and a two-out walk to the Ports before getting Thompson to fly out to left field for the game's final out and the save. In a regular game Jim Miller would get credited with a blown save and a win while the loss would of gone to Zach Thornton. The exhibition took 2:46 to play in front of 1,147 people.

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