River Cats Walk-Off Winners Thanks To Donaldson, Cowgill Blasts
On the same night that the Oakland A's staged a five-run rally in the ninth inning to earn a 7-3 walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays, their Triple-A affiliate was also mounting a late comeback versus the Omaha Storm Chasers.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the River Cats tied the game on a Collin Cowgill solo blast. The homerun was his second since being sent down to Triple-A. He had two hits on the night and is batting .350/.381/.525 over his last 10 games.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the 10th inning when Josh Donaldson came to the plate with two-outs and no-one on. Donaldson sent the fans home happy with his fifth homerun in 10 games with Sacramento. The third baseman/catcher has 14 RBIs since joining the River Cats. He went 3-for-4 in the game.
The game was dominated by strike-throwers, as there was only one free pass issued in the game (to Donaldson, naturally). Sacramento starter Travis Banwart had a solid outing. He allowed three runs in five innings, but he didn't walk a batter and he struck-out six. Relievers Evan Scribner, Erick Threets and Andrew Carignan combined to toss five shutout innings. The trio struck-out seven and allowed only two hits. Carignan earned the win with two scoreless innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.64 with Sacramento.
Murphy Shines Again For Burlington
Sean Murphy is quietly putting together a breakout season with the Burlington Bees. The 6'6'' right-hander struck-out 13 batters two starts ago and on Tuesday night he tossed a season-high eight innings in the Bees' 7-0 win over the Clinton Lumber Kings.
Murphy pitched to contact on Tuesday night, as he struck-out only two. But the Keystone College alum walked only one and he scattered five hits. Drew Tyson pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure the shutout. On the season, Murphy has a 1.23 ERA and a 39:14 K:BB ratio in 36.2 innings. Murphy has held opposing batters to a .189 average and he has allowed only two homeruns.
Murphy received plenty of support from his offense. B.A. Vollmuth and Royce Consigli both went deep and the Bees collected 14 hits. Vollmuth had three hits, including the homer, which was his third of the year. He has three straight multi-hit games and has raised his average to .250 for the year.
Other News And Notes
- The Stockton Ports dropped their ninth in a row on Tuesday night with a 6-1 decision versus Visalia. T.J. Walz had another strong start but received only one run of support and took the loss. The right-hander struck-out eight and allowed two runs in 6.2 innings. Walz has 42 strike-outs and only eight walks in 36.1 innings this season.
- The Ports could be receiving a reinforcement from extended spring training soon. Shortstop Yordy Cabrera is roughly a week away from being ready to join a full-season affiliate, according to A's farm director Keith Lieppman. Cabrera has been rehabbing a lower back injury he sustained during spring training. It hasn't been determined which team Cabrera will join, but he was projected to be part of the Ports' Opening Day roster before he injured his back.
- Right-hander Matt Thomson's rehab from labrum surgery is continuing to progress. He threw a 35-pitch side session on Tuesday. There still isn't a date for when Thomson will return to live game action.
- The Sacramento River Cats' roster had two changes on Tuesday. Reliever J.C. Menna was sent back to extended spring training and outfielder Jeff Fiorentino was activated from the disabled list.
- The Midland Rockhounds dropped a 9-3 decision to the Frisco RoughRiders on Tuesday. Dan Straily had a rare poor outing, as he allowed five runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. Straily did strike-out six and he walked only one, however. The hard-throwing right-hander has 52 strike-outs and only 12 walks in 40.1 innings this season.