Sacramento Storms Back From 11-0 Deficit
It has been a crazy few days for the Sacramento River Cats, who found themselves on both sides of 11-run comebacks. On Saturday, Sacramento blew an 11-run lead to Albuquerque, but on Wednesday, the River Cats turned the tables and beat the Round Rock Express 13-11 after being down 11-0 after just two innings.
Veteran Brett Tomko continued his struggles in his first start with Sacramento. The right-hander had a 6.23 ERA in 8.2 innings in Rookie ball and a 7.52 ERA in 26.1 innings with the High-A Stockton Ports before his start with Sacramento on Wednesday.
Tomko, who is rehabbing from a nerve problem in his pitching arm that ended his 2009 season early, didn't escape the first inning on Wednesday. He allowed seven runs on six hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning before giving way to Graham Godfrey. Godfrey also struggled, allowing four runs in 1.1 innings.
The Sacramento bullpen stopped the bleeding after the second inning, however. Jared Lansford tossed three scoreless innings and was followed by Cedrick Bowers, who threw two scoreless frames. During those five innings, the River Cats began to mount their comeback.
The red-hot Dallas McPherson began a five-run fourth-inning rally with a double. Matt Carson doubled McPherson home and then Adrian Cardenas singled to put runners on the corners. Michael Taylor and Jeff Baisley then followed with RBIs doubles and Anthony Recker finished the scoring with an RBI single.
Sacramento drew even closer in the sixth when Corey Wimberly hit his third homerun of the season, a two-run shot. In the seventh, the River Cats manufactured a run when Taylor singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on Baisley's sacrifice fly.
The score remained 11-8 going into the top of the ninth inning after Jonathan Hunton pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth. Carson grounded out to start the inning, but consecutive singles by Cardenas and Taylor put the River Cats in business. Then Baisley tied the game with a three-run blast, his fifth of the season for Sacramento.
The game wouldn't stay tied for long, as Recker doubled and Wimberly followed with an infield single. Eric Sogard then broke the tie with a double scoring Recker. During a Travis Buck at-bat, Casey Daigle uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Wimberly and giving the River Cats a 13-11 cushion.
Michael Benacka came on in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order with two strike-outs to earn the save. The River Cats now return home two games behind the first-place Fresno Grizzlies.
There were a number of big offensive nights for Sacramento. Baisley had six RBIs. Between Sacramento and Midland, he has driven-in 59 runs and has an 861 OPS in 80 games this season. Recker had four hits. He is 11-for-his-last-15 and he has raised his average to .260 and his OPS to 733. Taylor and Cardenas each had three hits. Cardenas is 6-for-14 since his promotion to Triple-A on Monday.
Other News And Notes
* Tomko was making his first start with Sacramento because Tyson Ross was placed on the DL with a sore right elbow.
* The AZL A's cruised to an 11-1 win over the AZL Padres on Wendesday. Miguel Marte hit his fourth homer of the season and he also had a double. Zhi-Fang Pan had two hits and two RBIs to raise his average to .276. Chris Affinito also added a three-run homer, his second for the A's.
* Michael Choice had two hits, a walk and his first professional RBI, but it wasn't enough for Vancouver, who lost to Everett on Wednesday by a score of 7-1. Choice has four hits in his last seven at-bats for Vancouver.
* Kane County collected 17 hits and 11 runs to rout the Cedar Rapids Kernals, 11-2. Anthony Aliotti had three hits and two doubles in six at-bats. He also drove-in three. Leonardo Gil had a five-hit game and Jason Christian hit his third homer of the season. Conner Crumbliss, Rashun Dixon, Mitchell LeVier and Juan Nunez all had two-hit games and Tyreace House walked three times. Dixon is batting .425 with a 1031 OPS in 10 August games.
* The Midland Rockhounds' losing streak reached four with a 9-4 loss to Tulsa on Wednesday. Jeff Lyman's struggles continued, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He has a 7.94 ERA in 22.2 innings for Midland since joining the A's organization in a waiver claim. Alexander Valdez hit his 12th homer of the season and Val Majewski had two hits to lead the 'Hounds offense.
* Two rehabbing veterans helped the Stockton Ports defeat Inland Empire, 5-2, on Wednesday. Conor Jackson, on a rehab assignment for the A's, had two hits, including a double, and Travis Blackley allowed a run in two innings in his first outing since having bone chips removed from his left elbow while pitching with Sacramento. Justin Murray earned the win in relief of Blackley, allowing only an unearned run in 4.2 innings. Jeremy Barfield had a double and is slugging .552 in August after posting a .225 slugging percentage in July.
* Jose Sayegh put together his first two-hit game for the DSL A's in awhile. The Venezuelan outfielder is batting only .135 with a 480 OPS against right-handers this season, but he has a .353 average and a 921 OPS versus left-handers.