Beavers lose series to River Cats

Despite a small rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Portland Beavers dropped the final game of their series with Sacramento. The River Cats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Nick Blasi singled and later scored on a sac fly from Wes Bankston. Sacramento never looked back as they earned their third straight win in the series.

After taking the first game of the series 9-1, the Beavers were outscored 21-7 in the final three games of the series. In the three wins, the River Cats jumped out to an early lead and relied on good pitching to slow down the Beaver offense.

Shawn Estes started his second game of season with a six-inning performance. Struggling early on, he gave up a two-run home run in the second inning off the bat of Justin Knoedler but soon settled into the game. He went on to record ten consecutive outs from that point and finished the game strong.

The bright light in the Portland lineup was Chip Ambres who had four hits in four at-bats with two runs scored and an RBI. It is the first four hit game for a Portland Beaver this season. Edgar Gonzalez and Luis Rodriguez also extended their hitting streaks to five games with two hits a piece in the series finale.

The Beavers had opportunities to do damage in the bottom of the fifth when Chase Headley came to the plate with the bases loaded. With a sharp ground ball back to the mound, the River Cats were able to turn the unusual 1-2-3 double play and get out of the inning without any major damage. Again, in the ninth inning, Portland had an opportunity to get something going. Ambres singled and later scored on a fielder's choice that resulted after a throwing error by Sacramento catcher Justin Knoedler.

So far this season, in games that Portland has won they have outscored their opponent twenty three to six; in games that they have lost, their opponent has out scored them thirty to eight. They will need to summon the magic in their bats when they open their first road series in Salt Lake on Friday. The Bees have scored over ninety runs in eight games and are 8-0 to start the season on the road. They have a tremendous offense and great pitching with a team ERA of just 2.67.

The Beavers have a great opportunity to get themselves on track over the next eight games, all of which are division games. They will start with trying to spoil the home opener in Salt Lake and close the gap on the first place Bees. If the Beavers play to their full capacity and hit on all cylinders, they will see that gap close very rapidly.

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