A seven spot in the ninth enabled the Rafters to take an 8-2 road triumph over the Solar Sox. The win allowed Salt River (4-6) to climb to within 3 ½ games of first-place Mesa who lost for only the second time this season.
A single by Stephen Piscotty kicked off the scoring barrage in the ninth off righty-hander R.J. Alvarez (LAA) (L, 0-1). The right fielder advanced to second on a free pass and third on James Ramsey's second single of the day that loaded the bases. A force attempt throwing error by Mesa's second baseman during the next at bat resulted in all three runners crossing with the batter ending up at third. Piscotty came back up later that frame with the score 7-2 and lofted a sac fly into right to bring in his squad's final tally.
Piscotty went 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls plus the aforementioned run scored and sac fly. He worked a two-out walk in the first, lined out to left in the fourth and ground out 4-3 in his other at bats.
Ramsey singled twice in five at bats while touching home twice and swiping his third bag in as many attempts. The left fielder grounded one back to the pitcher to begin the second and was caught looking to start the fifth. His bunt single with two out in the seventh resulted in the Rafters' sole tally until the ninth. Ramsey beat out a bunt back to the pitcher, stole second and raced in on a triple to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead. After singling and scoring in the ninth, Ramsey struck out swinging for the final out.
Salt River's pitching staff did a sterling job, holding the league's top offensive club to just three hits. Starter Drew Hutchison (TOR) fanned five over the first four with only one walk allowed. Southpaw Kraig Sitton (COL) topped that by striking out four in two innings while giving up a hit and free pass. Two hits and a walk allowed by Tampa Bay's Merrill Kelly gave Mesa the lead in the bottom of the seventh.
Sunday's game: The Arizona Fall League does not play on Sundays.
Monday's game: at Peoria (3-7), 1:35 pm CT, TBA
© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.