Sacramento River Cats Series Preview May 31-June 3
Jemile a minute: Sacramento lead-off hitter continued his hot hitting in Sunday’s doubleheader, going 3-for-4 with a run scored in Game 1 and 1-for-3 with an RBI in Game 2. The second baseman has perhaps been the River Cats’ most consistent offensive force all season, hitting .333 in April (25-for-75) and May (28-for-84). Weeks is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is 12-for-31 (.387) with seven runs and five RBIs. Weeks started the season by reaching base in 26 consecutive games. He has failed to reach base only twice in 37 games started this season. The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder is tied for the team lead with three triples, eight stolen bases and a .425 on-base percentage. He has 27 runs scored and 21 RBIs.
Recking Crew: Sacramento catcher Anthony Recker went 3-for-6 in Sunday’s doubleheader split, collecting his team-leading 16th double and one RBI. Recker is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak. On Friday night, the catcher hit the first River Cats grand slam of the season against the Reno Aces. Recker hit the blast in the ninth inning to tie up the game, 5-5 with one out. He brought home Eric Sogard, Steve Tolleson and Josh Donaldson. Recker is hitting .342 on the road and .291 at Raley Field this season. He leads Sacramento with 32 runs scored, ranks tied for second with eight home runs and ranks fourth with a .314 batting average.
Miller Time: Sacramento outfielder Jai Miller hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season in the fourth inning of Game 1 on Sunday afternoon in Reno. Miller, who also hit his eighth home run on Friday night, is tied for the team lead with a .425 on-base percentage and is tied for second with 26 RBIs in only 31 games.
Say May, kids: The River Cats are 18-10 start in May, and are now one-game ahead of the second-place Las Vegas 51s in the Pacific Coast League South Division standings. Sacramento is notorious for getting hot in May, posting a 211-146 (.591 winning percentage) all-time record in the month. With its 18 wins this month, Sacramento has more wins in May than any other month (Sacramento is 197-134 in August). Sacramento has 20 or more wins three times in May – 23-7 in 2003, 22-8 in 2008 and 20-9 in 2009.
Armed and ready: Sacramento’s pitching staff leads the Pacific Coast League with a 3.91 ERA, and they are the only staff with an ERA less than 4.00. The River Cats also lead the league with 411 strikeouts, 37 more than the next best club (Tacoma, 374). Sacramento has allowed the second-fewest home runs in the league (39) and the fewest hits in the league (421 over 460.2 innings pitched). Two Sacramento pitchers are in the Top-10 in ERA in the PCL – Graham Godfrey is second at 2.64, and tonight’s starter Travis Banwart is fourth at 2.87. Sacramento reliever Trystan Magnuson leads the league in opponent batting average among relievers at .139.
Golden Graham: River Cats starter Graham Godfrey turned in another stellar performance Sunday afternoon in Reno, dominating Game 1 of the doubleheader. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) over 6.0 innings to earn the victory. He has won six of his last seven outings, and is tied for the Pacific Coast League lead with six victories. His 2.64 ERA ranks second behind Jay Buente of New Orleans (1.94) in the PCL. In eight starts, Godfrey has yet to allow more than three runs. He has struck out 41 batters and walked 14 over 44.1 innings.
Fast start: With its 32-19 record to open the 2011 season, Sacramento is two games behind its franchise best record through 51 games (34-17 in 2003). Sacramento went 14-9 in April.
Road warriors: Sacramento needs a win today to avoid losing its first road series of the season. Sacramento has currently won three road series and split two. At home, Sacramento has won three series, lost one and split three. The River Cats are 15-8 on the road and 17-11 at Raley Field.
Getting ahead: For only the third time all season, Sacramento lost a game in which it scored first. The River Cats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 2 Sunday before falling 11-3 in seven innings. Sacramento is 19-3 when scoring first – 12-0 at home and 7-3 on the road. The River Cats are 13-16 when opponents score first – 5-11 at home and 8-5 on the road. In Game 1 on Sunday, Reno led 2-0 before Sacramento came back for a 5-2 victory.
Disclosure: Kyle Tucker is an intern for the Sacramento River Cats