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As the Sacramento River Cats finish up a four game-series with the Las Vegas 51s, the Fresno Grizzlies and Reno Aces are in Sacramento’s rear-view mirror in the PCL Pacific South Division standings.
The River Cats are in the middle of a pennant race, and July will go a long way in deciding who wins the division. Sacramento plays Fresno and Reno eight times each in July.
Sacramento begins the month with a three-game series at Raley Field against Fresno. As of Tuesday, the River Cats are six games ahead of the Grizzlies in the division. Sacramento then goes on the road for their longest road trip of the season, starting with four in Reno. The Aces trail the River Cats by seven games in the division. On July 8 they travel to Fresno to take on the Grizzlies in a humongous five-game series.
The River Cats get a much-needed three-day break, as the All-Star break is July 13-15. The second half of the season kicks off at Raley Field when the River Cats play Reno in a quick three-game stanza before hitting the road again for eight games.
Sacramento will begin their series with Fresno on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Shawn Chacon (1-1, 3.46) will take the mound for the River Cats and Ramon Ortiz (1-1, 2.96) will be pitching for the Grizzlies in what should be a great pitching matchup.
Although the River Cats do not play the Reno Aces until July 4, manager Tony DeFrancesco and his squad are already trying to figure out how they are going to stop center fielder Alex Romero. As of Tuesday Romero is batting .348 with a slugging percentage of .879.
The River Cats will play the winner of the Pacific North Division in the first round of the playoffs. At the moment it looks like that will be the Sky Sox or the Bees (5 games behind). The Portland Beavers (9.5 games behind) and the Tacoma Rainiers (10 games behind) are still in the picture but are fading fast.
Sacramento has won 32 of their last 47 games since beginning the season 15-15. The River Cats hope the great pitching and timely hitting they have received thus far continues through the second half of the season.