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The Sacramento River Cats held their winning streak against the Reno Aces, killing with a final score of 10-1.
With a turnout of 9,342 fans for the last of the five-game set, the I-80 rivals started off with an easy three-up, three-down and no on-bases for the first three innings.
The first excitement of the night happened when River Cats left fielder Michael Taylor walked, making it the first on-base of the evening, but Aces turned around and scored the last out of the third inning by throwing Cats first baseman, Anthony Recker, out at first.
The fourth inning was when things got intense.
Aces right fielder Cole Gillespie made the first earned base, hitting the ball foul along the first base line only to have it bounce off the wall and back onto the field. Cats right fielder Jai Miller kept Gillespie on first, ready to throw the ball if he tried to run.
The Aces’ luck continued in the top of the fourth with designated hitter Andy Tracy’s single, advancing Gillespie to third. But Cats pitcher Graham Godfrey put a stop to Aces left fielder Robby Hammock’s hit with an easy toss to first forcing him out, making it the third out and prevented Gillespie from scoring.
The River Cats shared the Aces luck in the bottom of the fourth as center fielder Jermiane Mitchell and second baseman Andy La Roche were walked.
Third baseman for the River Cats, Kevin Kouzmanoff, hit the first home run to left field on his second up to bat, bringing everyone home and the River Cats the lead 3-0.
Aces put a halt to that with a double play from first to second.
The River Cats fought back as designated hitter Chris Carter and short stop Adam Rosales both hit singles.
Taylor hit a double, bringing them both in as they gained a 5-0 lead all in the fourth inning.
Recker made a hit at his second at bat, but was thrown out at first. It was a close call, and the crowd booed when the umpire called him the third out, ending the inning.
Second baseman, Mark Hallberg, scored the first home run of the evening for the Aces in the top of sixth, bringing the score to 5-1.
This was not a good game for Aces pitcher Tom Layne, as he walked Carter – his fourth for the night – which brought the score up 7-1 when Taylor hit a home run to left-center and brought them both home.
Recker added to this by hitting a beautiful grounder, flying right by as short stop Tony Abreu dove and missed. Recker stole second, sliding and narrowly missed getting tagged. A double by Mitchell brought him home, raising the score 8-1 in the top of seventh.
The crowd got excited when a single by Cats catcher Josh Donaldson advanced Miller to second. It would have been an easy out for the Aces, but Abreu dropped the ball and Miller slid safely into second.
The crowd gave another gasp as a hit by Taylor almost took out Rosales as he was running to second. He had to stop mid-run and hold his arms back and suck his stomach in to avoid getting hit.
“It’s always nice to come out and get a good game with a rival,” Taylor said. “It’s a series, and to close it out in a very dominating action, you do it like that.”
The River Cats will play the Colorado Springs Sky Sox for their next home game Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Photos by Ron Nabity