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The Sacramento River Cats extended their winning streak to three with a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Raley Field Thursday night.
Starting pitcher Bruce Billings gave the River Cats another solid outing to bring his record to 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. He provided seven innings of work, giving up no runs on five hits and striking out six.
Sacramento was able to pounce on Sky Sox starting pitcher Brandon Hynick early, giving Billings two-run support in the first inning.
Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell started the inning with a triple to deep center field. Mitchell then scored on a double from Collin Cowgill to give the River Cats their first lead of the game. First baseman Chris Carter kept the rally going when he hit a double of his own to score Cowgill and extend the lead to 2-0 before the following batters failed to score Carter.
Hynick found trouble again in the fifth inning, giving up two more doubles and one more run before being pulled off the mound in favor of relief pitcher Zach Simons. Simons then walked Carter and hit Brandon Moss to load the bases with one out. But the River Cats were only able to score one, with Cowgill scoring on a single from Josh Donaldson to make the score 4-0.
The Sky Sox threatened to score against Billings in the sixth inning when they had two men on with two outs, but Billings was able to work out of it by getting Matt McBride to ground out to second base.
Already up 4-0, Sacramento added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to give them a six-run lead heading into the final frame.
Colorado Springs’ only run came in the top of the ninth inning when River Cats pitcher Merkin Valdez came in to close out the game. Valdez promptly gave up a double to McBride who was brought across home plate by Brandon Wood to put the Sky Sox on the board and bring the score to 6-1. With the nearly full moon shining 4,212 fans in attendance, Valdez then struck out two batters and got a groundout to end the game.
Photos by David Alvarez