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In the second day of veteran Manny Ramirez’s stint at Raley Field, it was third baseman Brandon Inge who shined in the River Cats 10-0 victory against the Reno Aces on the cold Saturday night.
Inge fueled the River Cats offense, going 5-5 with two doubles, two home runs, three runs and seven runs batted in.
Ramirez is currently playing a 10-game stint with the River Cats before being eligible to play with the Oakland Athletics following a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy last year.
Ramirez chose to retire last season with the Tampa Bay Rays instead of serving the suspension before coming back this year and signing with the Athletics.
Ramirez is batting .240 with two RBIs and no home runs in seven games with the River Cats thus far, and is eligible to join the Athletics on May 30, the same day he turns 40 years old.
The 11,236 people in attendance applauded Ramirez every time he stepped up to the plate, hoping to see the right-handed slugger hit a homerun for the River Cats, but Ramirez finished 1-5 with a single in the sixth inning.
River Cats starting pitcher Bruce Billings was once again stellar, finishing the game with eight strikeouts and allowing no runs on three hits in eight innings of work. Billings is now 4-1 on the season, with a 2.63 earned run average.
Sacramento pounced all over Aces starting pitcher Patrick Corbin early and often, scoring a run in each of the first four innings.
The River Cats first got on the scoreboard on a home run from Inge in the first inning, giving the Cats a lead that would never be threatened. Inge’s second homer came in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, he sent a ball soaring over the left field wall for a grand slam, extending the River Cats lead to 8-0.
Inge extended the lead to 10-0 when the bases were loaded once again in the seventh inning, but this time Inge singled to bring in two runs and give him his sixth and seventh RBIs for the night.
The Aces barely threatened the River Cats to get on the board, only tallying four hits during the contest. They threatened in the second inning when outfielder Cole Gillespie doubled to right field to lead off the inning, but Billings was able to get out of the inning, getting two ground outs and a strikeout.
The Aces also threatened in the ninth inning with River Cats reliever Erick Threets pitching. Upon giving up a single, Threets threw a wild pitch that advanced outfielder Jake Elmore to second. Threets was then able to get the batter to fly out to end the game and secure the 10-0 victory.
Editor's note: Photos were added to this article after publishing and are from the River Cats vs. Reno Aces game on May 25.