DES MOINES, Iowa — Sacramento’s Daric Barton hit his seventh home run of the season and the River Cats exploded in the ninth inning to finish off a convincing 9-1 win over the Iowa Cubs on Thursday at Principal Park.
The Cats improved to 69-57 and head home locked in a battle with Las Vegas at the top of the PCL’s Pacific South Division.
On Thursday, Sacramento took the lead in the top of the second inning, when Hiro Nakijima’s double plated Anthony Aliotti, and did not trail the rest of the way.
Barton’s home run — a two-run shot that also brought home Jemile Weeks — extended the River Cats’ advantage to 4-1 in the fifth, and Sacramento sealed the win with a five-run explosion in the ninth. In the big inning, Andy Parrino and Michael Choice both doubled and Barton added a sacrifice fly.
In all, four Cats had multi-hit games as Barton finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Shane Peterson recorded his 22nd multi-hit game with his 3-for-5 performance that also included a run batted in. Choice knocked in three and was 2-for-5, and Nakajima finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
River Cats pitcher Bruce Billings struck out five and allowed Iowa’s lone run in his six innings of work, earning his league-leading 13th win of the season against five losses.
Back at Raley Field on Friday, Sacramento will send Travis Banwart (8-5, 4.64 ERA) to the mound to face right-hander Anthony Bass (3-5, 5.97 ERA) in the opener of a five-game set against Tucson.