LAS VEGAS – Michael Choice is hitting .520 in his last six games — including a 3-for-5 performance Saturday night — but the River Cats fell to the Las Vegas 51s by a score of 9-4.
The 51s put four runs on the board in the bottom of the second, but the lead didn’t last long, as the River Cats knotted the game with four runs of their own in the top of the third highlighted by Choice’s three-run home run. Las Vegas took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the third. They would plate one more in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Choice has two home runs and seven RBI in the series’ first two games. David Freitas went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and is now 4-for-8 with four RBI in two games since rejoining Sacramento. Righty Arnold Leon gave up six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work for the loss.
The win was awarded to Justin Hampson who held the River Cats scoreless in two innings of work, moving his record to 5-2 on the year. Jordy Valdespin went 3-for-3 with three runs, an RBI, a walk and a triple, and is now 7-for-7 in this series. The 51s collected 12 hits in all.
The River Cats now prepare for their first doubleheader of the season at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday at Cashman Field when lefty Andrew Werner (9-12, 5.96 ERA) takes on righty Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.00 ERA) in the continuation of a May 6 game at Raley Field that was suspended in the top of the first inning with runners on first and second. Game two will last just seven innings, and will pit a River Cats starter who is to-be-determined against 51s righty D.J. Mitchell (5-4, 7.52 ERA).
The River Cats return home on Tuesday, July 30 for an eight-game homestand against the Albuquerque Isotopes and Round Rock Express that will feature two fireworks shows, a jersey auction, the players’ wives’ food drive and a Nick Swisher bobblehead giveaway.