River Cats double up on Redbirds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Sacramento River Cats (75-60) strung together 11 hits en route to a 6-3 victory over the Memphis Redbirds (73-61) Saturday at AutoZone Park. The win resulted in a series split.

The River Cats took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on left fielder Shane Peterson’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly that plated right fielder Nick Buss.

The score remained 1-0 until the Cats added two mores in the top of the sixth inning on RBI singles from second baseman Colin Walsh and center fielder Billy Burns. The single by Burns produced his first-career Triple-A RBI.

Redbirds left fielder Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to close the gap to 3-1. The homer was Grichuk’s second of the series and 25th of the season.

In the top of the eighth inning, Sacramento second baseman Jose Martinez slugged his sixth homer of the season, a solo shot to left field to give the Cats a 4-1 lead.

After replacing starter Deck McGuire, right-handed pitcher Philip Humber gave up a quick run to Memphis in the bottom of the eighth inning, without recording an out, and was removed in favor of Jeremy McBryde, who proceeded to strike out the side to end the inning.

Sacramento added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth on sacrifice flies from Peterson and Martinez to extend their lead to 6-2.

McGuire (2-3, 7.16 ERA) earned the win for the River Cats after having lost his last three starts. The righty tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Right-hander Evan Scribner gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to Xavier Scruggs, but ultimately shut the door on the Redbirds to preserve the win for the River Cats.

Buss ended up 2-for-4 with two runs and Burns went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Shortstop Tyler Ladendorf finished 3-for-4 with a run, a double and a walk, while Peterson added a 1-for-3 night at the plate with a run, a double and two RBI. Walsh completed the game 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Taking the loss was Memphis southpaw Jonathan Cornelius (0-1, 3.38 ERA) who gave up two runs on five hits and three walks to go with two strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work.

Sacramento remains in Tennessee but will travel 200 miles east to Nashville for a four-game series with the Sounds starting on Sunday.

Special to The Enterprise

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