LAS VEGAS — Starting pitcher Dan Straily allowed two runs with eight strikeouts in six innings, but the Sacramento River Cats fell to the Las Vegas 51s, 11-1, on Tuesday at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas got the scoring started early, tallying once in the second and scoring another run in the fourth inning. The Cats cut the deficit in half on Chris Carter’s RBI double, and the 51s carried a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning. Then the scoring outburst began …
In his first appearance with Sacramento, righty reliever Nate Long allowed five runs in one inning. Then Fautino De Los Santos gave up four more runs in less than a frame as Las Vegas took an 11-1 advantage.
Due to the fact that the River Cats bullpen had to pitch 8 1/3 innings on Monday, Sacramento infielder Luke Hughes took the mound Tuesday for the first time since 2007, getting the only batter he faced to fly out to right field.
The Cats made some noise in the bottom of the ninth as Hughes smacked a two-run homer, but they couldn’t overcome the big lead. Hughes is the only player in River Cats history to pitch and hit a home run in the same game.
Josh Donaldson, who moved from designated hitter to second base when Hughes came in to pitch, went 2-for-4 and is now hitting .458 with Sacramento. Hughes went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Straily (1-1) suffered the loss but still has a 1.38 ERA in two starts this season.
The River Cats return home on Wednesday night (7:05 p.m.) for Bark in the Ballpark at Raley Field.