The Sacramento River Cats are back home beginning tonight for the start of an eight-game home stand. They begin their four-game series with the Salt Lake Bees tonight as former River Cat and now Oakland A’s second baseman Mark Ellis returns to Sacramento as a River Cat for a rehab assignment.
The Bees have suddenly exploded as one of the top-tier teams in the PCL. Sacramento has a much-needed day off Monday before they finish their home stand with another big four-game series with another squad from the PCL Pacific North Division, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Sacramento split their last four-game series with Colorado Springs just two weeks ago.
The River Cats finished up a quick three-game series at the Fresno Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Sacramento and Fresno have been battling for first place in the PCL Pacific South Division all season long. The series did not begin well for the River Cats. The Grizzlies jumped to an early lead. The River Cats tried to come back but fell just short as they lost 6-5.
The next night was a classic. Sacramento trailed early 3-1 when left fielder Danny Putnam tied the game with a home run off of Ramon Ortiz deep into the left field crowd. Sacramento would take a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning. Ryan Webb struggled in the bottom of the inning. He gave up a single and then hit a batter. Catcher Nestor Rojas then doubled to center field to bring home both runners.
It looked as if Sacramento had won the game again when Aaron Cunningham and Eric Munson hit back-to-back doubles to make the score 7-5 River Cats. The lead was short-lived. Left fielder John Bowker hit a two-run home run off of Jerry Blevins to tie the game once again.
Patterson stepped up in the clutch again for Sacramento in the 10th. With Matt Carson on third, Patterson flew out to center field to bring him home. Jeff Gray quickly closed out the game in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
The rubber-match of the series was never in question for the River Cats. They hit an amazing eight home runs in the game as they cruised to a 19-3 victory. Sacramento is now five games ahead of Fresno for the division lead.