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Donaldson, River Cats defeat Sky Sox 7-1

Third baseman Josh Donaldson led the River Cats to a 7-1 victory against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Raley Field Tuesday night.

Donaldson finished the game 3-4 and a walk, including a two-run double that gave the Cats the lead in the fifth inning. Donaldson finished the game with three runs batted in.

Sacramento starting pitcher Graham Godfrey had another solid outing as he pitched six innings and struck out five batters while giving up six hits and one unearned run.

Colorado’s only run came in the second inning when shortstop Brendan Harris reached base on an error by River Cats shortstop Adam Rosales. Harris then reached third on a hit-and-run play with right fielder Hernan Iribarren at the plate. Harris was eventually brought home on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Brown to give the Sky Sox an early 1-0 lead.

Sacramento tied the game up in the third inning when center fielder Jermaine Mitchell reached first on an error but then was able to make it to home plate following a walk and another Sky Sox error. Mitchell finished the game 0-3, ending his hitting streak at nine games. Mitchell did score two of the River Cats seven runs, reaching base on an error and a walk.

The River Cats threatened to extend their 3-1 lead in the sixth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out but eventually failed to do so. With the bases loaded, Sky Sox pitcher Jared Wells was able to work out of the inning, getting Rosales to fly out to the shortstop, followed by getting Mitchell to fly out to left field.

But the Sky Sox couldn’t keep the River Cats from scoring for much longer.

Following a single from designated hitter Chris Carter in the seventh inning, River Cats first baseman Brandon Moss hit a two-run home run to deep left-center field to extend the lead to 5-1. Moss has a team-high six home runs on the season.

After hitting two hard-hit balls that were caught by the outfield, outfielder Michael Taylor was able to finally find the grass when he hit a double off the wall to continue the River Cats rally.

Taylor reached third base on his sixth stolen base before continuing across home to bring the score to 5-1 when Sky Sox catcher Wilkon Castillo’s throw found the outfield.

Sacramento added one more insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Donaldson hit a single to score second baseman Brandon Hicks.

River Cats reliever Merkin Valdez came in at the top of the ninth inning and only allowed one hit to preserve the River Cats 7-1 victory over the Sky Sox, making Sacramento 17-9 for the season. 

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