The Sacramento River Cats faced off against the Salt Lake Bees for game 2 of the four-game home stand. The Bees struck first, taking a 4-3 win Friday night powered by 2 homeruns and three runs batted in from Nick Buss. There is a continuing trend when these two teams play in Sacramento, they like to give the fans free baseballs. Last night’s 10th inning game was the third time they needed extra innings to finish the contest since the beginning of last season. Saturday night would feature another left-handed pitchers’ duel with Chris Jones of the Bees and Ricky Romero of the River Cats.
On a side note and very important note, we are reminded once again how important life and family are. Baseball is one of the greatest games ever but it is just a game. The River Cats were with out their new Manager Jose Alguacil for the second straight game as he returned home to Venezuela to be with family and pay respects. Jose’s father, Jesus Alguacil, passed away Thursday from unknown circumstances. It was roughly guesstimated that Jose would be away for a week. Fans and sports writers alike are saddened by the loss and share their condolences with the whole Alguacil family. Travel safely; this game will always be here when you return.
Ricky Romero started the game very dialed in, holding the Bees scoreless through the first 3 innings. Romero would come unraveled a bit in the fourth, that’s when shortstop Hak-Ju Lee made a great play up the middle on a hard hit ground ball, but made a throwing error while making a toss to second base to try and turn the double play. One thing that is sure as the sun coming up tomorrow, is that errors always turn into runs. This proved true again as the hot hitting Nick Buss would drive in the runners from first and second base. With a very hard hit line drive out to right center field, Buss would leg it out to get the triple.
This is when the tables would turn. The River Cats would collect five runs through the first four innings while Bees failed to score until the fourth. After Buss’s triple the Bees then poured it on the Cats, collecting ten runs, including a big five run fifth inning. The River Cats would fail to score again.
There are some big takeaways from this game. Nick Buss is continuing to stay hot after his 2 home runs in the first game followed by very hard hit triple and standup double. It will be fun to watch how long he can keep this momentum going. River Cat Jarrett Parker is really struggling. Last season he led the minors with strikeouts and, with 2 more strikeouts tonight, he is already in second place in rankings with the most strikeouts by any batter. Parker is a very powerful hitter, but it seems it’s all or nothing for the left-handed hitting outfielder. The Bees would come away with a 10-5 victory taking the first two games of the four game series.
The River Cats look to Clayton Blackburn, the number 11 ranked prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization, to give them their first home win of the 2016 season. Salt Lake sends left-hander Nate Smith to start with hopes of claiming their ninth win of this young season.
First pitch for game 3 of the series is scheduled for 1:05 pm PST.
By Joe Vicory