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 Sacramento River Cats

Complete Victory for Kitties Over Oklahoma City on Saturday

April 20, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Sacramento River Cats News Release


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Shutdown pitching and three run-scoring doubles proved to be the difference for the Sacramento River Cats on Saturday, who took a lead in the middle innings that they would not relinquish resulting in their third straight victory for the third time this season behind a 3-1 win over Oklahoma City.

Drawing his fourth start of the season, right-hander Spencer Howard (1-0) set the bar early by working a 1-2-3 first. He dodged some damage in the second but came back with clean innings in both the third and fourth, with the latter frame containing a pair of punchouts.

The River Cats (14-6) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth, with the action started thanks a two-base error on a ball hit to left field by Casey Schmitt. In the next at-bat he traded places with Brett Wisely, who doubled down the left-field line that easily scored Schmitt.

An inning later and Sacramento added onto its lead over Oklahoma City (11-9), again using two-baggers to do all the damage. The frame started with consecutive doubles from Luis Matos and Marco Luciano, the second of which from Luciano also worked its way down the left-field line for Matos to score easily.

Coming through with two outs was Schmitt, who knocked a double into left center that scored Luciano and pushed the score to 3-0. It also extended Schmitt's RBI streak to eight games, the longest Sacramento streak since Jason Vosler also drove in at least one run in eight straight from Aug. 9-22, 2022.

Howard made his way through the fifth thanks to a double play ball and a strikeout, flipping the ball to Tanner Andrews in the sixth who saw each of the first two batters reach before he buckled down and induced a pair of flyouts with a strikeout. He had to battle again in the seventh, but this time did not get through unscathed as he loaded the bases in front of a Trey Sweeney single to left for Oklahoma City's only run.

Tasked with escaping the seventh was Juan Sanchez (S, 2), who had to enter a bases loaded ballgame and closed the side with a punchout. He was left out for the final two frames, allowing only a single two-out hit in the eighth as he preserved the win. It was his second save of the season, going 2.1 innings with a trio of strikeouts. Andrews left with a hold, allowing one run on four hits in 1.2 innings.

Thanks to his five scoreless frames (along with five strikeouts), Sacramento starters have not allowed a run of any kind for a combined nine innings including Mason Black's start yesterday. Even further, River Cats starters have not allowed an earned run in a combined 14.2 innings (one unearned run).

Both Matos and Schmitt had multi-hit games, the first for Matos since he had a three-hit game in his season debut with Sacramento. Both of his hits were for extra-bases, as those were two of the five doubles in the game from the River Cats with others belonging to Wisely, Luciano and Schmitt.

That victory secured a series victory for the River Cats against Oklahoma City, their first since they won four of six from May 13-18, 2021 in Oklahoma City by taking each of the first three and the series finale.

This series concludes with game six on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. (PT).


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