Estrada's grand slam lifts River Cats to victory
Las Vegas, Nev. - Shortstop Thairo Estrada managed to build upon his already-impressive first impression. His fourth-inning grand slam put the Sacramento River Cats (2-0) comfortably ahead of the Las Vegas Aviators (0-2) on Friday night for their second win of the young season.
Exactly one pitch after intentionally loading the bases, Aviators right-hander Parker Dunshee served up the bases-clearing home run to Estrada, who picked up four hits during his River Cats debut in Thursday night's season opener. His towering three-run shot in the eighth blew the game open as Sacramento eventually secured an 8-1 win to kick off their 2021 campaign. The former New York Yankees prospect has driven in eight of the team's 14 runs so far.
It was speedy center fielder Bryce Johnson, though, who got the offense started for the River Cats as he launched a two-run homer over the center field wall to give his club a 2-1 lead in the second. Johnson, along with Estrada and third baseman Mitchell Tolman, each picked up two hits in Friday night's victory. For both Estrada and Tolman, it's their second consecutive multi-hit game.
Left-hander Conner Menez gets the call for game three of this six-game series and will square off with Aviators right-hander Grant Holmes on Saturday evening. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app.
River Cats starter Nick Tropeano struck out six of the 16 batters his faced in his River Cats debut, but surrendered six hits and a walk to seven others. Pete Kozma reached on an error, one of three made by Sacramento in the first inning. This all meant Tropeano recorded just two outs that were not by way of a strikeout in his 2.2 innings of work.
Dominic Leone took the mound for the second straight game and needed just nine pitches to record the club's first save of the year. Leone logged 16 saves during the 2013 season spread amongst three different teams while pitching in the Seattle Mariners farm system, but otherwise has not generally been used in the traditional save situation.
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