Four-Run Fifth Carries Beavers Past River Cats
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Craig Cooper had a key two-run single and Aaron Cunningham homered to back Will Inman's five strong innings as the Portland Beavers won their matinee with the Sacramento River Cats 5-1 at Raley Field Wednesday.
Cunningham's homer started a four-run rally in the fifth, capped by Cooper's two-run, infield single. Mike Baxter had his third straight multi-hit game and Sean Kazmar was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored for the Beavers (7-7), who have won four in a row over Sacramento, dating back to their season-opening series at PGE Park.
Inman (1-0) struck out five batters and allowed one run on three hits and four walks to earn his first win of the young season.
Kyle Middleton (1-1), who relieved the rehabbing Michael Wuertz after one inning, gave up four runs on six hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings.
Michael Affronti had two hits for the River Cats (7-7), who dropped their fourth straight game, all at home.
The start of the game was delayed 59 minutes due to rain.
Corey Wimberly singled, stole second and scored on a force-out off the bat of Michael Taylor in the third to give Sacramento a brief, 1-0 lead.
Portland put up four runs in the fifth to take the lead for good. Cunningham launched his first home run in a Beavers uniform over the right field wall to lead off the inning. Kazmar and Chris Stewart followed with singles and Durango plated Kazmar with a sac bunt. After walks to Craig Stansberry and Chris Denorfia, Cooper lined a two-out single off the pitcher Middleton, and as the ball rolled away, Stewart and Stansberry scored. Middleton, however, recovered in time to throw out Denorfia, who was trying to score from first on the play.
The Beavers added an insurance run in the ninth when Baxter doubled and scored on a sac fly by Kazmar.
Adam Russell worked around four hits in the eighth and ninth innings to convert his first save of the season.
The Beavers and River Cats meet again Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific).
NOTES: Durango stole his 10th base of the season in the first inning to give him a share of the PCL lead ... the Beavers won for just the second time in eight attempts when their opponents score first ... Stansberry walked twice to move into sole possession of first on the Beavers' franchise walks list with 171 ... Kazmar has at least one hit and one RBI in each of his past five games.
Beavers Game File WEDNESDAY'S GAME: Beavers 5, Sacramento 1 WINNING PITCHER: Inman (1-0) LOSING PITCHER: Middleton (1-1) SAVE: Russell (1) HOME RUNS: Cunningham (1) THURSDAY'S GAME: Portland (Radhames Liz: 1-0, 3.38) at Sacramento (Clay Mortensen: 2-0, 3.46), 7:05 p.m. (Pacific); live audio broadcast on Freedom 970 AM and www.portlandbeavers.com. Follow the Beavers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PortlandBeavers) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfficialPortlandBeavers).
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