Liz Matches Beavers Strikeout Record In Win
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Radhames Liz tied a franchise record with 11 strikeouts, Chris Stewart hit his first home run of the season and the Portland Beavers held on to beat the Sacramento River Cats 5-4 at Raley Field Thursday night.
Liz (2-0) gave up one run on three hits and two walks over six innings, striking out two batters each in the first, second, third, fourth and sixth innings, and one in the fifth. The Dominican-born right-hander joins Oliver Perez, Steve Watkins and Wade LeBlanc, who did it twice, as Beavers to record 11 strikeouts in a game.
Stewart, Craig Cooper, Aaron Cunningham and Craig Stansberry all had two hits for the Beavers (8-7), who have defeated the River Cats (7-8) five straight times for just the third time in franchise history (since 2001). Portland aims for its second-ever sweep of the River Cats Friday.
Jack Cust and Chris Carter had RBI doubles and Corey Wimberly had two steals and scored twice for the River Cats, who have dropped five straight games, all at home.
Clay Mortensen (2-1) suffered his first loss for Sacramento, allowing two runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks in five innings.
Cust doubled home Wimberly in the first inning to give the River Cats their only lead of the night.
Portland got on the board in the second on Stansberry's RBI single and an error by shortstop Steve Tolleson that allowed Dusty Ryan to score from second.
Stewart led off the top of the seventh with his solo homer, before a sequence of singles by Sean Kazmar, Cooper, Cunningham and Lance Zawadzki off reliever Jon Hunton plated two more runs to put the Beavers up 5-1.
The River Cats would rally for three in the bottom of the seventh as Liz was replaced by Mark Worrell. Anthony Recker and Tolleson singled to begin the inning, and a throwing error by the first baseman Stewart allowed Recker to score. Following a run-scoring force-out by Wimberly, Carter, who had fanned three times against Liz, hit an RBI double to pull Sacramento within one.
Ryan Webb retired the River Cats in order in the eighth and Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless ninth to lock up his third save in as many tries.
Portland finishes its eight-game road trip on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific) in Sacramento. The Beavers begin a four-game homestand at PGE Park on Saturday when they host the Fresno Grizzlies at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: Stewart, primarily a catcher, made his first start at first base this season ... Kazmar's consecutive games streak with an RBI came to an end at five ... Liz struck out eight batters in five scoreless innings in his first start of the season, April 12 vs. Colorado Springs ... it was Liz's highest strikeout total since punching out a career-high 14 batters in a Class AA Eastern League game with Bowie on Aug. 14, 2007 ... Worrell had only allowed one base runner in six outings (7.1ip) entering the game ... Webb extended his season-opening scoreless streak to nine innings; he has totaled nine strikeouts over the streak ... Frieri allowed his first hit of the season (7.0ip) when Wimberly singled in the ninth.
Beavers Game File THURSDAY'S GAME: Beavers 5, Sacramento 4 WINNING PITCHER: Liz (2-0) LOSING PITCHER: Mortensen (2-1) SAVE: Frieri (3) HOME RUNS: Stewart (1) FRIDAY'S GAME: Portland (Nathan Culp: 0-1, 9.00) at Sacramento (Vin Mazzaro: 1-1, 2.51), 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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