River Cats Take 2010 Season Opener from Beavers, 6-2
PORTLAND, Ore. - Steve Tolleson had a key two-run double and Landon Powell homered to lead the Sacramento River Cats past the Portland Beavers 6-2 in front of 6,973 fans on Opening Day at PGE Park Thursday night.
Corey Wimberly collected two hits and two stolen bases and Dallas McPherson had a two-run triple for the River Cats (1-0), who reached the PCL Championship Series in 2009.
Former Sacramento outfielders Chris Denorfia and Aaron Cunningham, both making their Beavers debuts, had two hits apiece for Portland (0-1), while Dusty Ryan homered in his team debut.
River Cats starter Vin Mazzaro struck out seven Beavers through 4.1 hitless innings. Michael Benacka (1-0) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings to pick up the victory.
Despite fanning eight River Cats, Portland starter Wade LeBlanc (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings. It was LeBlanc's highest strikeout total in a Beavers uniform since also recording eight strikeouts in his final start of 2008.
The River Cats jumped on the board with three runs in the second inning thanks to a flurry of singles. Michael Taylor and Matt Carson began the frame with singles before Josh Donaldson drove in Taylor with an RBI single. Tolleson followed two batters later with his two-run double to cap the rally.
Powell's solo home run in the top of the fourth left PGE Park, nearly hitting a passing MAX train on 18th Avenue.
After Mazzaro left, Ryan collected the team's first hit of the 2010 season by belting a solo homer off the scoreboard in left-center.
Sacramento tacked on two more runs in the seventh on McPherson's two-out triple to left-center.
Denorfia then tripled in the eighth and scored on an errant pickoff throw by the catcher Donaldson.
The Beavers and River Cats continue their four-game series at PGE Park Friday night at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific).
NOTES: Third baseman Craig Stansberry started his fourth straight Beavers season opener ... Ryan was playing in his first game with the Beavers after joining the Padres in an offseason trade from Detroit ... Josh Barfield picked up a seventh-inning single in his first game with the Beavers since leading the club in hits in 2005 ... reliever Scott Munter made his Beavers debut by pitching the sixth and seventh innings ... likewise, Beavers pitcher Mark Worrell, who was acquired from St. Louis in a December 2008 trade, pitched a perfect eighth in his organizational debut.
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