Shaw powers River Cats to team's 12th division title
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For the first time since 2012, the Sacramento River Cats (70-66) are heading to the Pacific Coast League playoffs. On the back of first baseman Chris Shaw's career night at the plate, the River Cats eliminated the Reno Aces (64-72) with a 10-2 victory and clinched their first division title in seven years.
Shaw homered in each of his first three plate appearances on Thursday night, setting the tone early with a three-run bomb in the first inning off Aces starter Riley Smith. He would go on to clear the fence twice more - both two-run homers - en route to a 3-for-3, seven-RBI night that also included a hit-by-pitch.
After right-hander Chase Johnson allowed two runs in the first four innings, Sacramento's bullpen would shut things down with five scoreless, including a three-strikeout ninth from left-hander Williams Jerez to seal the clinching win.
The River Cats will close out the 2019 regular season with a four-game set against the El Paso Chihuahuas beginning Friday evening. Right-hander Burch Smith (7-4, 2.63) will get the start for Sacramento while El Paso will have rehabbing righty Jacob Nix (1-0, 0.00) on the mound. 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, and on Money 105.5 FM.
Shaw tied a franchise record with his three-homer night, which was the first of his pro career. The mark had been set 10 times in Sacramento's 20-year history, and three times this season (Mac Williamson, Jaylin Davis). And with his seven runs batted in, Shaw fell one short of tying the 15-year old franchise record for RBI in a single game. That mark was last set in 2004 by Dan Johnson, and originally in 2002 by Cody McKay.
Outfielder Mike Gerber's two doubles brought his season total to 41, tying him for the franchise record for two-baggers in a single season with Mike Edwards (2004).
The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion -San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the River Cats' 20th season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). The only place to guarantee official River Cats tickets is at www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.
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