River Cats settle for division title



The Sacramento River Cats forced the Reno Aces to the fifth game of the playoff series. But after leading Sacramento led 3-0 in the fifth inning they allowed Reno to score six unanswered runs and lost 7-4 at Aces Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

The loss wrapped up a winning River Cats season.

The Cats wasted no time putting runs on the board on Sunday, plating two in the top of the first with RBIs from Kila Ka’aihue and Michael Taylor. Sacramento tacked on a third run in the fifth on a Grant Green RBI-single, scoring Josh Horton.

  Cats starter Sonny Gray, who retired 10 in a row after allowing two hits in the first, gave up three runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at three. After a scoreless sixth, Reno put four runs on the board in the seventh, taking a 7-3 lead. Sacramento put a small rally together in the eighth when Green led off the frame with a triple, followed by a run-scoring double from Ka’aihue. Later in the inning, with Ka’aihue on third, Aces second baseman Taylor Harbin made a diving catch on a blooper from Daric Barton to end the threat.

After holding the Aces scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, the Cats came to the plate in the ninth, needing three runs to knot the game at seven. Reno reliever Sam Demel retired Sacramento in order, to close out his team’s 7-4 victory.

Gray allowed three earned on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings for the no-decision. Merkin Valdez suffered the loss, giving up four earned in 0.1 innings pitched. Green, Ka’aihue and Horton all had two hits, while Ka’aihue was the only Cat to drive in more than one run.

The River Cats finish their 2012 campaign with a PCL-leading 86-58 (.597) regular season record. They will try to extend their record-long stretch of PCL Division titles to seven in 2013. Tickets for the River Cats’ 2013 season are on sale now by calling (916) 371-HITS.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

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