Posted by Mack Ade at 6:00 AM
The River Cats make it two in a row as they take game three of the series with the 51s, 5-1. Conor Gillaspie collected five hits to pace Sacramento's best offensive performance of the young season, and a late scratch of starter Clayton Blackburn forced a bullpen-game led by Vinny Mazzaro, and the veteran right-hander did not disappoint in a well-rounded River Cats team victory.
There was no score until the third, when the River Cats sent nine men to the plate and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The rally got started with three straight hits from Ramiro Pena, Ryan Lollis, and Mac Williamson. Later in the inning, Gillaspie picked up an RBI-single, and Mazzaro got in on the action with an opposite field RBI-hit. The five third inning hits are the most the River Cats have had in a single frame this year.
In the fourth, a pair of 51s baserunning mistakes kept the shutout in tact for Sacramento. First, Hak-Ju Lee was able to catch Mark Krauss trying to go to third on a grounder to shortstop. Later in the inning, Gorkys Hernandez fielded a single and made a fantastic throw to cut down Danny Muno at third. On the play, T.J. Rivera appeared to be destined to score, but the out was recorded before he crossed home plate, ending the inning without damage.
A Rivera double finally put the 51s on the board in the sixth, but that would be all they would get as the River Cats bullpen did not allow a hit the rest of the way.
Giants prospect Clayton Blackburn was scheduled to make the start on Wednesday, but was a late scratch after feeling under the weather all day. The veteran righty Mazarro was the next man up for Sacramento and filled in admirably, throwing 4 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 strikeouts. He also went 1-2 at the plate with and RBI.
A season-best day offensively was led by a huge day from Gillaspie. The River Cats third baseman finished the night going 5-5 with two doubles, a run, two RBI, and his first stolen base of the year. There were two five-hit games in 2015, one from Adam Duvall on April 19 in which he hit for the cycle, and another from Lollis on July 17. Sacramento had a modest breakout game, tallying six runs and 13 hits on the night, both season highs. - Sacamento press release