The River Cats snapped their season-opening losing streak Tuesday night in Las Vegas behind a dominant performance from starter Ty Blach. The southpaw held the 51s to just a single run over six innings and, despite a late Vegas rally, led the River Cats to a 5-4 win in Sin City.
In his second start this season, Blach looked to be in mid-season form, tossing six innings of one run ball. The lefty retired the first six 51s he faced, including four by way of strikeout. Overall, Blach recorded seven strikeouts (four looking) on the evening while allowing just three hits and two walks. His six innings of work match the most by a River Cats starter so far in 2016 (Stratton, 4/9 at Salt Lake) and his 93 pitches are a new team high. Blach also had it going at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two two-out singles. He's shown he is capable with the bat, posting a .222 batting average (8-for-36) with a double, three RBI, and three walks in 2015 with Sacramento.
The rest of the offense put together more than enough to support Blach and his strong start. The River Cats doubled their hit count from last night, scoring five times on 12 hits. The pace was set by veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who smashed a solo home run to left field to lead off the sixth inning. The homer - a line drive shot down the line - put the River Cats up 2-1at the time. Olivo also had a single and a walk, ending his night 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Sacramento added on in the seventh, scoring their third run of the game on an RBI-groundout off the bat of Grant Green. Green tallied two more RBI in the top of the ninth with a two-run single, simultaneously extending his hitting streak to six games. The River Cats scored first tonight for the third time this season, putting a run on the board in the top of the third on an RBI-double to straightaway center by Ryan Lollis.
The 51s rallied late, scoring three times with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off River Cats' right-hander Mike Broadway. With the tying run on second, Broadway was able to induce a game-ending strikeout, securing the River Cats' first win of 2016 and ending the team's five-game skid. The losing streak was the longest to open a season in Sacramento's 17-year history.
This series continues tomorrow night as the River Cats look to put together back-to-back wins behind Clayton Blackburn (0-1, 3.60). The right-hander struggled in his first start of the season, committing two errors and surrendering five runs (two earned) in 5 1/3 innings against Salt Lake. Las Vegas will counter with another righty, Stolmy Pimentel (0-0, 9.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m - visiting team press release