With two games left in their four-game set, the River Cats got off to a quick start in the second inning against the New Orleans Zephyrs, plating two runs, one from a Nate Freiman bomb and another on a Tyler Ladendorf sac fly. The Cats held the lead and ended the game winning 4-2. After 5 2/3 solid innings from starter Arnold Leon, relieve Paul Smyth got the win and Evan Scribner got the save, his tenth of the year. The next day, the Cats were held in check and could only muster four hits as they fell 6-1.
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The losses kept coming for the Cats when, the next morning, infielder Ladendorf was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a “drug of abuse”. Ladendorf had been splendid for the River Cats with a .305/.387/.429 slash. Ladendorf had been brought up as a possibility to replace the glasses-wearing-nerd Eric Sogard, so it was a big hit, not only to the organization, but to Ladendorf’s immediate major league aspirations. He will be able to return to the River Cats in mid-August.
Feb 20, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Nick Buss poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Hitting Performance of the Week: Nick Buss went 4-6 with two runs and a walk off double that plated the winning run in a 7-6 victory over the 51’s.
After already boasting the best record in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern division, the River Cats set their sights on the league lead when they returned home for their four-game series with the Las Vegas 51’s. Josh Lindblom took the mound for the Cats and top-prospect Noah Syndergaard had the ball for Las Vegas. Syndergaard was outperformed as well as smacked around by the Cats bats and exited the game in the fourth inning after surrendering five runs. The Cats would not, however be able to hold the lead in a game that was nationally televised. But the Cats would show the viewers watching the true River Cats way of winning when they walked off in the 11th inning on an Andy Parrino walk off blast.
Pitching Performance of the Week: Evan Scribner pitched two innings of relief and allowed 1 H, 0 R, K’d four and got the W over the 51’s.
Sacramento lost the following game, but would go on to take the series, winning the remaining two games (one on another walk off). With the series win, Sacramento put themselves into a tie for first place with the 51’s.
Additionally, the River Cats Twitter announced a signing of catcher Luis Exposito, who had been released from Detroit. Outfielder Josh Whitaker joined the River Cats from Midland. Nate Freiman joined the Oakland A’s when Josh Reddick went to the diabled list after re-injuring his right knee. Infielder Alden Carrithers was activated from the DL after Freiman was called up.