River Cats Report: Billy Burns Blazing a Trail in Sacramento


From July 17- 28, the River Cats went 6-7 on their road-trip, heading into a four-game home set with the Albuquerque Isotopes. The Isotopes came into Sacramento swinging, beating the Cats 7-4 by bashing 12 hits in what would be Tommy Milone‘s last start for the River Cats and Oakland organization. Milone was traded to Minnesota for Sam Fuld just days after.

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Mar 6, 2014; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Billy Burns (19) is caught in a run down between first and second base in the sixth inning of their spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

But, that would also be the last loss of the series Sacramento as they would sweep the remaining three games. Arnold Leon, Deck McGuire and Zach Neal would each pick up Ws. But possibly an even bigger highlight of the series took place in the fourth game of the series: Billy Burns was sent to the River Cats and he’s blazed a trail. He went 0-4 in his first AAA appearance but also had a BB, two stolen bases and two runs. Not too shabby for the speedster.

Hitting Performance of the Week: Nick Buss‘ hit streak. a seven game streak where Buss has gone 13-29 with three runs and seven RBI.

The Cats would then open up a series with Las Vegas and Burns would once again be in the lead-off spot. This time he’d go 1-5, with the hit being a phenomenal infield single, also scoring a run and the Cats would see another victory. A 7-5 win, with Drew Pomeranz being the star of the show. Pomeranz pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and struck out seven.

Pitching Performance of the Week: Zach Neal with 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 Ks and a W over Albuquerque.

The River Cats would fall to Las Vegas the next two games to set up a fourth game that Sac will need to tie the four-game series. But the losses also came with some light for the River Cats. Billy Burns made a pair of tremendous catches that have all but earned him a regular slot on SportsCenter.

Burns Catch 1:

Burns Catch 2:

Additionally, the Cats brought up Burns as stated earlier. With Oakland losing Nick Punto to a hammy injury, Nate Freiman was called up once again. Milone, as mentioned, was traded.