Sacramento rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to overtake the Zephyrs on Sunday at Zephyr Field.
The Zephyrs (41-36) led 3-1 entering the inning, but the River Cats (44-33) put runners on first and second with one out. Josh Reddick, on a rehab assignment from the Oakland A’s, grounded to second baseman Donovan Solano, who turned to throw to second, but the ball slipped out of his hand to load the bases.
Nate Freiman followed with a single to left, scoring Ryan Lipkin and Jake Elmore to tie it. One out later, Nick Buss singled, scoring Reddick with the go-ahead run.
“It was a slow-hit ball, and I had to catch it and to turn quickly to make the throw,” Solano said. “I was trying to get the lead runner. That was the tying run.”
The error was the third of the game for the Zephyrs, who have the fewest in the Pacific Coast League this season.
WHAT: Sacramento River Cats at Zephyrs
WHERE: Zephyr Field, Metairie
WHEN: 7 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHERS: River Cats RHP Arnold Leon (7-2, 4.91 ERA) vs. Zephyrs RHP Elih Villanueva (8-3, 2.85)
RADIO: WMTI-FM, 106.1
Where they want to be
Coming off what manager Andy Haines said was “a tough loss” Sunday, there’s no pitcher he would like to have on the mound Monday more than Villanueva.
“He’s really been picking our club up all year,” Haines said.
Villanueva’s last outing, a 5-1 home win Wednesday against Fresno in which he allowed just two hits in six innings, was the third time since May 8 in which he has followed a Zephyrs loss with a victory. Villanueva (8-3) is in a three-way tie for the most wins in the Pacific Coast League, and he is seventh in ERA at 2.85.
“I try to work fast, stay ahead of (hitters) and let the defense work, “ he said. “It’s been good as far as trying to stay within myself and not do too much.”
Second baseman Derek Dietrich, who was sent to New Orleans by the Miami Marlins to work on fielding and get everyday plate appearances, was called back up Sunday. Dietrich had just one error in 13 games. He batted .340 (17-for-50) with six home runs and 10 runs. The Zephyrs were 9-4 with him in the lineup since he arrived June 3. Dietrich, 24, was called up to replace Rafael Furcal, who has a strained left hamstring. … A’s pitcher Eric O’Flaherty made a rehabilitation start for Sacramento. He pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.