(July 5, 2012) -- The visiting Sacramento River Cats thumped the Fresno Grizzlies, 18-4, Wednesday night to drop the Grizzlies four-and-a-half games back of the River Cats in the Pacific Southern Division.
Beginning in the first inning, the 13,839 people in attendance watched the Grizzlies start to wither under the River Cats' sizzling offense. Wednesday's attendance set a Fresno Grizzlies' record for largest July 4th crowd in Chukchansi Park's 11-year history. The previous July 4th record for the Grizzlies was 13,834 set in 2004.
Sacramento's Kila Ka'aihue drove in his first run of the game with a double in the top of the first after Grant Green and Michael Taylor hit back-to-back singles. Green scored on Ka'aihue's hit, while Taylor would score on an error by Fresno third baseman Conor Gillaspie on a groundball hit by Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson and Adam Rosales each had two home runs for the River Cats. Donaldson hit one in the third, a three-run shot, and another solo blast in the seventh. Rosales, meanwhile, hit a two-run homer in the fourth and added a grand slam in a 10-run ninth.
The 10 runs scored by Sacramento in their final at-bat were the most allowed by the Grizzlies in a single inning. The River Cats sent 13 hitters to the plate in the frame and tallied eight hits, both of which were also season-highs for a Fresno opponent.
Taylor hit a three-run homer for Sacramento in the ninth to cap the River Cats' scoring and give them five home runs on the night, also a season-high for homers allowed by Fresno.
The Grizzlies scored three of their four runs in the final two innings. Todd Linden hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Francisco Peguero in the eighth to make it 8-2 Sacramento. Peguero plated two more runs with a double in the ninth that scored Brock Bond and Gillaspie.
Peguero went 2-for-5 with the two RBIs. Brett Pill extended his multi-hit game streak to five games by going 2-for-5 with two doubles. Pill also has at least one double in his last five games.
Andrew Kown suffered the loss for the Grizzlies after he allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in four innings. Heath Hembree and Jean Machi split the 10 runs scored by the River Cats in the ninth. Hembree allowed his five over 2/3 of an inning, and Machi surrendered five runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Tyson Ross picked up the win for Sacramento as he allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Game two of the scheduled five-game series is set for Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Right-handed pitcher Eric Hacker of Fresno will oppose Graham Godfrey of Sacramento. The two hurlers were the two starting pitchers elected to the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game.