Sacramento’s Joan Gregorio struck out nine El Paso Chihuahuas in seven innings in the River Cats’ 7-3 victory Friday night.
El Paso has the best record in the Pacific Coast League but has struggled at Raley Field in 2016, winning just one of the five games at Sacramento’s home ballpark.
Former San Diego Padres’ catcher Miguel Olivo hit a grand slam with no outs in the first inning to highlight a six-run Sacramento frame.
The Chihuahuas never made a serious run to get back in the game, with three scattered late runs on RBIs from Manuel Margot, Taylor Lindsey and Carlos Asuaje.
Keith Hessler pitched two scoreless relief innings in his first game back since being optioned by San Diego. Jabari Blash hit a double in the loss and has now reached base in 21 consecutive road games.
Team Records: El Paso (57-42), Sacramento (44-56)
Next Game: Saturday at 8:05 p.m. vs. Sacramento at Raley Field. El Paso LHP Frank Garces (4-3, 4.15) vs. Sacramento TBA. Game coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com
Sacramento 7 El Paso 3 – Friday
WP: Gregorio (3-6)
LP: Kelly (5-1)