With the 2019 RMHC Triple-A All-Star Game less than two weeks away, the Pacific Coast League has unveiled its roster. The 32nd annual contest, which pits the top talent from each of the two Leagues at Minor League Baseball’s highest level, will be played on Wednesday, July 10 at Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego). The roster is made up of 13 elected players who have received the most votes from ballots submitted by club’s field managers and general managers, members of the media and broadcasters, and online fan voting. The elected players are joined by 20 additional All-Stars selected by Pacific Coast League officials.
Dave Brundage, the Sacramento River Cats manager, will skipper the PCL roster which features players from all 16 clubs, including a trio of relief pitchers from the Sacramento River Cats, each of whom is having a fantastic 2019 season.
Left-handed veteran Fernando Abad is in his first season with the River Cats, and has a 2.30 ERA in 27.1 innings, with a team-leading nine saves. The 33-year old has made 363 Major League appearances with five different clubs. Abad will be joined by fellow lefty Sam Selman who joined the San Francisco Giants organization this season after spending his entire career in the Kansas City Royals system. The 28-year old boasts a 1.82 ERA with an incredible 49 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Finally, the third All-Star selection from the Sacramento bullpen is ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. The switch-pitching veteran has reach the big leagues with five different organizations, and has a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings for Sacramento this season.
The PCL will look to claim its third consecutive All-Star victory after last season’s 12-7 victory at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Josh Fuentes (Albuquerque) earned PCL Top Star honors after going 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI. In the 21 years since the event changed to the current IL vs. PCL format, the International League has taken 13 of the 21 contests.
The Sacramento River Cats had defeated the Albuquerque Isotopes in seven consecutive games until Monday night when the visiting club ended the streak with a 9-5 victory.
Sacramento trailed 4-0 after the Isotopes got to pitcher Conner Menez in the fourth inning. But the River Cats immediately countered to take the lead just a half inning later as third baseman Zach Green hit his 19th home run of the season - a towering grand slam that quickly tied the game. The shot made it four homers in four consecutive games for the red-hot Green and eight in his last 10.
Second baseman Levi Michael would add an RBI sacrifice fly to give the River Cats the lead, but Albuquerque would give the River Cats a taste of their own medicine in the sixth as right fielder Sam Hilliard put the game’s second grand slam up on the board.