Rio Grande Valley pitcher shuts out Cats on 7-hitter

Rio Grande Valley right-hander Celson Polanco threw a seven-hit shutout against the Fort Worth Cats on Friday night, striking out 10 in the WhiteWings’ 2-0 win at LaGrave Field.

Polanco, listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, improved to 5-2 as Rio Grande Valley (42-21) remained comfortably in first place in United League Baseball, with second-place Fort Worth (34-29) eight games back.

Sam DiMatteo had two of the Cats’ seven hits. Polanco escaped jams in the first and fifth innings. The Cats’ Cory Morales was caught in a rundown between third and home in the first.

Polanco had the bases loaded with Cats in the fifth with no outs. But Oscar Garcia hit into a fielder’s choice at home for the first out, and DiMatteo was caught in a rundown between second and third.

Polanco retired 12 of the last 13 Cats he faced, with only DiMatteo reaching on a double to left field in the seventh inning.

Cats starter Jeremy Gooding (1-2) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing a run.