It was the dynamite arms of the Blaze that started this recent run, but on a cool Friday night in Lancaster, the Bakersfield Blaze bats came alive, scoring 9 runs on 16 hits en route to a 9-7 win over the host Jethawks.
Tanner Robles got the start for Bakersfield, and though his stuff was electric -- Robles fanned 9 batters in just 4.0 innings -- he also struggled with control. Tanner issued 5 walks, and the Jethawks were able to get enough offense with those free passes on base to drive the Blaze southpaw from the mound early in the game.
The Blaze paid that no mind, however, as the offense was the story. Jethawks starter David Rollins (L, 2-1), who came into this game having not allowed an earned run on the season, was decidedly human tonight. In the 4th inning, with the Blaze trailing 1-0, the Bakersfield offense splashed six singles and scored four times to take a 4-1 lead.
Then, just one inning later, trailing 5-4, the Blaze offense did it with extra-base knocks, including Dominic D'Anna's second homer of the year, a two-run shot that put the Blaze back up 8-5.
The Blaze would not relinquish that second lead. Pat Doyle (W, 1-0) entered in the 5th, and worked three innings of 2-run baseball, allowing the runs on a Zach Johnson solo homer, and El'Hajj Muhammad and Brian Pearl (S, 1) combined to face just 6 batters in the 8th and 9th and close the game out.
On offense, Juan Duran collected his first dinger of the year, a solo shot in the 9th, to put the Blaze up 9-7, and the offensive player of the game, Yorman Rodriguez, posted the first four-hit night for any Blaze this season.
Every Blaze position player reached base safely in the game, and the team's marks of 9 runs and 16 hits were both season highs.
With the win, the Blaze have now collected three straight victories, and will try for a second straight series win by taking any of the next two games in Lancaster.
The series continues on Saturday night at 7:05pm, with Carlos Contreras getting the nod for the Blaze, and Luis Cruz for the Jethawks. Tune in to the broadcast on radio or internet, with Dan Besbris calling the action on SmartTalk AM-1230 locally, or online at BakersfieldBlaze.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.