SAN JOSE - Modesto's Harold Riggins scored the go-ahead run on an error in the top of the 13th inning to propel the Nuts to a 6-5 victory over the San Jose Giants on Tuesday evening at Municipal Stadium. San Jose came back to tie Modesto four times, including with a dramatic two-out rally in the bottom of the 10th, but never held the lead at any point in the game before falling short in the 13th. The series-opening loss drops the Giants' record to 13-6.
Angel Villalona (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) had a pair of run-scoring hits to lead San Jose offensively. Kelby Tomlinson (2-for-5, RBI), Jeff Arnold (2-for-5) and Ryan Cavan (2-for-5, RBI) also finished with two singles apiece.
With the game tied 5-5, the top of the 13th began with Giants reliever Bryce Bandilla issuing a walk to Riggins. A wild pitch moved Riggins to second before Trevor Story struck out. Juan Crousset then hit a slow roller to the right side that was stopped by a diving Cavan in shallow right from his second base position. Cavan then, while still on the ground, attempted to retire Crousset at first, but sailed the throw over the head of first baseman Elliott Blair. Crousset was given a single on the play while Riggins raced home on the Cavan error to give Modesto a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the 13th, Blair drew a one-out walk, but Mac Williamson followed by grounding into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Bandilla (0-1), one of six San Jose pitchers that appeared in the game, suffered the loss after allowing the unearned run in the top of the 13th. Bandilla struck out three batters in his only inning of work.
The Giants erased early deficits scoring single runs in the first and fourth innings to twice tie Modesto. The Nuts, however took back the lead in the top of the seventh on Crousset's RBI double off Austin Fleet before Riggins doubled home a run off Josh Osich in the eighth to make it 4-2.
San Jose though would again storm back scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth to draw even. With two outs, Devin Harris singled before Villalona ripped an RBI double down the left field line to cut the Modesto lead in half. A wild pitch then moved pinch-runner Chris Lofton to third and after Arnold drew a walk, Bobby Haney blooped an RBI single into shallow left center to tie the game 4-4. The Giants had an opportunity to take their first lead of the night later in the eighth, but Shawn Payne struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning.
After both teams went down quietly in the ninth, Riggins stepped to the plate with two outs in the top of the 10th and belted a solo homer to straightaway center off of Hunter Strickland to give the Nuts a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the 10th, San Jose managed to push across another run to tie the game again. Lofton started the rally by reaching on a one-out error before moving to second on Arnold's single to left. Myles Schroder then grounded into a fielder's choice as Arnold was forced out at second. Tomlinson was up next and with the Giants down to their last strike, he lined a single into center field plating Lofton with the tying run. On the play, Schroder, the potential winning run, advanced to third, but when the throw from center bounced away, Tomlinson was thrown out at second while attempting to move up to end the inning.
San Jose put runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, however Harris popped out to end the inning. In the 12th, the Giants had runners at first and second with one out, but Tomlinson bounced into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play before Modesto reclaimed the lead in the 13th.
Geoff Parker (1-1) earned the win out of the Nuts bullpen after holding San Jose scoreless over the last 1 2/3 innings. Modesto relievers Will Rankin and Parker combined for three hitless innings to finish the game.
Notes: Tuesday marked the beginning of a six-game home-and-home series between the two teams … Modesto out-hit San Jose by a 12-11 margin … The clubs combined for 13 pitchers (Nuts - 7, Giants - 6) … San Jose is 0-2 in extra-inning games this season with both losses coming in the 13th inning … Clayton Blackburn started on the mound for the Giants and worked the first five innings with two runs (both earned) and five hits allowed … He struck out four and walked none … Jeff Soptic (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO), who pitched the 11th and 12th, was the only San Jose reliever (out of five) to not give up a run … The final game time was four hours and 31 minutes.
On Deck: The Giants and Nuts continue their three-game series on Wednesday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Edwin Escobar (0-0, 1.84 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Modesto is expected to counter with Tyler Gagnon (1-0, 6.00 ERA). It's Homecoming Night at the ballpark and tickets can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com. The game will also be televised live on Comcast Hometown Network, Channel 104.