MODESTO - Devin Harris homered for the fifth consecutive game and the San Jose Giants held off a late Modesto rally to earn a 5-3 victory over the Nuts on Sunday afternoon at John Thurman Field. Jeff Arnold and Mac Williamson also homered as the Giants completed a sweep of the three-game series and extended their winning streak to a season-high five.
Harris (1-for-4, HR, RBI) hit his sixth home run in the last five games and team-leading eighth this season to lead the San Jose offensive attack. Arnold (1-for-4, HR, RBI) and Williamson (2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI) also connected for their third home runs of the year while Bobby Haney (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) contributed two hits.
The Giants built a 5-0 lead over the Nuts with two runs in the second inning, one run in the fifth and two runs in the top of the sixth. Harris got San Jose on the scoreboard when he led off the second with a towering home run down the left field line. Three batters later, Arnold belted a solo homer to left center for a 2-0 advantage.
The Giants extended their lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning as Haney led off with a double down the left field line. Shawn Payne then dropped down a sacrifice bunt and when Nuts pitcher Dan Winkler threw wildly to first for an error, Haney raced home with the third San Jose run of the contest.
In the top of the sixth, Williamson led off with a line drive homer to left. Chris Lofton followed the home run with a triple into the right field corner and eventually scored on Haney's two-out single to make it 5-0.
Austin Fleet made his first start of the season for the Giants and tossed four scoreless innings with just one hit allowed. The reigning California League Pitcher of the Week issued two walks and struck out six during his 59-pitch performance. The only hit Fleet allowed was a leadoff single to Tyler Massey in the bottom of the first. Modesto threatened against Fleet in the second as two walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with none out, but the San Jose starter recovered to strikeout the next three hitters, Juan Crousset, Will Swanner and Niko Gallego, to keep the Giants ahead by two runs.
Luis Rojas (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) relieved Fleet to begin the bottom of the fifth and kept the Nuts off the scoreboard in his first inning of work. Modesto finally broke through in the sixth inning as Brian Humphries singled to lead off, advanced to second when Taylor Featherston was hit by a pitch and scored on Harold Riggins' one-out single up the middle.
Bryce Bandilla (2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) pitched the seventh and eighth innings for San Jose and surrendered a single run in each frame as the Nuts closed to within 5-3. In the bottom of the seventh, Swanner led off with a double to deep left, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Then in the eighth, Featherston led off with a double before back-to-back groundouts scored the run.
In the ninth, Josh Osich (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO) entered the contest and promptly allowed a leadoff single to Crousset and a one-out single to Gallego to put runners on the corners. Massey was up next as the potential winning run, but Osich induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Rojas (3-1) was credited with the win for the Giants while Osich earned his fourth save of the season.
Winkler (2-1) suffered his first loss of the year after yielding five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight.
Notes: The Giants posted a 5-1 record during the six-game home-and-home matchup with Modesto this week … After losing the first game to the Nuts last Tuesday, San Jose won five in a row … In his last five games, Harris is 9-for-21 (.429) with six home runs and 14 RBI's … His eight home runs are tied for the league lead … Williamson homered for the first time since April 7 … The Giants out-hit Modesto by an 8-7 margin … San Jose pitchers had combined for 18 consecutive scoreless innings going back to the bottom of the eighth on Friday before the Nuts pushed across a run in the sixth inning on Sunday … Ryan Cavan (nine games), Harris (eight games) and Arnold (seven games) extended hitting streaks … Fleet has allowed just five hits and three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings this season (1.84 ERA) … Modesto was 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position … Shortstop Kelby Tomlinson (strained quad) was placed on the 7-day disabled list before the game … Infielder Ydwin Villegas was activated off the DL … This series marked San Jose's first sweep of the season … The Giants improved their overall record to 18-6 - three games ahead of the Visalia Rawhide (15-9) in the first half North Division race.
On Deck: After an off day on Monday, the Giants begin a seven-game homestand Tuesday evening with the first of three straight contests against the Bakersfield Blaze. First pitch of the series-opener at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Clayton Blackburn (2-0, 1.64 ERA) is slated to make the start on the mound for San Jose while Bakersfield is expected to counter with Jake Johnson (1-1, 8.22 ERA). Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.