VISALIA - The Rawhide snapped a brief two-game losing streak on Saturday night at Rawhide Ballpark, beating the Bakersfield Blaze 5-4 to draw to even in the series with two games left to play in the regular season. The win has no impact on playoff implications, as the Rawhide are already set to play the Modesto Nuts in the first round of the playoffs starting on Wednesday.
Andrew Barbosa (W, 11-9) was limited in action, as the team will try to rest his arm for much more important games in the coming week. Once again, Barbosa performed very well against the Bakersfield Blaze team. He tossed five innings, giving up one earned run on three hits. The one run came on a lead off home run from Junior Arias in the first inning.
Kevin Medrano led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and would score two batters later on an RBI-double from Jake Lamb to tie the game.
Sean Jamieson would duplicate Medrano's performance in the second inning, leading off with a double. Evan Marzilli grounded to the shortstop Juan Perez with two outs, but Perez could not handle the ball and Jamieson would score to give the 'Hide a 2-1 lead.
Gerson Montilla hit his 18th home run of the season in the fifth inning off Blaze starter Shaun Ellis (L, 0-2) to extend the Rawhide lead to 3-1.
Anthony Meo took over for Barbosa in the top of the sixth inning and Seth Mejias-Brean, a newcome for the Blaze, reached when outfielder Ryan Stovall dropped what appeared to be a rather routine fly ball. Brean would later score on a groundout RBI from Juan Duran, making it 3-2.
David Peralta and Tom Belza led off the bottom of the sixth inning with back-to-back basehits, putting runners in scoring position with no outs. But the Rawhide could only muster one run on a sacrifice fly RBI from Ronnie Freeman.
Jake Lamb tacked on his second RBI hit in the seventh inning to give the 'Hide a 5-2 lead. But Brean would make it a one-run game on a two-run homer in the eighth inning off reliever Seth Simmons.
However, R.J. Hively (S, 13) was able to shut down the Blaze in the ninth inning to secure the victory.
Only two games remain in the regular season before the Rawhide try to make a run at a California League Championship.