Rancho Cucamonga, CA - The Lake Elsinore Storm calmed the white-hot Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Thursday night, handing Rancho their third loss of the second half with a 7-3 win.
A first inning score put the Storm up early. Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Diego Goris singled him home in the next at-bat to give Lake Elsinore a 1-0 advantage.
Bryan Rodriguez (W, 4-5) turned in a sterling performance lead the Eyes to victory. The right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, finishing seven innings while allowing one run on two hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Gabriel Quintana broke the game open in the third. After two quick outs, Gonzalez worked a walk and Mallex Smith reached on an error that kept the inning alive. Dane Phillips watched four straight balls to load the bases, and Quintana swatted a 390-foot bomb to left for the second Storm grand slam of the season.
Jeremy Baltz added an insurance run in the fourth with his fourth homer of the year, and he later scored in the sixth to give Lake Elsinore a 7-0 lead.
Rancho Cucamonga broke up the no-no with a home run in the seventh, and another long ball in the eighth made it 7-3. After the second dinger, reliever Chris Nunn went on to retire the next four batters he faced to secure the victory.
Seven of nine Lake Elsinore starters recorded a hit, four of whom had two-knock efforts.
The victory improves the Storm (53-58) to 9-4 against the Quakes (50-41), who are now 18-3 since the All-Star Break.
Lake Elsinore returns to The Diamond tomorrow for the first of four with the High Desert Mavericks. Zach Eflin (7-5, 3.75 ERA) will oppose Dylan Unsworth (5-8, 6.94 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05pm.