SAN JOSE - A Rancho Cucamonga throwing error on a potential game-ending double play allowed the tying and winning runs to score for San Jose in the bottom of the 10th lifting the Giants to a 9-8 victory over the Quakes on Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium.
San Jose overcame a 6-1 deficit tying the game with a four-run bottom of the sixth. Chuckie Jones' solo homer in the eighth inning gave the Giants their first lead of the night only to see Rancho Cucamonga tie it up in the top of the ninth. The Quakes then reclaimed the lead with a run in the top of the 10th inning before San Jose rallied in the bottom half of the frame for the dramatic walk-off victory.
With Rancho Cucamonga ahead 8-7, the bottom of the 10th began with Quakes closer Rob Rogers issuing back-to-back walks to Alberto Robles and Shawn Payne. After Jesus Galindo's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Jones was intentionally walked to load the bases. Brandon Bednar was up next and he hit a 2-2 pitch on the ground to the second baseman Adam Law. Law flipped the ball to second to force out Jones for the second out of the inning, but the throw to first from shortstop Leo Rodriguez, in an attempt to complete a game-ending double play, sailed away for an error. Robles had already scored the tying run on the play and as the ball rolled in front of the San Jose dugout, Payne raced home with the winning run.
Tyler Rogers (4-0), who faced just one batter and ended the top of the 10th inning in a short relief stint, was credited with the win out of the Giants bullpen. Five San Jose relievers combined to throw the final 8 1/3 innings of the game.
Rob Rogers (2-4) took the loss after he was charged with both runs (one earned) in the bottom of the 10th. The Giants won the game despite not recording a hit in the final half-inning.
Rancho Cucamonga jumped out early with a three-run top of the second against San Jose starter Pat Young. Back-to-back home runs from Chris Jacobs and Tyler Ogle started the frame to make it 2-0. After Steven Proscia walked and Jeremy Rathjen singled, Dillon Moyer dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Young then plunked James Baldwin to load the bases before Rob Garvey's RBI groundout extended the lead to 3-0. Young then walked the next hitter, Law, to again load the bases and end his night. Jeff Soptic was summoned from the bullpen and he struck out Aaron Miller to end the inning.
Young lasted just 1 2/3 innings - his shortest start of the season. The right-hander surrendered three runs (all earned) on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Giants got one run back in the bottom of the second as singles from Blake Miller and Elliott Blair put two runners on base. With two outs, Robles reached on a fielding error committed by Proscia at third allowing Miller to score San Jose's first run of the night.
The Quakes answered with a run of their own in the top of the third as Soptic issued back-to-back walks to begin the inning before a Proscia sacrifice bunt and a Rathjen sacrifice fly made it 4-1. Soptic finished his long relief outing with 2 1/3 hitless innings, one run allowed, three walks and four strikeouts.
In the top of the fifth against Jorge Bucardo (2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO), Rancho Cucamonga added two more runs extending their lead to 6-1. A Robles error at second base began the rally before Ogle singled putting runners on first and second. Proscia then successfully executed his second sacrifice bunt before Rathjen delivered another sacrifice fly. Moyer was up next and he doubled down the right field line plating Ogle for a five-run cushion.
San Jose managed just two hits over the first four innings before chipping away at the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. After Payne drew a leadoff walk and Galindo singled, Jones grounded into a fielder's choice for the first out. Bednar then walked to load the bases before a Miller RBI groundout cut the lead to 6-2.
The Giants then erupted in the bottom of the sixth as the first four batters of the inning recorded hits with all four scoring runs. Blair led off with a double to deep left before moving to third on Ben Turner's bloop single into shallow right. A wild pitch then scored Blair with the first run of the inning. After Robles singled, Payne lined an RBI single into left trimming the Quakes advantage to 6-4. Galindo then fanned for the first out, but Jones followed by greeting new pitcher Craig Stem with a double into the left center field gap. The hit scored both Robles and Payne to tie the game 6-6.
Stephen Johnson (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO) worked scoreless seventh and eighth innings out of the San Jose bullpen to keep the game deadlocked. In the top of the eighth, Law attempted to score from second on Miller's one-out single into left, but was thrown out at the plate by Blair.
Then in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and the bases empty, Jones launched a home run to deep left field putting the Giants ahead 7-6. The home run was Jones' eighth of the season.
Tyler Mizenko entered in the top of the ninth, but immediately ran into trouble yielding consecutive singles to Ogle and Proscia to start the inning. After Rathjen's sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly to deep right center.
The Giants managed a two-out single from Blair, but nothing else in the bottom of the ninth as the game went into extra-innings. In the top of the 10th with Mizenko (1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO) still on the mound, Law singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch. Miller then belted a double into deep center to score Law giving the Quakes back the lead at 8-7. Mizenko then walked two hitters and left the game with the bases loaded and two outs. Rogers was summoned from the bullpen and he retired Rathjen on a groundout back to mound to end the rally setting up the dramatic bottom of the 10th.
Blair (3-for-4, 2B) and Jones (2-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) had multi-hit games to lead San Jose at the plate on Wednesday.
Notes: The Giants won their second extra-inning game in the last six days (defeated Stockton 2-1 in 12 innings last Friday) … San Jose has won five out of their last six extra-inning games (5-5 overall) … Wednesday was the Giants' second walk-off win of the season (May 22 vs. Stockton, 5-1 win in 11 innings) … The five-run deficit overcome also matched San Jose's largest comeback win of the year … The Quakes out-hit the Giants 11-10 … Rancho Cucamonga left 14 on base and was just 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position … The teams combined for 17 walks (Giants - 9, Quakes - 8) … Blair is batting .473 (26-for-55) over his last 14 games … Mizenko's scoreless inning streak was snapped at 17 (16 appearances) … San Jose improved to 15-11 and moved to within three games of Stockton (18-8) for the top spot in the second half North Division race.
On Deck: The Giants and Quakes continue their three-game series on Thursday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Chris Stratton (6-8, 4.95 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Rancho Cucamonga is expected to counter with Jharel Cotton (3-6, 5.75 ERA). A spectacular fireworks show presented by eBay will follow the game and tickets can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.