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Sweeperoo, Blaze Take All 4 from San Jose, Win Finale 8-604/22/2012 8:10 PM ET
Break out the brooms, version 2.0! The Bakersfield Blaze, fresh off a 3-game road sweep of Visalia, delivered to its home crowd a 4-game weekend sweep of the San Jose Giants, with Sunday's final score of 8-6.
The Giants took an early lead, their first since Thursday, on a Chris Lofton leadoff home run. That was, however, all San Jose would get for nearly half a baseball game. The Blaze countered with a run in the bottom of the first, when Billy Hamilton doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Yorman Rodriguez's sacrifice fly. In the third, the Blaze padded the lead. With 1 out, San Jose starter Taylor Rogers (L, 2-1) lost his control, walking both Hamilton and Devin Lohman. A double steal moved both runners into scoring position, and Rodriguez followed with an RBI grounder. Then, with Rogers nearly out of the mess, Donald Lutz launched a 2-run shot to dead center that put the Blaze up 4-1.
San Jose trimmed the lead to 4-2 on another solo homer, but the Blaze were far from done. In the 5th, Juan Duran slugged a colossal shot to left off Giants reliever Edward Concepcion, and the Blaze led 8-2. The Giants made it interestingly late with 3 in the 7th, but Wilkin de la Rosa and Daniel Wolford (S, 3) pitched 1-2-3 8th and 9th innings to secure the 4-game sweep and win number 7 in a row.
Daniel Renken (W, 3-0) got the win for Bakersfield, going 6 innings and allowing 3 solo homers while striking out a season-high 9. The win also moved Bakersfield to 3 games over 500 for the first time this season at 10-7, and to within just 1.5 games of division-leading San Jose.
The Blaze head on the road tomorrow for 4 in Stockton and 3 in Modesto. All 7 games can be heard live on BakersfieldBlaze.com, and the Friday and Saturday contests in Modesto will be broadcast locally on SmartTalk 1230AM, with Dan Besbris calling the action live for all 7. The Blaze return home May 1 for a 6-game homestand.