San Jose, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino got a magnificent starting pitching performance from 20-year-old Jaime Barria on Sunday at Municipal Stadium in a 5-2 win. The righty from Panama City, Panama gave the Sixers seven strong innings and led them to their third consecutive victory at San Jose and the club's season-best fifth straight win overall. The victory got Inland Empire to 19-18 on the year and marks the first time since the 66ers' Opening Night win that they have been above even water. The Sixers did not spend a solitary second above .500 in 2016.
The 66ers got to San Jose starter Mark Reyes (1-5) in the second inning when he issued walks to Taylor Ward and Connor Justus to open the frame. Jose Rojas then blasted a two-run triple of the wall in center to make it 2-0. Jordan Serena's RBI single knocked home Rojas for an 3-0 lead. The Sixers added a run in the fifth on Matt Thaiss' RBI double off the wall in right. In the top of the seventh the 66ers capped their scoring when Rojas tagged a double off the wall in center and came home on Troy Montgomery's RBI single.
All the while Barria was barreling through the Giants offense. He allowed a triple to Bryan Reynolds in the first but stranded him and did not allow another runner until a bloop-double by Joneshwy Fargas in the sixth, a span of 14 batters in a row that were dealt with. He allowed a bunt single in the seventh to Daniel Carbonell but that was erased a pitch later when he started a double-play on a Reynolds' comebacker. In the eighth his day was finally finished after allowing a run on three consecutive singles to open the frame. Jeremy Rhoades came in and got a double play and a pop out to get out of the inning with no more damage. Barria allowed a run on six hits with no walks and a career-high nine K's in the game. Rhodes earned his fourth save of the season allowing one run over two innings.
The bottom of the Sixers order of Rojas, Jordan Serena and Jake Yacinich all turned in 2-for-4 games. Reynolds had a double and triple for the Giants (15-22).
The series concludes with a Monday matinee at 12:30 pm. The contest can be heard live on 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.