San Bernardino, CA- The Modesto Nuts rode a six-run sixth inning for a 9-2 win on Wednesday night sending the Inland Empire 66ers to their fifth consecutive defeat (matching their longest skid of the year). Angels infielder Yunel Escobar was 2-for-3 with a RBI in the loss on a Major League rehab assignment for the Sixers.
Modesto (31-22) took a 1-0 lead against Sixers' starter Jose Rodriguez (5-4) in the top of the first as the righty battled through a 33-pitch frame. The Nuts loaded the bases and it appeared Rodriguez would escape unscathed but a Sixers' error allowed an unearned run to score. Rodriguez left the bases loaded however and was unscored upon until the fateful sixth inning. Inland Empire evened the game in the third inning. Cody Ramer, who had doubled scored on Escobar's RBI single to center making it 1-1 against Modesto starter Reggie McClain (7-2). It would be the lone run McClain allowed in his six innings giving up five hits, no walks and fanning four.
The Nuts unloaded in the sixth ad Rodriguez did not escape the frame. He allowed a double to Logan Taylor and then a one-out sac fly to Joey Curletta making it 2-1. Rodriguez walked the next batter and was lifted for reliever Jon Fitzsimmons. The righty walked the next two men including one for a RBI. A two-run single by Braden Bishop and two-run triple by Chris Mariscal made it a 7-1 lead for Modesto. The Nuts tacked on two more in the seventh when Curletta drilled a two-run homer to left, his sixth of the year for a 9-1 lead.
Inland Empire (25-28) did score in the ninth when Michael Barash doubled to open the frame and Jared Walsh knocked him home with his own two-bagger making it 9-2. Cody Ramer had a three-hit contest, his second of the season. The Simi Valley, CA native was 3-for-3 with two doubles.
The series continues Thursday at 7:05 pm. The contest can be seen and heard live at 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.