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Ruiz hits birthday homer in rubber game

Ruiz and Kemp hit solo blasts as JetHawks fall in Bakersfield
May 23, 2014

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Rio Ruiz blasted a solo home run on his 20th birthday but the JetHawks dropped a rubber game to the Bakersfield Blaze, 8-2, on Thursday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

Marquez Smith put the Blaze on the board in the first inning with a two-run home run off Kent Emanuel (1-1). 

Ruiz answered in the second inning with his solo blast but the one-run deficit was as close as Lancaster would get.

Emanuel allowed back-to-back two out hits in the fourth inning to bring David Vidal to the plate. The Blaze catcher hit a 2-2 fastball over the centerfield fence to put Bakersfield up 5-1. 

Tony Kemp led off the fifth inning with a solo homer for Lancaster's final run of the game. 

Emanuel ended up allowing five runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out four without issuing a walk. 

Bakersfield added three runs over two innings against Tyson Perez to break the game open. 

Jamaine Cotton tossed a scoreless eighth inning to finish off the game for Lancaster pitchers. 

The JetHawks (27-21) dropped into second place with the loss and enters a four-game weekend series against Inland Empire one game behind Lake Elsinore. The JetHawks take on the 66ers on Friday night at The Hangar. Lance McCullers will start against Mike Clevinger. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.

The Tribute to the Rolling Stones fireworks show will follow the game. Friday is also Cancer Awareness Night. 

Don't miss a moment of exciting JetHawks action at The Hangar in 2014. Season tickets and other great ticket packages are on sale now. To order, call (661) 726-5400 or visit