In a ballgame that was closer than the final score would indicate, the Bakersfield Blaze committed five errors that led to 13 unearned Modesto Nuts runs - the only runs that the Nuts would score in the game - and the Blaze fell by double digits in the middle game of the series, 13-3, on Tuesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark.
The story of the contest was defense.
Andrew Moore (L, 0-1) got the starting nod for the Blaze, and the former Oregon State standout got burned in the 2nd inning. A leadoff error led to four runs - the final three scoring on a Max White homer - and the Blaze were buried 4-0 early.
Meanwhile, Yency Almonte (W, 1-0) looked strong in his Modesto debut, working 5.1 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.
After Modesto plated their fifth unearned run of the game off of Aaron Brooks to take a 5-0 lead, Brock Hebert made it a game in the bottom of the 7th. Arby Fields walked and Drew Jackson collected one of his three hits on the night before Hebert deposited a Craig Schlitter fastball beyond the leftfield wall for his first homer of the year. The Blaze trailed just 5-3.
In the next half inning, though, the wheels came off. With Ronald Dominguez on the hill, a key error extended the inning, and Modesto went on to string together a stretch of six straight batters reaching safely. In all, the Nuts sent 12 batters to the plate, scored eight times, and blew the game wide open, 13-3.
For the Blaze offensively, in addition to Jackson's nice game, Hebert reached base four times and fell a triple short of the cycle.
The Blaze and Nuts will square off in the rubber match on Wednesday morning at 11:00am. It's School Day at the park, and more than 1,700 kids are expected in attendance.
In case you're working and can't make it, we've got you covered. Tune in to all the action live online at BakersfieldBlaze.com and via TuneIn Radio. Dan Besbris has the call with pregame show set for 10:50am.