Peter Lambert knew his hitters would show up eventually. He did more than enough to hold up his side in the meantime.
Colorado's No. 5 prospect allowed one run on seven hits and struck out six over seven innings as Class A Advanced Lancaster topped Rancho Cucamonga, 7-3, in Game 1 of the best-of-5 California League semifinals Wednesday night at The Hangar.
"That's a good win just because we've got one more at home and then we go there for two," Lambert said. "Getting Game 1 out of the way is always big."
The right-hander retired the first eight batters before yielding a two-out single to Brandon Montgomery in the third inning. Luke Raley led off the fourth with a home run, but Lambert (1-0) allowed the Quakes to advance beyond second base just once after that.
"Going into the game, the gameplan for me and Chris Rabago, the catcher, was to get ahead and stay ahead," he said. "Let our defense do what they do. I think we executed that."
The JetHawks offense finally broke through with with six runs over the final four frames after being held to one over the first four. Brendan Rodgers led the way with two hits and two runs scored. MLB.com's No. 8 overall prospect scored the game's first run on an RBI double by Yonathan Daza in the first and broke a 1-1 tie with a run-scoring single to left in the fifth.
"In the back of my head, I knew [they would eventually score]," Lambert said. "They've done it all year long. They've put runs up all year long. I knew they would come around."
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Dodgers No. 21 prospect Caleb Ferguson (0-1) surrendered five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four over six innings for the Quakes.
Cristian Santana led Rancho Cucamonga with three hits, including a double, and an RBI.
The series stays at The Hangar for Game 2 on Thursday at 9:35 p.m. ET.
In other Cal League playoff action:
Modesto 4, Stockton 3
Jordan Cowan belted a three-run homer and Eric Filia lifted a solo shot as the Nuts took Game 1 in the other semifinal series. Right-hander Nathan Bannister (1-0) surrendered two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Sandber Pimentel clubbed a two-run blast for the Ports. All six runs were scored via the long ball. Game 2 takes place Thursday at 10:05 p.m. ET in Modesto. Gameday box score