Lake Elsinore, CA -
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes moved into a tie for one of the two potential Wild Cards in the South Division, taking their sixth straight win with a convincing 7-2 victory over the Lake Elsinore Storm on Friday night at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.
Rancho's sixth straight win overall, coupled with Lancaster's loss at Inland Empire on Friday night, moves the Quakes (62-61) into a tie with the JetHawks (62-61) and within one game of the Storm (63-60) for the other Wild Card spot.
Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Casio Grider all had two hits each, while Pederson, Chris O'Brien and Pedro Baez all drove in a pair to lead Rancho to their 17th win in 25 games over the Storm this year.
O'Brien drove in Puig twice in the first three innings, with an RBI two-out single in the first and sac fly in the third, giving the Quakes a 2-0 advantage over Storm starter Matt Lollis.
Pederson took Lollis deep in the fifth, his 17th homer of the year, giving the Quakes a 3-0 lead.
Lollis (0-4) broke down in the sixth, surrendering a two-run homer to Baez, his sixth and a single to Grider, officially chasing him from the game. Pederson brought in Grider two batters later, as his RBI double made it 6-0.
The Quakes capped their scoring with a run in the eighth, as Gabe Suarez scored when left fielder Everett Williams misplayed a Pederson double, making it 7-0.
Quakes' pitching was outstanding for a second straight night, as just one night after limiting Stockton to only three hits, they tied up Lake Elsinore for the first eight innings, before the Storm put two on the board in the ninth against Freddie Cabrera, as Luis Domoromo's two-out single broke up the shut-out bid, making it 7-2.
Ryan Acosta (3-1) earned his second straight victory, tossing five scoreless frames, while allowing just two singles. Juan Noriega was sharp in his Quakes' debut, allowing one hit over two scoreless innings.
The Quakes look for a seventh straight win on Saturday night, as they'll send Dodgers' rehabbing righthander Rubby De La Rosa (1-0) to the mound, as he'll make his third appearance in a Quakes' uniform. The Storm will go with Burch Smith (9-5), with first pitch slated for 6:05pm from The Diamond.
The Quakes will return to The Epicenter on Friday, August 24th, as 1,500 fans will receive a free Dodgertown Rancho Cucamonga Doormat, thanks to Allstar KIA. Gates open at 6:05pm and game time is 7:05pm. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.