Modesto, CA. - Despite two long balls by Luis Liberato, an early deficit was too large to overcome for the Modesto Nuts in a 5-4 loss to the Visalia Rawhide on Saturday night at John Thurman Field.
Colin Rodgers (L, 1-2) made his first start for the Nuts (22-27) this season and surrendered a RBI single in the first inning.
Kyle Lewis tied the game in the bottom of the first with a RBI double, the first of his two hits.
In the second, Rodgers battled his command hitting a batter and issuing a bases-loaded walk. The Rawhide (26-23) collected a sac fly and a RBI single to push across three runs in the first two innings.
Rodgers worked four innings and allowed four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Liberato's first home run came in the third against Kevin McCanna (W, 3-0). The Rawhide righty worked five innings and allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Ramon Hernandez smacked a RBI double in the fifth for the Rawhide which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Liberato smashed a second home run in the seventh inning to make it a one-run game. In the ninth, Donnie Walton walked with two outs to bring Liberato to the plate as the potential game-winning run but he struck out swinging against Kevin Ginkel (S, 4/6) to end the evening. Ginkel worked two hitless innings to earn the save for the Rawhide and set up a rubber game in the three-game series finale on Sunday afternoon.
The last game of this six-game homestand is set for 2:05 p.m. on Sunday. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 1:50 p.m. Listen live online on your phone, tablet or PC by clicking HERE.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.