SAN JOSE, CA - Fernando Perez hit a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the eighth inning as the Lake Elsinore Storm earned their second straight 5-4 victory over the San Jose Giants on Tuesday evening at Municipal Stadium. The Giants enjoyed a 4-2 lead before Lake Elsinore tied the game with two runs in the sixth and then took the lead on Perez's eighth-inning blast. San Jose (8-18) lost for the 10th time in their last 12 games.
Austin Slater (2-for-5, 2B, RBI) extended his hitting streak to nine games while Hunter Cole (1-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) hit a two-run triple to lead the Giants offensively in defeat. Jesus Galindo (2-for-5, SB), Dylan Davis (2-for-4, 2B) and Ty Ross (2-for-4, 2B) also finished with two hits apiece.
Down by two runs, Lake Elsinore began the sixth-inning rally with a single from Auston Bousfield off of San Jose starting pitcher Chase Johnson. Marcus Davis then hit a potential double play grounder to second that was bobbled by Cole. Cole eventually threw to first, but his throw pulled Brian Ragira off the base for an error - the Giants' third error of the contest. Perez was up next for the Storm and he singled sharply into left center plating Bousfield with the first run of the frame. Davis advanced to third on the play while Perez was thrown out at second attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Gabriel Quintana then grounded out to score Davis with the tying run.
San Jose threatened to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the sixth as Davis led off with a single before Ross singled with one out to put runners on first and second. Brandon Bednar then dropped down a bunt and reached safely when the throw to first from pitcher Kyle Bartsch was dropped by Marcus Davis for an error. However on the play, Ross ran towards third where Dylan Davis had already stopped resulting in two runners at the same base and the second out of the inning. Galindo then popped out to second to retire the side.
After Ian Gardeck (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO) worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, the Giants again threatened in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Slater doubled into the right field corner, but Travis Ishikawa flied out to center and Ryder Jones struck out looking.
Jake Smith entered the game out of the San Jose bullpen to begin top of the eighth and quickly recorded the first out of the inning before Perez stepped to the plate and launched a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right for a solo homer. The home run, Perez's third of the season, gave Lake Elsinore a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ross doubled into the left center field gap with two outs, but Bednar lined out sharply to second to end the inning. Storm reliever Matthew Shepherd then breezed through a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to seal the Lake Elsinore victory.
Bartsch (1-1) picked-up the win after tossing two innings of scoreless relief over the sixth and seventh. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out one. Shepherd picked-up his first save of the year.
Smith (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Giants.
San Jose jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first when Galindo led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on Cole's fly out to right and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
The Storm answered with two runs in the top of the third against Johnson taking advantage of two Giants errors in the inning. After Jeremy Baltz led off with a double and Jeremy Rodriguez dropped down a sacrifice bunt, Jose Rondon's fly ball to right was dropped by Slater for an error. Baltz scored on the play to tie the game 1-1. Johnson then threw wildly to second on a pick-off attempt moving Rondon to third before Bousfield delivered an RBI single to left for a 2-1 Lake Elsinore lead.
San Jose responded in the bottom of the third inning. After Bednar's leadoff double, Galindo blooped a single into shallow left to put runners on first and third. Cole followed with a triple off the wall in deep right center scoring both Bednar and Galindo giving the Giants a 3-2 lead. Cole then scored to make it 4-2 when the next batter, Slater, grounded out to shortstop.
Johnson worked around a two-out single in the the fourth and a two-out walk in the fifth to maintain the two-run advantage before the Storm rallied in the sixth. Johnson was charged with four runs (two earned) on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and matched a season-high with six strikeouts.
* The Giants are 10 games under .500 for the first time since the 2003 season.
* San Jose out-hit Lake Elsinore 11-9.
* The Giants were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position (Storm 2-for-5).
* Slater is batting .432 (16-for-37) during his hit streak.
* Ishikawa finished 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout on Tuesday in the second game of his rehabilitation assignment.
* The home run allowed by Smith was his first this season in 18 1/3 innings.
* Galindo stole his team-leading seventh base of the year.
* San Jose fell to 1-7 in one-run games (1-10 in games decided by one or two runs).
On Deck: The Giants and Storm continue their four-game series on Wednesday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 6:30 PM. Keury Mella (0-1, 4.58 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Lake Elsinore is expected to counter with Ryan Butler (3-1, 0.92 ERA). Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.