Cotton Strong, but Quakes Fall to Sixers

Fourth-straight start of at least seven innings for the righty

Jharel Cotton has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts for Rancho. (Steve Saenz/Rancho Cucamonga Quakes)

By Brandon Liebhaber / Rancho Cucamonga Quakes | August 9, 2014 1:38 AM ET

Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Rancho Cucamonga got another strong start from Jharel Cotton on Friday night, but it wasn't enough as they fell 5-1 to Inland Empire at San Manuel Stadium. Rancho has lost six of their last seven games, but they remain tied with Lancaster atop the South Division.

Jharel Cotton (5-9, 4.58) was excellent on the mound for the Quakes. He gave up just two runs over seven innings of work, but was saddled with the loss as Rancho's offense could not back him up. It was the fourth-straight game that Cotton went at least seven innings while giving up two earned runs or fewer.

Rancho Cucamonga (26-22, 58-60) struck first with a run in the fourth inning. Aaron Miller led off with a double to left-center field. Three batters later, he came home on a single by Kyle Farmer to give Rancho a 1-0 lead. Farmer went 2-for-4 in the game.

Inland Empire (21-26, 46-71) answered right back with a run in the home-half of the inning. Dennis Raben, who had homered in four straight games, walked. With two outs, Angel Rosa tied the game with an RBI double over Adam Law's head in left field to score Raben.

The Sixers took the lead in the sixth thanks in large part to Raben. He led off with a double and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Just like the fourth inning, it was Angel Rosa who drove him in. Rosa's sac fly to left field plated Raben to give the home team a 2-1 edge. Raben scored each of the first three runs for Inland Empire.

After seven strong innings from Cotton, Yasmanys Fernandez entered to pitch the eighth. The 66ers put the game out of reach with three runs on two hits against Fernandez. Exicardo Cayones' two-run single gave Inland Emprie a 5-1 lead.

The loss was Rancho's sixth in their last seven games. They have scored exactly one run in three of those losses. Despte the defeat, the Quakes remain tied for first place in the South Division because of Lancaster's loss in San Jose.

The four-game series in San Bernardino continues on Saturday night. Luis Chirinos (0-1, 27.00) will make his second start for the Quakes opposite Inland Empire righty Dillon Ortman (0-0, 0.00), who will be making just his second appearance of the season for the 66ers. First pitch from San Manuel Stadium is at 7:05 pm and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports AM 1350 starting with the LoanMart Pregame Report at 6:50. 

Rancho returns home on August 12 for a seven-game home stand starting with three games against the San Jose Giants. Tuesday, August 12 is a Healthy RC Recycle Tuesday! Bring 10 CRV-eligible bottles and cans to the ballpark and receive a free club-level ticket thanks to the City of Rancho Cucamonga and the Healthy RC Program! Wednesday, August 13 is a Terra Vista Animal Hospital Bark in the Ballpark! Bring your four-legged friend to the game for just $3, with proceeds going to the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter. Thursday, August 14, is a Thirsty Thursday! Get 24-oz. Pepsi products and 16-oz. domestic drafts for just $2 while 16-oz. premium drafts, wine, champagne and margaritas are only $3 thanks to Bernards Construction! Tickets are still available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at We hope to see you at LoanMart Field for the next home stand! Go Quakes!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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