San Bernardino, CA - Rancho Cucamonga fell for the seventh time in their last eight games in a 10-4 loss to Inland Empire on Saturday night at San Manuel Stadium. The Quakes left 12 men on the bases and gave up 14 hits to the 66ers, but they remain in a tie with Lancaster atop the South Division.
Inland Empire (22-26, 47-71) jumped on the Quakes early with three runs in the first. Luis Chirinos (0-2, 14.14) faced eight batters in the inning and gave up three runs. Two scored on a single by Dennis Raben, who drove in three in the contest.
Rancho Cucamonga (26-23, 58-61) pulled to within one with a pair of runs in the third. With one out, Rob Garvey tripled home Casio Grider to put the Quakes on the board. Two batters later, Garvey stole home as Inland Empire threw down to second in an unsuccessful attempt to gun down Aaron Miller. It was 3-2 at the end of four, but that was as close at Rancho got.
Those two runs were all Rancho scored off of Inland Empire starter Dillon Ortman (1-0, 2.45). The righty, who was signed in June after going undrafted, earned the victory in his second-career California League appearance.
The Sixers pulled away with two runs in the fourth. Sherman Johnson drove in Zach Wright with a triple to left-center. Johnson would later score on a balk by Chirinos, who gave up five runs on six hits over four innings.
Rancho's bullpen also struggled against the Inland Empire offense on Sunday. After James Baldwin got a run back with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, the 66ers hit three RBI triples in the bottom-half. Inland Empire set a season-high with four three-baggers in the game.
Pratt Maynard continued his success on offense with a pair of hits, including an RBI single in the seventh. He reached base three times in the contest. Maynard is 9-for-20 over his last five games. James Baldwin added a pair of hits as well for the Rancho offense.
Rob Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Quakes. Rancho's other three pitchers all gave up at least two runs in the game.
The loss was Rancho's seventh in their last eight games, but they remain tied with Lancaster atop the South Division with the JetHawks' loss to San Jose on Saturday night. All five teams in the division are within 3.5 games of each other in the Second Half.
After winning their first eight games against Inland Empire in the Second Half, Rancho has dropped three in a row to the 66ers. The Quakes will try to avoid a sweep in the series finale on Sunday evening in San Bernardino. Rancho sends southpaw Tom Windle (10-6, 4.28) to the bump opposite Ray Hanson (2-3, 3.40) for the Sixers. First pitch from San Manuel Stadium is at 5:05 pm and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports AM 1350 starting with the LoanMart Pregame Report at 4:50 pm.
After an off-day on Monday, 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 rcquakes.com. 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.