Modesto, CA- A rough debut for Rancho's Jordan Sheffield was too much to overcome on the road in a 6-4 loss to Modesto on Wednesday night.
Sheffield (0-1) was removed after not retiring a batter in the fifth inning. He finished with just four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking a career-high six batters.
The offense backed him early, but it was not enough. Darien Tubbs gave the Quakes an early lead with a lead-off solo home run to begin the game. That lead quickly disappeared when Kyle Lewis and Joey Curletta both plated runs on doubles in the bottom of the first inning for the Nuts and it was 2-1.
The Quakes came back to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI double from Omar Estevez following a Zach Reks lead-off double in the inning. Reks finished the night 3-for-5 for his fifth three-hit game in seven starts with Rancho Cucamonga.
Estevez then gave the Quakes the lead in the next inning with an RBI single and Keibert Ruiz lined a sacrifice fly into left field to give Rancho a two-run cushion.
That advantage did not last long as the Nuts got to Jason Richman out of the bullpen after chasing Sheffield in the bottom of the fifth. Sheffield hit the first batter he faced and walked the next two on eight pitches to load the bases before he was pulled. Richman then allowed a two-run double to Rayder Ascanio and a two-run single to Jordan Cowan that gave Modesto a 6-4 lead.
The bullpens then took over the game with four dominant innings, in which both teams were held scoreless.
Joey Strain (3-2) earned the win for Modesto, despite giving up two runs in the top of the fifth inning. He finished with one and two-thirds innings pitched, giving up two runs on four hits.
Matt Festa closed out the game and notched his third save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
Rancho Cucamonga (29-17, 65-51) will look for a series win against Modesto (22-24, 61-55) on Thursday, August 7th, at 7:05 PM. That game will mark the final match-up of 12 between the two teams in the regular season.
Rancho is expected to turn to left-hander Michael Boyle (4-4), while the Nuts will send righty Reggie McClain (9-8) to the mound.
The Quakes will be back home on Monday for the first game of a four-game set with Stockton. Monday's game will be Social Media Monday. Fans will enjoy viral videos on the video board throughout the night and potentially win great prizes if they follow the Quakes on any social media platform! Tickets are available for Monday's game and all Quakes' home games at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.