Quakes' Bats Dampened by Rawhide
A half-hour rain delay cooled off the red-hot Rancho Cucamonga offense, leading to a 3-1 loss against Visalia at LoanMart Field on Saturday night.
The Quakes (10-11, 51-40), who scored 21 runs during their last two games at High Desert, were stymied by Rawhide starter Anthony Banda (6-7). The left-hander, considered by Baseball America as the 17th-best prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system, tossed eight scoreless innings, scattering six hits while striking out seven, one shy of a season-high.
Rancho Cucamonga's best opportunity against Banda occurred in the bottom of the third inning. Dillon Moyer doubled and advanced to third on a groundout, but a fly out by Johan Mieses ended the threat.
With a hearty crowd of 4,105 braving the rain showers, Visalia (16-6, 58-34) broke through against Quakes' starter Brock Stewart (2-2) in the fourth inning. Jamie Westbrook doubled to right and scored on Gerson Montilla's single up the middle, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Rawhide tacked on another run against Stewart in the fifth. Breland Almadova led off the inning with an infield single. Fidel Pena singled to center field, advancing Almadova to third. With runners at the corners, Domingo Leyba delivered a base-hit to right, plating Almadova for a 2-0 advantage.
Stewart, tabbed by Baseball America as the 28th-best prospect in the Dodgers' system, allowed two runs and eight hits over five innings while striking out three.
Visalia, which now has the best road record in the California League at 34-16, added an insurance run against reliever Kyle Hooper in the seventh. With two outs in the inning, Pena singled for his third hit of the contest. Leyba walked, placing runners at first and second. Kevin Cron drilled a double to the left-center field gap, chasing Pena home for a 3-0 edge.
Rancho Cucamonga mustered one final rally in the ninth inning. With right-hander Mason McCullough on in relief, Tim Locastro was hit by a pitch and Cody Bellinger walked. Josmar Cordero singled to left field, scoring Locastro to spoil the Rawhide shutout bid and make it a 3-1 game.
Right-hander Bud Jeter entered from the bullpen, with the potential winning run at the plate for the Quakes and no outs in the inning. Paul Hoenecke popped out and Webster Rivas grounded into a double play, preserving the Visalia victory while giving Jeter his first save of the season.
With the loss, the Quakes have dropped five of their last six games at LoanMart Field, dating back to the last homestand against Lancaster and Inland Empire. Rancho Cucamonga is now 5-4 against the league-best Rawhide this year.
The Quakes will try to bounce back in the second game of the four-game set against Visalia on Sunday evening. Rancho Cucamonga is slated to throw right-hander John Richy (7-3, 4.27 ERA), while the Rawhide are expected to counter with right-hander Ryan Doran (5-1, 3.17 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 pm. If you can't make it to LoanMart Field, you can follow all the action on FOX Sports 1350 AM, beginning with the LoanMart Pregame show at 4:50.
Sunday's game against Visalia is Viva Los Quakes Night, as we honor the area's Latino heritage while saying "thank you" to our Hispanic fans! Tickets for all remaining Quakes' home games are available at rcquakes.com or by calling (909) 481-5000. We hope to see you very soon at LoanMart Field…Go Quakes!