Lake Elsinore, CA - The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes completed a three-game sweep in Lake Elsinore on Wednesday night, scoring twice in the ninth to take the lead for good, as they downed the Storm by a final of 4-2 at The Diamond.
Carlos Rincon broke a 2-2 tie with a slow infield grounder and Connor Wong gave the Quakes a huge insurance run with an RBI hit, as the Quakes moved into a first-place tie with the Storm, thanks to their third straight win overall.
Tied up in the ninth, Jeter Downs earned a one-out walk, then moved to third base on a Donovan Casey single. Rincon followed with a dribbler to second, scoring Downs to give Rancho the lead. Wong followed with an RBI single to score Casey, making it 4-2 against Storm reliever Travis Radke (0-1).
In the last of the ninth, Gerardo Carrillo, who pitched 4 2/3 innings of strong relief, fell one out shy of finishing it off. The Storm got a leadoff double from Eguy Rosario, but Carrillo battled back to strike out the next two hitters. After a walk and an infield hit loaded the bases, Carrillo was removed in favor of Jordan Sheffield. It took Sheffield just three pitches to wrap up his fourth save of the year, as Esteury Ruiz lined out to Downs at short to end the game.
Dodgers' lefty Rich Hill became the first big-leaguer to rehab with Rancho in 2019, as he had an impressive four innings of work against the Storm on Wednesday. Hill struck out eight hitters in just four innings, while throwing 54 pitches, allowing two hits with no walks.
Rancho got the game's first two runs, as Rincon smashed a solo homer to left in the second against Storm starter MacKenzie Gore, making it 1-0. Three batters later, Marcus Chiu doubled off the right-field wall, then scored on a Brandon Montgomery single, giving the Quakes a 2-0 lead.
Carrillo (1-1) enjoyed his best outing of the year, as he replaced Hill in the fifth and was rolling until the Storm evened the game with a pair in the eighth. The right-hander allowed two runs on just four hits, while fanning five in the win.
The Quakes (8-6) will return to LoanMart Field on Thursday, taking on the San Jose Giants as part of a three-game home stand. Michael Grove (0-0) takes on San Jose's Aaron Phillips (0-1) at 7:05pm in the opener.
Thursday is another Thirsty Thursday, thanks to the Kindred Corporation, with $2 Pepsi products, $3 domestic drafts and $4 premium drafts available throughout the night. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field…Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.