San Bernardino, CA - The magic number for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes was reduced to just one on Monday night, thanks in part to Rancho's 7-5 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers at San Manuel Stadium.
Couple Rancho's fourth straight win with Lancaster's win over the Lake Elsinore Storm and the Quakes need just one win or one Storm loss over the final six games of the first half, in order to wrap up the First Half South Division title for the second straight year.
Donovan Casey had a big night with two hits and two RBIs, while the bullpen had another strong showing.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Jordan Procyshen laced a two-run double to right field to put Rancho ahead to stay at 2-1.
Jeren Kendall opened the third inning with a homer off Inland Empire starter Travis Herrin for a 3-1 advantage, Kendall's third homer of the year.
Inland got a run back in the third, as Torii Hunter, Jr. had an RBI single off Quakes' starter Andre Jackson, making it 3-2.
Rancho exploded in the fourth though, as Casey singled home a pair and then scored on a Deacon Liput RBI hit, making it 6-2 and chasing Herrin (1-2) from the game.
The 66ers chipped away, getting a run off Jackson in the fourth and then two more off eventual winner Melvin Jimenez in the sixth, as Gareth Morgan blasted a two-run homer to make it a one-run game at 6-5.
The Quakes got themselves a big insurance run in the ninth, as Kendall tripled and scored on a 66ers' error for the final run.
Logan Salow, who worked a 1-2-3 eighth, worked around a one-out walk in the ninth, getting his fifth save in as many chances this year.
With a win on Tuesday, the Quakes, who are now 14 games over .500 at 38-24, can clinch a trip to the 2019 Cal League Playoffs, as they look for a five-game sweep in San Bernardino. Gerardo Carrillo (2-4) will take on Aaron Hernandez (0-1) of the 66ers in the finale at 7:05pm.
On Wednesday, the Quakes will return to LoanMart Field for Terra Vista Animal Hospital Bark in the Ballpark, as dogs are welcome to the ballpark with the purchase of a three-dollar pet pass. Purchase tickets online at rcquakes.com or by calling (909) 481-5000. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.