Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Connor Wong's second homer of the game brought the Quakes back on Sunday afternoon, as they won their third straight with a 9-8 win over the Inland Empire 66ers at LoanMart Field.
Wong, who now has a team-leading five homers on the year, popped a two-run homer in the first to put the Quakes on the board, then capped the Rancho scoring in the eighth, as he blasted one to left-center with Gavin Lux and Jeren Kendall aboard, giving the Quakes a 9-7 lead.
In the ninth, Rancho reliever Stetson Allie got two of the three outs he needed, but a walk, an error and a misplay of a ball that was ruled an infield hit, led to his removal. Evy Ruibal, who was just added to the Quakes' roster earlier in the day, retired the only batter he faced, getting Jake Yacinich to line out to third for his first save of the year.
The Quakes led 3-0 after two innings, but it was Inland Empire who dominated the middle innings, scoring seven of the next eight runs to take a 7-4 lead.
Quakes' starter Dean Kremer was strong early, but gave up three runs on five hits over four-plus innings. He exited in the fifth, giving way to Andrew Istler, who immediately coughed up a three-run homer to Jared Walsh, his second of the game and fourth of the year to give Inland Empire the lead at 6-4.
Rancho reliever Nolan Long (1-0) pitched well in relief, earning the win with two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.
66ers' reliever Greg Belton (0-1) surrendered the Wong homer, taking the loss.
With three straight wins, the Quakes (5-6) will head to Lancaster at just one game under .500. On Monday, Rancho will send Andrew Sopko (1-1) to the mound in the three-game series-opener, while Lancaster will counter with Matt Dennis (0-2), with first pitch at 6:35pm from the Hangar.
The Quakes will be back at LoanMart Field on Thursday night for another Thirsty Thursday, with $2 Pepsi products, $3 domestic drafts and $4 premium drafts. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field very soon...Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.