MODESTO, CA - The Nuts starting rotation had been dominant for 17 games in a row entering play tonight, putting up a 1.81 ERA as a unit over the span that included three dominant starts from Pablo Lopez. One of Lopez's starts had come against Visalia in Modesto on June 27, when he held the Rawhide scoreless over seven innings.
It didn't take Visalia long to break that streak tonight.
Jason Morozowski smoked a double down the left-field line on the first pitch of the ballgame and, when Willie Argo misplayed the ball in the left field corner, moved to third. Sergio Alcantara followed by singling up the middle to put Visalia up 1-0. Then, two pitches later, Grant Heyman launched his team-leading 12th home run of the season to right-center to put Visalia up by 3. It was the first time that Visalia had taken an early lead against Modesto since June 29, and just the second time in their past eight games where they've scratched a run across first against any opponent. It was more than enough support for Cody Reed as Visalia (44-47/8-13) went on to beat Modesto (53-38/13-8) 6-1.
Reed (W, 2-4) went five innings and allowed one run on just four hits with four walks and four strikeouts, earning his first winning decision of the second half and his first victory since June 14 in Stockton. He never retired the side in order, but once again found a way to escape jams and, with runners on second and third and just one out in the fourth inning, managed to hold the Nuts to one run on a sacrifice fly by Argo: the only run they would score on the night.
Lopez (L, 5-8) was also lifted after five innings and gave up as many runs in this start, four, than in his previous three starts combined. Brian Bonnell surrendered a pair of runs on RBI singles by Morozowski and Daniel Lockhart in the sixth and eighth innings respectively and Matt Walker retired four of the five men he faced, walking one and striking out three.
Seven Visalia hitters had at least one hit today, with Morozowski leading the charge with his three-hit night. Heyman, Alcantara, Lockhart, and Fernery Ozuna all tallied multi-hit performances as well as the Rawhide put up 11 hits. Matt McPhearson singled in a run in the third inning to extend his season-high hitting streak to 16 games and his consecutive on-base streak to 23 games.
The win marked the first time that the Rawhide had won a game in Modesto since April 29, and is just the second time the Rawhide have beaten the Nuts in the past 10 games the two teams have played dating back to April 30.
The Rawhide will continue the series in Modesto tomorrow and will feature RHP Jon Duplantier (1-0, 2.35 on the bump against LHP Spencer Hermann (3-2, 2.17) for the Nuts. First pitch is at 7:05 and the live radio broadcast will be available on rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.