SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants scored four runs over the first four innings and held off the Rawhide in rallies in the seventh and eighth to win the first game of the series in San Jose, 4-2. Jose Almonte (L, 8-8) was charged with all four runs and was lifted after 83 pitches with one out in the fourth inning.
Johnny Cueto made a rehab appearance for the Giants and delivered three efficient shutout innings in a start, allowing just two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Cueto gave way to Matt Solter (W, 3-0) who gave San Jose (47-61/17-21) four quality innings, keeping the Rawhide off of the board for his first three while the Giants took the lead.
Visalia (55-53/19-19) fell behind in the third when Ryan Howard doubled and Bryan Reynolds singled him home to lead off the frame. The Giants added three more in the fourth against Almonte when Gio Brusa doubled to lead off, moved to third on a Ronnie Jebavy fly-out, and scored on a Jalen Miller single. Steven Duggar doubled Miller over to third, which ended Almonte's night. Wei-Chei Huang took over and promptly surrendered a single to Ryan Howard to plate both Miller and Duggar and give the Giants a 4-0 advantage.
The Rawhide would strike back for a run in the seventh inning. Seth Spivey drew a one-out walk and then Matt McPhearson put a charge into a dormant Rawhide offense by hitting a deep triple to the gap in right-center, scoring Spivey and putting the Rawhide on the board. McPhearson was then caught trying to score on a foul-out to shallow right field which ended the inning.
The benches cleared when McPhearson did not slide, instead trying to jar the ball loose from Aramis Garcia, who took exception and gave McPhearson a shove. McPhearson and Garcia stood toe to toe before both benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown, but McPhearson and, subsequently, Rawhide Manager Shelley Duncan after a long argument between innings. Garcia was not ejected from the game.
The Rawhide offense kicked up in the eighth inning again when Ben De Luzio hit a one-out double, his third of the game, moved to third on an infield single Jason Morozowski, and scored on a broken bat flare to left by Fernery Ozuna. But Ozuna, who represented the possible tying run, was gunned down by Reynolds trying to take second base.
Huang, Austin Mason, and Yoan Lopez combined to throw 4.1 one-hit innings of relief, with Mason striking out two and Lopez striking out the side in the eighth inning. Visalia had a man on in the ninth but couldn't strike against Dylan Rheault (SV, 16) who shut down the game and gave the Giants their third straight win at home for the first time the year.
Visalia has now lost three consecutive games, but is still tied for first with Modesto in the Cal League North second half standings.
Visalia will continue the road trip in San Jose tomorrow evening. It'll match up Arizona Diamondbacks #2 prospect Jon Duplantier (4-0, 1.98) for Visalia and LHP Grant Watson (3-1, 3.48) for the Giants. First pitch is at 7:00 and the live radio broadcast will be on Rawdhiebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.