VISALIA, CA - The Rawhide's woes agains the Modesto Nuts continued tonight as Seattle Mariners third-ranked prospect Nick Neidert was able to work in and out of trouble to keep the Visalia offense quiet en route to a 3-1 Modesto win.
Visalia (43-47/7-13) put leadoff runners on in the first three innings against Neidert (W, 9-3), and had both Matt McPhearson and Sergio Alcantara single to begin the game. But Neidert used a double play ball to escape the jam in the first, struck out the side following an Austin Byler single in the second, and worked around a Daniel Lockhart single to begin the third.
Neidert struck out eight hitters over his five innings and needed only 68 pitches to reach the five-inning mark, but left the game after that, having thrown 68 pitches. His eight punch outs made him the first Modesto (53-37/14-6) pitcher to hit the 100 strikeout plateau this year. Neidert's lone mistake came with two outs in the fifth inning to Lockhart, who turned on a one-one pitch and blasted it out to right field for his fourth home run of the season.
Joey Strain would pitch three shutout innings of relief for the Nuts and Lukas Schiraldi (SV, 3) struck out the side in the ninth inning to pick up the save.
Bo Takahashi (L, 5-4) gave up just three runs, two earned, on five hits over five innings, walking none and striking out five. The twenty-year-old was also removed after five frames, but looked like he had returned to form after allowing 12 runs over his past two starts. He gave up back-to-back singles to Braden Bishop and Eric Filia to start his night and then saw Bishop score on a Chris Marshal sacrifice fly. Joey Curletta doubled Filia to third and, with two outs, Willie Argo hit a grounder to second that Lockhart misplayed to extend the inning and score Filia, making it 2-0 after one.
Mariscal then followed up the sac fly with a homer to dead center field in the third ]to make it 3-0. Mariscal, a Clovis native, drove in two runs today, and his run production proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
Takahashi left after the fifth inning and gave way to J.R. Bradley, who worked around two singles and struck out two over a scoreless frame. Keegan Long pitched the seventh and eighth innings and didn't allow a hit, keeping the Rawhide within striking distance.
McPhearson extended his hitting streak out to 15 games, the second-longest active streak in the California League, by singling to open the game. Jason Morozowski saw his seven-game streak snapped by going hitless in four at bats. Morozowski did make two outstanding defensive plays, both on Rayder Ascanio. In the second inning he streaked into the right-field corner on a dead sprint to snare a hooking line drive and in the fourth he made a leaping grab up against the wall to end the frame.
Visalia has now fallen in seven of their last eight games against Modesto, and they have lost 11 of 14 overall this year. The Rawhide have won only two of the eight games they've played in Modesto this year.
The Rawhide will continue the series in Modesto tomorrow and will feature LHP Cody Reed (1-4, 4.46) on the bump against RHP Pablo Lopez (5-7, 5.20) 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.