ROUND ROCK, TX -- For the fourth time in his last five outings, right-hander Casey Kelly pitched seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. On Thursday night in Texas, however, it went for naught as three former Giants farmhands led a late-inning comeback to push the Round Rock Express
ROUND ROCK, TX -- For the fourth time in his last five outings, right-hander Casey Kelly pitched seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. On Thursday night in Texas, however, it went for naught as three former Giants farmhands led a late-inning comeback to push the Round Rock Express (30-36) over the Sacramento River Cats (32-35) 6-5 in 10 innings.
Kelly struck out eight to come within one of his season high, which he set on May 29 at home while facing Albuquerque. The one earned run over seven frames lowered Kelly's season ERA to 4.77. The number sat as high as 11.29 through five starts, but allowing just six runs over his last 34 innings has helped to decrease that figure drastically.
Sacramento was trailing 1-0 in the fourth when outfielder Chris Shaw's 12th home run of the year cleared the right-field fence. He would end up finishing the night reaching base a total of three times, adding a double and a walk, as well. Infielders Ryder Jones and Orlando Calixte also recorded two hits, with Jones driving in two of the team's five runs.
But when right-hander Jose Valdez entered in the bottom of the ninth for the River Cats, things began to unravel, and all at the hands of former teammates.
Express shortstop Nick Noonan, drafted by San Francisco out of high school in 2007, launched a three-run homer to cut the deficit to one. Then it was Tommy Joseph, drafted by the Giants in 2009 and shipped to Philadelphia for Hunter Pence in 2012, who tied the game with a single with two down in the ninth. And lastly, Round Rock walked off to Hunter Cole's RBI single an inning later.
Cole was a 26th-round pick by the Giants in 2014 out of the University of Georgia and was the player-to-be-named-later when the San Francisco acquired right-hander Sam Dyson from the Texas Rangers.
San Francisco Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzjia (0-0, No ERA) will make a rehab start for the River Cats Friday night as the club will look to win their fourth road series of the season. The Express will counter with former River Cat left-hander Michael Roth (2-0, 3.24). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.FM beginning at 7:00 p.m. (PT).
• The heartbreaking loss was just the team's second defeat when leading after eight innings. Otherwise, they had won 24 times in that particular situation.
• The River Cats pitching staff didn't allow a double for the first time since May 26, and Nick Noonan's three-run homer in the ninth was the only extra-base hit among 11 total hits by the Express.