SAN JOSE, CA - The Modesto Nuts used a four-run top of the seventh inning to rally past the Giants, 6-3, on Thursday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. With the loss, San Jose (23-18) drops two out of three games in the series and finishes their homestand with a 3-4 record.
Jacob Heyward (2-for-4, RBI) had a pair of singles and drove home a run to lead the Giants offensively in defeat. San Jose managed only one hit over the final six innings.
Melvin Adon started on the mound for the Giants and fired six effective innings with just one run and four hits allowed. Adon, who at one point in his start retired 12 straight Modesto hitters, walked one and struck out seven.
San Jose jumped out early on Thursday scoring twice in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Bryce Johnson reached on an error to start the inning before stealing second and taking third when the throw bounced into center field. Johnson then scored on a Jalen Miller sacrifice fly. Wander Franco was up next and he restarted the rally with a single before Heyward also singled. Then with two down, Sandro Fabian delivered an RBI single to make it 2-0.
The only run Adon allowed during his start came in the top of the second. Three straight two-out singles from Junsiel Rivera, Kevin Santa and Garrett Kennedy produced the run as Modesto pulled within 2-1.
The Giants though got the run back in the bottom of the third. Miller led off with a double into the left field corner before Heyward's one-out RBI single stretched the lead to 3-1.
Meanwhile, Adon breezed through three straight 1-2-3 innings from the third through the fifth. The right-hander struck out two batters in both the fourth and fifth innings. Evan White singled with two outs in the top of the sixth - the Nuts' first baserunner since the second inning - but Adon retired the next batter, Nick Zammarelli, on a deep fly out to right ending the inning.
With the score still at 3-1, Caleb Baragar entered from the bullpen to begin the top of the seventh for San Jose and immediately ran into trouble. Anthony Jimenez led off with a grounder to shortstop that John Polonius fielded but his throw to first pulled Frandy De La Rosa off the bag for an error. Jimenez then stole second before Baragar came back with a strikeout of Rivera. Santa was up next and he lined a single into right advancing Jimenez to third. Then with Kennedy at the plate, Baragar's pick-off throw to first glanced off of De La Rosa's glove for the Giants' second error of the inning as Jimenez scored to make it 3-2. Santa eventually stole second before a walk to Kennedy put the go-ahead run on base. Gareth Morgan was up next and he singled sharply into left plating Santa to tie the game 3-3. Donnie Walton followed with a ringing double into the left field corner to score Kennedy giving Modesto their first lead of the day at 4-3. Baragar was then pulled after issuing a walk to Joe Rizzo that loaded the bases - the fifth straight Nuts batter to reach safely. New pitcher Nolan Riggs (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO) promptly retired White on a pop out, but then issued a walk to Zammarelli that forced home Morgan to make it 5-3.
Modesto sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the seventh scoring four runs on three hits. Giants pitchers issued three walks while San Jose also committed two errors in the inning.
After the Giants went down 1-2-3 in both the seventh and eighth innings, the Nuts added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With Rodolfo Martinez (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) on the mound, Walton was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on White's two-out double off the left field fence for a 6-3 Modesto advantage.
San Jose threatened in the bottom of the ninth as De La Rosa doubled with one out before Fabian drew a walk. A two-out walk to Tanner Murphy loaded the bases and brought the potential winning run to the plate, but pinch-hitter Matt Winn grounded out to second to end the game.
Nuts starter Randy Bell (2-2) earned the win after tossing six innings with three runs (one earned) and five hits allowed. Bell walked none, struck out six and retired 11 straight batters to finish his outing. Wyatt Mills pitched the bottom of the ninth inning for his fourth save of the year.
Baragar (0-2) was charged with all four runs (two earned) in the top of the seventh to take the loss.
* San Jose suffered their first home series loss of the season.
* Modesto pitchers had retired 18 consecutive Giants hitters until De La Rosa's one-out double in the bottom of the ninth.
* The Nuts out-hit San Jose 8-6.
* Adon set down 17 out of the 22 batters he faced.
* Miller's double was his 10th of the season - tied for second on the team.
* The Giants are 7-6 against Modesto this season.
* San Jose lost for just the third time this season when leading after six innings (16-3 record).
* The Giants fell two games behind first-place Stockton (25-16) in the first half North Division race.
The Giants embark on a season-high nine-game road trip on Friday night with the first of three straight contests against the Stockton Ports. First pitch at Banner Island Ballpark is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Logan Webb (1-2, 2.35 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Logan Shore (2-0, 1.69 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:50 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.