MODESTO, CA - Gio Brusa matched a San Jose Giants single-game record with three home runs in a 16-5 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Sunday afternoon at John Thurman Field. The Giants (32-31) pounded out 21 hits in the blowout win to take two out of three games in the series from the Nuts.
Brusa (3-for-5, 3 HR, 6 RBI, SB) belted a solo home run in the top of the second, a two-run homer in the eighth and a three-run shot in the ninth to lead the San Jose offensive attack. He became the fourth player in the 31-year history of the San Jose Giants to hit three home runs in a game.
Brandon Van Horn (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) also homered for the Giants as part of a three-hit, three-RBI game while Jalen Miller (4-for-6, 2 RBI) contributed four hits in the victory.
San Jose never trailed in the contest as the Giants erupted for five runs in the top of the second to take an early 5-0 lead. Brusa led off the frame with his first home run of the day - a solo blast to deep right center. With one out, Sandro Fabian reached second on a throwing error committed by pitcher Reggie McClain and then scored when Tanner Murphy reached on a two-out error by third baseman Kevin Santa. Van Horn was up next and he crushed a two-run home run to deep left center to make it 4-0. The home run was Van Horn's third of the season. The rally then continued with a triple to deep right center off the bat of Bryce Johnson before Miller delivered an RBI single for a 5-0 advantage.
Sandro Cabrera started on the mound for San Jose and surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second as the Giants lead was trimmed to 5-2. Anthony Jimenez led off by reaching on an error before Manuel Pazos drew a walk. Ryan Garcia then grounded a single up the middle to bring home Jimenez with the first Modesto run of the afternoon. Aaron Stroosma followed with an RBI groundout to make it 5-2.
Both teams then scored a single run in the third. In the top half, Brusa reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a Fabian single and scored when Johneshwy Fargas grounded a single up the middle. The Nuts came back in the bottom of the inning against Cabrera as Bryson Brigman drew a leadoff walk before Nick Zammarelli was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Pazos lined a single into left to score Brigman bringing Modesto to within 6-3.
The seesaw battle continued in the fourth with another San Jose tally as Wander Franco produced a two-out RBI double into the left center field gap. The Nuts kept the pressure on with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, but stranded the potential tying runs on base and would get no closer in the game. Cabrera walked Garcia to start the inning before Stroosma singled and Luis Liberato walked to load the bases with none out. Jeff Burke was then summoned from the bullpen and he promptly induced Donnie Walton to ground into a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Garcia scored from third on the double play before a Brigman two-out RBI single plated Stroosma to make it 7-5, but Burke prevented any further damage in the inning.
Burke then kept Modesto off the scoreboard in both the fifth and sixth innings to maintain the two-run advantage. In the bottom of the fifth, Santa led off with a single, but was immediately erased when the next batter, Pazos, grounded into a double play. In the sixth, Stroosma walked to leadoff but again Burke used a double play to escape.
The Giants then pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 10-5. Brusa drew a leadoff walk before Heath Quinn singled. Fabian was up next and he laced a double into the left field corner to score Brusa with the first run of the inning. Fargas followed with a sacrifice fly plating Quinn and then a two-out RBI single off the bat of Van Horn made it 10-5.
Brusa's second home run of the game stretched the lead to 12-5 in the top of the eighth. With one out, Franco singled before Brusa smacked a home run down the right field line. San Jose then scored four more times, highlighted by another Brusa home run, in the top of the ninth. Consecutive walks to Murphy and Van Horn started the inning before a one-out RBI single from Miller - his fourth hit of the day - extended the lead to 13-5. After Franco grounded out, Brusa stepped to the plate and launched a towering three-run home run to deep right center. The homer, Brusa's third of day and team-leading 10th of the season, gave the Giants a 16-5 lead.
Burke (1-0) earned the win after tossing three scoreless innings of long relief. The right-hander worked around two hits and two walks during his outing. Burke did not record a strikeout. Nolan Riggs finished the game with three hitless innings to collect his second save of the year. Riggs walked one, struck out two and retired eight out of the nine batters he faced.
McClain (2-4) suffered the loss after yielding seven runs (two earned) on nine hits over four innings. He struck out three and walked none.
* Brusa joined Adam Witter (2007), Hector Sanchez (2011) and Dillon Dobson (2017) as San Jose Giants to have hit three home runs in a game.
* Brusa hit four home runs during the three-game series in Modesto. He's batting .407 (11-for-27) with five home runs in seven games since returning from the disabled list on June 3.
* Brusa also scored five runs on Sunday. His six RBI's were one off the San Jose Giants single-game record.
* San Jose's 16 runs and 21 hits were both their second-highest single-game totals this season (18 runs and 25 hits on April 11 at Lancaster).
* The Giants finished 9-for-19 (.474 AVG) with runners in scoring position.
* Van Horn finished a triple shy of the cycle. He was playing in his first game since June 5 after a stint on the Temporary Inactive List.
* San Jose pitchers induced four double plays.
* Fabian finished 3-for-6 with two doubles after recording just four hits in his previous 35 at-bats.
* Quinn (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list before the game and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. He extended his hitting streak to nine games.
* Johnson (2-for-6, 3B) and Franco (2-for-6, 2B, RBI) also produced multi-hit games. Franco's double was his league-leading 20th of the season.
* Sunday was 22nd and final meeting of the first half between San Jose and Modesto (season-series tied 11-11). The teams will not play again until August 24.
* In other roster moves on Sunday, infielder C.J Hinojosa was transferred to Richmond (AA), pitcher Keenan Bartlett and infielder Kevin Rivera were sent to Salem-Keizer (Short-Season) and pitcher Carlos Sano to Extended Spring Training. Infielder Frandy De La Rosa was released.
The Giants continue their road trip on Monday evening with the opener of a four-game series against the Stockton Ports. First pitch at Banner Island Ballpark is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Conner Menez (2-4, 4.76 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Parker Dunshee (5-2, 2.56 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.