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Giants Bounce Back With 3-2 Victory Over 66ers

Hunter Cole delivers go-ahead RBI single in top of the ninth inning
May 31, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO, CA - The San Jose Giants bounced back from last night's extra-inning defeat with a 3-2 win over the Inland Empire 66ers on Sunday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium. Hunter Cole gave the Giants the lead with a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth before Ian Gardeck pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory. San Jose (21-29) has now won nine out of their last 12 games.

Cole (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) finished with three hits and also drove home the tying run for the Giants with a double in the fifth inning. Christian Arroyo (2-for-5, RBI) added a pair of singles and an RBI as San Jose has now split the first two games of their series with the 66ers.

Christian Jones (2-0) picked-up the win out of the San Jose bullpen with a scoreless bottom of the eighth before Gardeck pitched the ninth for his second save of the year. Gardeck ended the game with a strikeout to leave the potential tying and winning runs for Inland Empire in scoring position.

With the game tied 2-2, the Giants' ninth-inning rally began with a one-out walk to Jesus Galindo. Galindo then stole second before Arroyo struck out looking. A wild pitch moved Galindo to third and then Cole singled sharply up the middle to bring home the go-ahead tally.

Gardeck entered from the bullpen to begin the bottom of the ninth and immediately ran into trouble when he threw away Tyler Palmer's bunt for an error. The miscue allowed Palmer, who was leading off the inning, to advance into second. Gardeck then walked Pedro Ruiz to put the potential winning run on base with none out. Jose Moreno was up next, but he struck out on a failed two-strike bunt attempt before Gardeck made quick work of Ruben Sosa with a three-pitch strikeout. Bo Way followed for the Sixers, but Gardeck uncorked a wild pitch advancing Palmer to third base and Ruiz to second. However, Gardeck recovered to register a swinging strikeout of Way on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.  

Alex Blackford (0-2), who surrendered the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, suffered the loss out of the 66ers bullpen.

Chase Johnson started on the mound for San Jose and tossed a season-high 6 2/3 innings with just two runs (both earned) and eight hits allowed. Johnson struck out six and walked none during his 91-pitch performance.

Inland Empire jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings against Johnson. In the bottom of the first, Sosa led off with a double, was sacrificed to third by Way and scored when Eric Aguilera singled into right.

In the second, consecutive one-out singles from Palmer and Ruiz put runners on the corners before Johnson was called for a balk to score the second Sixers run.

The Giants cut the lead in half in the top of the third. Brandon Bednar reached on an error to begin the frame before Galindo drew a walk. Arroyo then stepped to the plate and lined a single into center plating Bednar to trim the deficit to 2-1. Cole though followed by grounding into a double play and after Tyler Horan walked, Ryder Jones grounded out to end the inning.

San Jose then pushed across a run in the fifth to draw even. Bednar again started the rally as he singled to leadoff before taking second on a wild pitch. Then with two down, Cole doubled down the right field line to score Bednar tying the game 2-2.

Johnson settled in after the second inning and held Inland Empire off the scoreboard for the remainder of his start. At one point, Johnson retired nine out of ten Sixers batters before yielding consecutive two-out singles to Moreno and Sosa in the bottom of the seventh. Tyler Rogers (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO) though was summoned from the bullpen and he promptly struck out Way looking to retire the side.

With the score still tied, Jones came in for the bottom of the eighth. Jones allowed a leadoff single to Aguilera, but recovered to set down the next three hitters ending the inning before the Giants took their first lead of the contest in the top of the ninth.

* The Giants finish May with a 14-15 record (7-12 in April).
* Cole raised his batting average to .338 - second in the California League.
* Inland Empire out-hit San Jose 9-8. The 66ers were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
* Galindo's stolen base was his team-leading 11th of the season.
* The Giants improved to 7-10 in one-run games this season (4-0 in their last four one-run contests).
* Jones was making his first appearance since April 19. He was on the disabled list from April 23-May 28.
* San Jose is 4-1 versus Inland Empire this season.

On Deck: The Giants and 66ers continue their four-game series on Monday evening with first pitch at San Manuel Stadium scheduled for 7:05 PM. San Jose has not announced a starting pitcher for the game while Inland Empire is expected to send Sean Newcomb (1-0, 2.57 ERA) to the mound. The game can be heard live on with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM.