SAN JOSE, CA - The Lake Elsinore Storm completed a third three-game sweep of San Jose this season with a 6-4 victory over the Giants on Sunday evening at Municipal Stadium. The Storm took the lead for good with a three-run top of the fifth on their way to a ninth consecutive win against San Jose. The loss for the Giants (48-66 overall, 14-30 second half) was their fourth in a row and 15th in the last 19 games overall.
Sandro Fabian (2-for-4, HR, RBI) homered as part of a two-hit game while Wander Franco (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) added two hits, including his 32nd double of the season, to lead the way offensively in defeat.
Sunday's contest was scoreless until Lake Elsinore broke through in the top of the fourth against Giants starter Domenic Mazza. Eguy Rosario led off with a single before Hudson Potts doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Luis Torrens followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Storm a 1-0 lead.
San Jose though immediately answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game. Franco singled with one out before he was forced at second on a Kelvin Beltre grounder to shortstop. Fabian was up next and he laced a single into center that advanced Beltre to third. As the throw from center field went to third base, Fabian broke for second and was eventually caught in a rundown. However while Fabian was running in-between first and second, Beltre raced home and scored the tying run when the throw from the second baseman Rosario sailed high for an error. Fabian, meanwhile, ended up at second, but was stranded there when Johneshwy Fargas grounded out to end the inning.
Lake Elsinore then came right back with a three-run top of the fifth against Mazza to move in front for good. Chris Baker led off with a triple into the right field corner before a walk to AJ Kennedy. Rod Boykin then grounded into a fielder's choice as Kennedy was forced at second with Baker coming home to make it 2-1. Nate Easley followed with a towering two-run home run to left center extending the Storm lead to 4-1. The homer was Easley's third of the season.
Lake Elsinore stretched their advantage to 5-1 with a single tally in the top of the seventh. Facing Giants reliever Joey Marciano (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO), Boykin doubled with one out, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Easley sacrifice fly.
San Jose climbed to within 5-2 when Fabian blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Storm got the run back in the top of the eighth. With Sandro Cabrera (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) on the mound, Torrens singled with one out and scored when the next batter, Jorge Ona, ripped a double to deep left center.
The Giants rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Lake Elsinore lead to 6-4, but would get no closer. Bryce Johnson led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. With one out, Jalen Miller struck out, but reached safely on another wild pitch. Then with two down, Franco hammered a double off the fence in left center to score both runners to make it 6-4. Beltre though followed with a groundout to shortstop ending the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Fargas was hit by a pitch with one out to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but pinch-hitter Dillon Dobson struck out and Johnson grounded out to finish the game.
Pedro Avila (7-6) picked-up the win out of the bullpen for the Storm. Avila, who entered the game to begin the bottom of the fourth, tossed five innings of long relief with four runs (all earned) and five hits allowed. He struck out 10 and did not issue a walk. Carter Capps worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth for his first save.
Mazza (3-3) surrendered four runs (all earned) over six innings to take the loss. The left-hander gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three during his 78-pitch outing.
* The Giants have been swept five times this season, three of which have come to Lake Elsinore.
* San Jose finishes the season with a 2-10 record against the Storm.
* Fabian has homered in back-to-back games.
* Franco extended his hitting streak to eight games.
* Mazza matched his longest outing of the season.
* The Giants fell to 8-22 in their last 30 home games.
* Catcher Matt Winn was promoted to Double-A Richmond before the game on Sunday. In a corresponding roster move, catcher Tanner Murphy was activated from the disabled list.
The Giants continue their homestand on Monday evening with the opener of a three-game series against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. First pitch at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Carlos Sano (3-3, 3.69 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Rancho Cucamonga is expected to counter with Leo Crawford (4-0, 2.82 ERA). It's 90's Night at the ballpark and tickets can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.