STOCKTON, CA - The San Jose Giants snapped their season-high eight-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Stockton Ports on Monday evening at Banner Island Ballpark. The Giants scored twice in the top of the eighth to take the lead for good with Jacob Heyward supplying a go-ahead two-out, RBI double. The series-opening win was San Jose's (40-49 overall, 6-13 second half) first in July after opening the month with eight consecutive losses.
Heyward (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), Bryce Johnson (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, SB) and Jalen Miller (2-for-5, 2B) had two hits apiece while Gio Brusa (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) drove home a pair of runs to lead the Giants offensively.
Domenic Mazza excelled on the mound in his first start of the season tossing six shutout innings with just four hits allowed. Mazza walked one and struck out four. Nolan Riggs (2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO) and Frank Rubio (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to finish the contest. Riggs (3-4) earned the win while Rubio collected his fourth save.
San Jose built a 3-0 lead in the contest with two runs in the top of the fifth and a single tally in the sixth. In the fifth, Matt Winn smacked a one-out double down the left field line before Johnson belted a two-out RBI triple to deep center to bring home the first run of the night. Miller followed by reaching on an error committed by Will Toffey at third that allowed Johnson to score a second run in the frame.
An inning later, Dillon Dobson led off with a single, stole second and scored on Brusa's one-out double to the fence in deep left center.
Meanwhile, Mazza cruised through the majority of his start. The left-hander escaped a bases loaded, none out jam in the bottom of the second and didn't allow more than one runner to reach base in any of his other innings. Mazza had retired 10 straight Ports hitters until a one-out walk to Collin Theroux in the bottom of the fifth. Brallan Perez's leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth was Stockton's first hit since the second inning, but Mazza induced the next batter, Luis Barrera, to ground into a double play.
With the score still 3-0, Chris Roberts relieved Mazza to begin the bottom of the seventh and immediately ran into trouble. Roberts, who was making his California League debut after joining the Giants from the Arizona Rookie League on Saturday, issued a leadoff walk to Luke Persico before Chase Calabuig singled with one out. Sandber Pimentel was up next and he launched a towering three-run home run to left center to tie the game 3-3. The homer was Pimentel's seventh this season and fifth against San Jose. The rally then continued when Roberts walked the next two hitters, Theroux and Jesus Lage. Riggs was summoned from the bullpen, but he promptly walked Perez to load the bases. Riggs came back to strikeout Barrera, but then walked Nate Mondou on four pitches - the fifth walk of the inning - to give the Ports a 4-3 lead. Riggs did recover to retire Persico on a groundout to end the inning as Stockton left the bases loaded.
The Giants would then immediately respond with a two-run top of the eighth to reclaim the lead. Quinn led off with a ringing double down the left field line. Dobson then grounded out to advance pinch-runner Johneshwy Fargas to third base. After Wander Franco was hit by a pitch, Brusa lifted a sacrifice fly to left plating Fargas with the tying run. Franco also advanced to second on the play when the throw home from the left fielder Persico skipped away for an error. Heyward was up next and he laced a 1-2 pitch down the left field line for another double as Franco easily scored from second to give San Jose a 5-4 lead.
Riggs then returned to the mound in the bottom of the eighth for the Giants. Toffey led off with a single to left, but was thrown out by Heyward at second attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Calabuig then walked to put the potential tying run on base. Pimentel followed with a shallow fly ball to right that was caught by a sliding Fargas, who then threw out Calabuig at first for an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, Riggs quickly retired the first two batters as he struck out Theroux and set down Lage on a groundout. Rubio then entered and induced Perez to ground out on a slow roller in front of the plate to end the game.
Pat Krall (1-1) suffered the loss out of the Stockton bullpen after allowing both runs in the top of the eighth.
* The eight-game skid was San Jose's longest losing streak since dropping eight straight in July 2016.
* The Giants played their league-leading 30th one-run game of the season (13-17 record).
* San Jose out-hit Stockton 12-7. Six of the Giants' 12 hits went for extra bases (five doubles, one triple).
* Mazza was making his first start this season after two previous relief appearances with San Jose.
* Rubio is 4-for-4 in save opportunities with the Giants.
* San Jose improved to 9-10 against Stockton this season.
* The Giants were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position after collecting only five hits w/RISP in their previous six games combined (5-for-40).
* The Ports lost their fifth game in a row.
The Giants and Ports continue their four-game series on Tuesday evening with first pitch at Banner Island Ballpark scheduled for 7:10 PM. Joey Marciano (0-0, --- ERA) is slated to make the start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Evan Manarino (1-2, 4.97 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.