SAN JOSE, CA - Johneshwy Fargas hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the San Jose Giants to a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Saturday evening at Municipal Stadium. With the Giants trailing by three runs and down to their final strike, Fargas launched a towering drive down the left field line for the walk-off slam. San Jose (58-80) overcame a five-run deficit in the contest to snap their four-game losing streak and eliminate Modesto from playoff contention.
Fargas (3-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI) finished a single shy of the cycle and drove in five runs to lead the Giants offensive attack. Jalen Miller (2-for-5, 2B, HR, RBI) also homered for San Jose.
Down 8-5, the Giants' ninth-inning rally began when Miller smacked a one-out double to deep left center. Heath Quinn then struck out swinging for the second out of the inning before Bryce Johnson reached on an infield single to third to extend the game. Kelvin Beltre was up next and he worked a full-count walk to load the bases and bring the potential winning run to the plate. Fargas then launched a 1-2 pitch from Nuts reliever Anthony McIver over the fence down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam. The home run was Fargas' seventh of the season.
Frank Rubio (2-2) was credited with the win after working the top of the eighth and ninth innings out of the San Jose bullpen. Rubio was charged with two runs (both earned) on four hits.
McIver (0-5), who entered the game to begin the bottom of the ninth for Modesto, was saddled with the loss.
The Nuts lost despite knocking out a season-high 21 hits. Modesto built an early 5-0 lead against Giants starter John Gavin with two runs in the first, one run in the third and two runs in the top of the fourth. Three straight singles from Kevin Santa, Jordan Cowan and Evan White to start the game produced the first run. Two batters later, Anthony Jimenez delivered an RBI single to make it 2-0.
In the third, Luis Liberato singled with one out before a Jack Larsen two-out RBI double. An inning later, two singles and a walk loaded the bases for the Nuts before sacrifice flies from Cowan and Liberato made the score 5-0.
San Jose began their comeback effort with a two-run bottom of the fourth. Quinn drew a leadoff walk and immediately scored the first Giants run when the next batter, Johnson, laced a triple into the right field corner. Johnson later scored on a wild pitch to bring San Jose to within 5-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Miller crushed a solo home run to left center - his 14th round-tripper of the season - to trim the Modesto lead to 5-3.
The Nuts got a run back in the top of the sixth as Cowan led off with a single against Giants reliever Sandro Cabrera before a Jimenez two-out double put runners on second and third. Larsen then reached on an infield single to third bringing home Cowan for a 6-3 Modesto advantage.
San Jose though responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back doubles from Beltre and Fargas to start the inning brought home the first run. Brandon Van Horn then walked before a Tanner Murphy sacrifice bunt. Jacob Heyward was up next and he singled sharply into left plating Fargas to make it 6-5. However with the potential tying run at third, Wander Franco followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Still down by a run, the Giants threatened in the bottom of the eighth as Fargas led off with a triple down the right field line, but was ultimately stranded at third. Van Horn followed the triple by striking out for the first out. Murphy then also struck out before Heyward flied out to deep left to end the inning.
The Nuts then pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to 8-5. Two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with two outs before Liberato lined a single into right center plating two insurance runs for Modesto. San Jose though would complete their comeback in the bottom of the ninth thanks to Fargas' heroics.
* The walk-off win was San Jose's eighth of the season. The Giants have hit three walk-off home runs this year: Miller - April 14 vs. Stockton, Gio Brusa - April 15 vs. Stockton and Fargas on Saturday.
* Fargas hit San Jose's second grand slam of the season (Quinn - August 22 at Visalia).
* The Nuts out-hit the Giants 21-14. The 21 hits allowed by San Jose was a season-high.
* Modesto left 15 runners on base and hit into four double plays.
* Miller's home run and double were his team-leading 50th and 51st extra-base hits of the season (fifth in the league).
* The Giants won for the fifth time this season when trailing after eight innings - tops in the league.
* Quinn (2-for-4, SB) and Johnson (2-for-5, 3B, RBI) also finished with multi-hit games.
* Franco (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
* San Jose won for just the second time in their last 10 games.
* With Modesto's loss on Saturday, Visalia clinched the second North Division playoff spot (Stockton vs. Visalia in North Division Series).
* Saturday's game time was exactly four hours - the Giants' longest game of the season.
The Giants and Nuts continue their series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 1:00 PM. Domenic Mazza (3-5, 3.94 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Modesto is expected to counter with Darren McCaughan (6-10, 3.12 ERA). For tickets, call (408) 297-1435 or visit sjgiants.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.