SAN JOSE, CA - Sandro Fabian hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium. San Jose tied the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh before Fabian's hit an inning later put the Giants in front for good. With the win, San Jose (23-17) and Modesto have now split the first two games of the series.
Patrick Ruotolo (3-0) earned the win out of the bullpen with two perfect innings to finish the game. Ruotolo struck out three batters. Giants starter Raffi Vizcaino worked five dominant innings to begin the game yielding just one run on three hits while collecting eight strikeouts.
Jacob Heyward (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI) and Wander Franco (2-for-4) had multi-hit games at the plate for San Jose.
Modesto took a 2-1 lead with a run in the top of the seventh, but the Giants immediately answered in the bottom of the frame. Matt Winn led off with a high fly ball to deep right center that was dropped by center fielder Anthony Jimenez for a two-base error. Winn advanced to third on Brandon Van Horn's sacrifice bunt before Johneshwy Fargas grounded out. Bryce Johnson then stepped to the plate and delivered a clutch two-out hit as he lined a single into center bringing home Winn to tie the score 2-2.
Ruotolo entered the game to begin the eighth and promptly struck out the side in a 1-2-3 top of the inning. San Jose then took their first lead of the night with a run in the bottom half. Franco led off with a bloop single into right before he was forced out at second on Heyward's grounder to shortstop. Gio Brusa followed with a slow ground ball to first that saw Heyward forced for the second out of the inning. Fabian then stepped to the plate and belted the first pitch of his at-bat off the fence in deep left center field for a double. The hit easily scored Brusa all the way from first giving the Giants a 3-2 lead.
Ruotolo returned to the mound in the top of the ninth and quickly set down the Nuts in order on a fly out and a pair of infield pop outs to seal the San Jose victory. Ruotolo retired all six batters he faced during his relief stint.
Michael Koval (0-2) suffered the loss out of the Modesto bullpen after giving up the game-deciding run in the bottom of the eighth.
The Nuts jumped out early on Wednesday with a single run in the top of the first against Vizcaino. Donnie Walton singled with one out and scored on Kyle Lewis' two-out double off the center field wall. The first-inning tally though would turn out to be the only run allowed by Vizcaino. The Giants right-hander struck out the side in a perfect top of the second before pitching around a two-out double in the third. In the fourth, Modesto had a one-out baserunner via an error before a two-out walk, but Vizcaino escaped. Vizcaino then finished his night with a 1-2-3 top of the fifth.
Meanwhile, San Jose tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Franco singled with one out and immediately scored when the next batter, Heyward, laced a double into the left field corner.
Peter Lannoo (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) relieved Vizcaino to begin the top of the sixth with the score still 1-1 and set down the Nuts in order in his first inning of work. Modesto though would reclaim the lead with a run against Lannoo in the seventh. Jimenez led off with a single before Tyler Baker drew a walk. After Jansiel Rivera flied out, Gareth Morgan flied out to deep left advancing Jimenez to third. Bryson Brigman then beat out a slow roller to third for an infield single allowing Jimenez to score for a 2-1 Modesto lead. The Nuts advantage, however, would be short-lived as the Giants rallied in the bottom of the inning before taking their first lead of the night in the eighth.
* The Giants improved to 3-3 on their homestand.
* Over his last two starts, Vizcaino has pitched 11 innings with one run allowed and 17 strikeouts.
* Franco is batting .389 (28-for-72) over his last 16 games.
* Lannoo was making his California League debut after joining San Jose from Augusta (A) earlier Wednesday.
* The Giants out-hit the Nuts 9-5.
* The teams were a combined 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position (San Jose 2-for-12, Modesto 1-for-7).
* Ruotolo lowered his season ERA to 1.65 (3 ER/16.1 IP).
* Other roster moves on Wednesday included pitcher Nolan Riggs returning to the Giants from Sacramento (AAA). Pitcher Tyler Schimpf was transferred to Augusta and pitcher Mac Marshall was placed on the 7-day disabled list.
* San Jose pulled to within one game of Stockton (24-16) for first place in the North Division standings.
The Giants and Nuts play the rubber game of their three-game series on Thursday morning with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 11:30 AM. Melvin Adon (0-3, 5.40 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Modesto is expected to counter with Randy Bell (1-2, 4.46 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.