New additions Peter Maris and Zander Clarke sparked a comeback win for the Giants on Monday night as San Jose rallied for an 8-4 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers at Excite Ballpark. The Maris-Clarke duo combined for four hits, four runs scored, three RBI's and a key double steal out of the 3-4 spots in the lineup. San Jose overcame a late deficit with a three-run bottom of the seventh before scoring four more times in the eighth to take control of the game.
Maris was added to San Jose's roster earlier Monday joining the club from Extended Spring Training as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile, Clarke made his SJ Giants debut last weekend in Lake Elsinore, but was playing at Excite Ballpark for the first time on Monday.
The Giants' late-inning explosion began in the bottom of the seventh. Down 2-1, the rally started with a leadoff walk to Bryce Johnson. Logan Baldwin then singled on a perfectly executed hit-and-run play to put runners on first and second with none out. Maris was up next and he grounded a single into right plating Johnson with the tying run. A Clarke single followed as Baldwin came home giving San Jose a 3-2 lead. Then with Kyle McPherson at the plate and runners at the corners, the Giants tried a suicide squeeze play. As Maris broke for the plate and Clarke simultaneously attempted to steal second, McPherson attempted to drop down a bunt, but was unsuccessful as the pitch from 66ers reliever Jorge Tavarez bounced in the dirt. Fortunately for San Jose, the ball skipped a few feet to the right of catcher Michael Cruz allowing Maris to dramatically slide in safely at home with another run to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Giants then kept the pressure on with four more tallies in the bottom of the eighth. Jett Manning walked to leadoff, stole both second and third base before coming home on a Baldwin single. Maris then reached on an error, Clarke walked to load the bases before McPherson stepped to the plate and belted a double to the fence in deep left plating two more. A Manuel Geraldo RBI groundout later scored Clarke for an 8-2 advantage.
Inland Empire pushed across two unearned runs against Frank Rubio in the top of the ninth, but the Giants reliever struck out Ryan Vega with the potential tying run in the on deck circle to end the game.
Back-To-Back Home Wins
The Giants have won consecutive home games for the first time this season. Monday marked the opener of a four-game series between San Jose and Inland Empire and the start of a seven-game homestand overall.
The Maris-Clarke duo were also responsible for the Giants' first run of the game. In the bottom of the first, Maris stepped to the plate with two outs and hammered a triple off the fence in deep right field. Clarke followed with an RBI single into left to give San Jose an early 1-0 lead. Prior to Monday, Maris had yet to play in 2019. He was selected by the San Francisco Giants from the Tampa Bay Rays in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last December. He played for High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery in the Rays system last season. Clarke joined San Jose last week from Extended Spring Training with Monday marking his fourth game overall with the Giants.
Other Hitting Notes
McPherson's double in the bottom of the eighth was his team-leading sixth of the season … San Jose stole a season-high five bases in the game (5-for-5) … The Giants were 5-for-13 (.385 AVG) with runners in scoring position … The eight runs scored matched San Jose's high total in a home game this season.
On The Mound
Trenton Toplikar started for the Giants and worked five innings with two runs (both earned) and five hits allowed. He walked two and struck out four. Carlos Sano (1-1) was credited with the win after striking out five in two scoreless innings of relief over the sixth and seventh. Sano escaped a bases loaded, one out jam in the top of the sixth to keep San Jose within a run. Rubio earned a six-out save - his third save of the season.
Monday's victory was San Jose's first victory this season when trailing after six innings (1-16 record).
First baseman Ryan Kirby was released by the San Francisco Giants on Monday. Kirby hit .149 with four home runs and 16 RBI's in 28 games for San Jose this season.
The Giants and 66ers continue their series on Tuesday evening with first pitch at Excite Ballpark set for 6:30 PM. Reigning California League Pitcher of the Week Matt Frisbee is expected to get the ball for San Jose.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.