SAN JOSE, CA - Lake Elsinore's Brad Zunica and Edward Olivares each homered twice to lead the Storm to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Giants on Saturday evening at Municipal Stadium. All five of Lake Elsinore's runs came via the long ball as the Storm won their second straight to open the series. The loss was San Jose's (48-65 overall, 14-29 second half) 14th in their last 18 games overall.
Sandro Fabian (1-for-4, HR, RBI) and Dillon Dobson (1-for-4, HR, RBI) both homered for the Giants in defeat.
San Jose native John Gavin suffered the loss on the mound in his California League debut. The Giants starter was charged with four runs (all earned) on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. Gavin walked two and struck out seven during his outing.
Lake Elsinore built a 4-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings on the strength of three home runs off of Gavin. In the top of the first, Olivares crushed a one-out solo home run down the left field line. An inning later, Jorge Ona drew a leadoff walk before Zunica stepped to the plate with one out and launched a two-run home run to right. Then in the third, Olivares connected for his second home run of the game - another solo shot - to make it 4-0.
San Jose got one run back in the bottom of the third when Fabian belted a towering solo home run to left. The homer was Fabian's seventh of the season. Fabian's round-tripper though was the only Giants hit over the first five innings against Storm starter Michel Baez.
San Jose would scratch across a run in the bottom of the sixth. A walk to Brandon Van Horn started the frame before Heath Quinn was hit by a pitch with one out. Then with two down, Gio Brusa slammed a line drive off the fence in deep right for a long single. The hit scored Van Horn to bring the Giants to within 4-2. However with runners on the corners, Wander Franco then attempted to bunt for a hit and was thrown out easily by Baez to end the inning.
Lake Elsinore came right back in the top of the seventh as Zunica delivered his second home run of the game - a deep drive to right center off of reliever Franklin Van Gurp. Zunica's third home run of the series and 15th this season pushed the Storm lead to 5-2.
San Jose inched back to within two runs when Dobson led off the bottom of the seventh with an opposite field solo home run to left center. The homer run was Dobson's second in the California League this season as the Lake Elsinore lead was trimmed to 5-3. The Giants, however, would get no closer. In the bottom of the eighth, Bryce Johnson led off with a single, but was promptly thrown out at second attempting to steal. Jalen Miller later singled with two outs, however Brusa filed out to left to end the inning. In the ninth, Franco led off with a single to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Storm reliever David Bednar registered three consecutive strikeouts of Dobson, Matt Winn and Fabian to finish the game.
Baez (4-7) earned the win after limiting San Jose to two runs (both earned) and two hits over the first six innings. He walked two and struck out eight. Bednar pitched the final two innings for his eighth save of the year.
* Gavin was added to San Jose's roster from Augusta (A) before the game. He retired 10 straight hitters at one point during his outing on Saturday.
* The Giants have lost eight straight games to Lake Elsinore (2-9 versus the Storm this season).
* Both teams finished with six hits on Saturday.
* The four home runs allowed by San Jose was one off their season-high (5 HR allowed at Stockton on July 10).
* Fabian hit his first home run since May 27.
* In three starts against the Giants this season, Baez has pitched 18 innings with only six hits and two earned runs allowed.
The Giants and Storm conclude their three-game series on Sunday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 5:00 PM. Domenic Mazza (3-2, 3.86 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Lake Elsinore is expected to counter with Adrian Morejon (4-4, 3.36 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.