SAN JOSE, CA - The Inland Empire 66ers scored four runs over the first two innings and then held off the Giants to earn a 5-4 victory over San Jose on Friday evening at Municipal Stadium. The series-opening loss drops the Giants' overall record to 15-20 at the midpoint of the first half.
Daniel Carbonell (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Aramis Garcia (2-for-5, RBI) and Gio Brusa (2-for-4, 2B) had two hits apiece to lead San Jose offensively in defeat. Jalen Miller (1-for-4, HR, RBI) also hit his third home run of the season.
The 66ers never trailed in the contest scoring once in the top of the first against Giants starter Heath Slatton to take a 1-0 lead. Kyle Survance Jr. led off the game with a double to deep left center before Matt Thaiss singled with one out. Slatton came back to retire Michael Barash on a pop out for the second out, however with Troy Montgomery at the plate, a passed ball on catcher Matt Pare allowed Survance Jr. to score the first run of the night.
San Jose immediately tied the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. With one out, Ryan Howard laced a double into the left field corner and scored two batters later on Garcia's two-out single into left.
Inland Empire though responded with three more runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good. Back-to-back singles from Connor Justus and Jose Rojas started the frame before Cody Ramer was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. A strikeout of Brendon Sanger followed for the first out before Survance Jr. hit a sharp grounder to first. On the play, the first baseman Garcia quickly recorded the unassisted putout on Survance Jr. and then fired home in an effort to complete an inning-ending double play. The throw, however, bounced off the glove of Pare and rolled into foul territory. Survance Jr. was credited with one RBI as Justus scored the go-ahead run while Rojas also came home on an error charged to Pare. Slatton then walked two more hitters before a wild pitch allowed Ramer to score the third run of the inning for a 4-1 Sixers cushion.
The Giants chipped away at Inland Empire's lead with single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. In the third, Miller led off with a home run to straightaway left. An inning later, Brusa hammered a leadoff double to deep right center before moving to third on a Jose Vizcaino Jr. groundout. After Pare was hit by a pitch, Carbonell beat out a slow roller to third for an infield single as Brusa came home to trim the 66ers lead to 4-3. San Jose though was unable to come all the way back as Inland Empire starter Jesus Castillo bounced back with consecutive strikeouts of Miller and Howard to end the inning.
Yordy Cabrera (2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings out of the Giants bullpen before running into trouble in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Montgomery drew a walk before Justus singled. Rojas then bounced a single up the middle to plate Montgomery for a 5-3 66ers lead.
Meanwhile, San Jose was held without a hit from the fifth through the seventh innings before mounting a rally in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Brusa grounded a single into center before Pare was hit by a pitch with two down. Carbonell then stepped to the plate and bounced a single through the hole on the left side to score Brusa bringing the Giants to within 5-4. Miller though followed with a pop out to first stranding the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.
In the bottom of the ninth, Garcia singled with two outs to bring the winning run to the plate, but Dillon Dobson struck out swinging to end the game.
Conor Lillis-White (2-0) was credited with the win out of the Inland Empire bullpen after tossing hitless fifth and sixth innings. Nathan Bates recorded the final four outs of the contest to collect his first save of the year. Castillo pitched the first four innings for the Sixers and surrendered three runs (all earned) on six hits.
Slatton (1-3) was saddled with the loss after yielding four runs (three earned) on five hits over four innings. He walked four, hit a batter, threw three wild pitches and struck out three.
* The Giants were attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time since April 27-28.
* San Jose fell to 1-3 on their current homestand (league-worst 6-11 at home this season).
* Carbonell has seven RBI's in his last five games (6-for-17, .353 AVG).
* The Giants out-hit the Sixers 9-8.
* Caleb Simpson (2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) also pitched out of the San Jose bullpen on Friday.
* Giants pitching issued eight walks to increase its minor league-leading season total to 184.
* Vizcaino Jr. was activated off the disabled list before the game. T.J. Bennett was placed on the 7-day DL.
The Giants and 66ers continue their four-game series on Saturday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 5:00 PM. Matt Krook (0-4, 12.46 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Inland Empire is expected to counter with Austin Robichaux (0-1, 6.14 ERA). Be one of the first 1,000 fans to arrive at the ballpark and receive a limited addition San Francisco Giants Johnny Cueto Shimmy Bobblehead. 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.