RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA - Rancho Cucamonga starting pitcher Devin Smeltzer tossed seven innings with just one run allowed in a 7-2 Quakes victory over the San Jose Giants on Friday evening at LoanMart Field. The loss was San Jose's (38-54 overall, 8-14 second half) third straight to open the series and their 10th defeat in the last 13 games overall.
Matt Winn (3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI) doubled twice as part of a three-hit night to lead the Giants offensively in defeat. Ryan Howard (2-for-4, RBI) and Bryan Reynolds (2-for-5, 2B) added two hits apiece. San Jose collected 11 hits in the contest, but left 11 runners on base.
Smeltzer (3-3) earned the win after scattering nine hits over his seven-inning performance. The right-hander walked one and struck out eight.
The Giants jumped out early scoring a run before an out was recorded in the game. Ronnie Jebavy led off the top of the first with a ringing double into the left field corner before taking third on a passed ball. Howard then blooped a single into shallow right to plate Jebavy for a 1-0 San Jose lead. Smeltzer though retired the next three hitters to end the inning and would not allow another run for the remainder of his outing.
Jake McCasland started on the mound for the Giants and tossed a scoreless bottom of the first before running into trouble in the second. Johan Mieses led off the frame with a single before Omar Estevez singled with one out. A walk to Ibandel Isabel followed to load the bases before Zach McKinstry smacked a line drive single into right. The hit scored both Mieses and Estevez for a 2-1 Rancho Cucamonga advantage.
McCasland recovered to throw back-to-back scoreless innings in the third and fourth before yielding an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. McKinstry led off with a single into left. On the play, left fielder Gio Brusa mishandled the ball for an error allowing McKinstry to advance into second. Victor Roache then flied out to the warning track in deep left center advancing McKinstry to third before McCasland registered a strikeout of Drew Jackson. However with two down, Luke Raley grounded a single through the hole on the left side to plate McKinstry to make it 3-1.
San Jose threatened in the top of the sixth against Smeltzer, but had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Brusa led off with an infield single before he was forced out at second on Jonah Arenado's fielder's choice grounder to shortstop. Then with two outs, Winn blasted a double off the fence in deep right. Arenado attempted to score from first on the play, but was thrown out at home to end the inning and keep the margin at 3-1.
The Quakes then broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the sixth. Still facing McCasland, Mieses began the inning with a single. Keibert Ruiz then stepped to the plate and launched a two-run home run to deep right. The homer was Ruiz's first in four games played with Rancho Cucamonga this season and it extended the lead to 5-1. The rally then continued with singles from Isabel and Roache before Jackson delivered a two-out, two-RBI triple into the left field corner for a 7-1 Rancho Cucamonga cushion.
The Giants scored their final run of the contest in the top of the eighth as Arenado reached on a one-out error before coming home on Winn's two-out double into the right field corner.
McCasland (4-9) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on a career-high 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
* The Giants have lost four games in a row overall.
* Rancho Cucamonga out-hit San Jose 12-11.
* Winn was playing in his first game with the Giants since returning from Sacramento (AAA) on Wednesday.
* Smeltzer has picked-up two wins against San Jose over the last 11 days (also beat the Giants on July 4). In two starts versus San Jose, Smeltzer has pitched 13 innings with two runs allowed, one walk and 16 strikeouts.
* The Giants have been held to three runs or fewer in 10 out of their 13 games in July.
* Caleb Simpson (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) and Michael Cederoth (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief of Friday.
* Pitcher David Owen returned to San Jose from Sacramento before the game on Friday. Pitcher Connor Kaden and catcher Connor Sabanosh were transferred to Salem-Keizer (Short-Season).
The Giants will look to avoid a four-game sweep when they wrap-up their series against Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night. First pitch at LoanMart Field is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Conner Menez (6-4, 3.74 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while the Quakes are expected to counter with Yadier Alvarez (2-4, 5.37 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.