Giants Edge Rawhide In Series Opener, 3-2

Early offense, stellar pitching carry San Jose past Visalia

By San Jose Giants | April 18, 2017 11:00 PM ET

SAN JOSE, CA - Five San Jose pitchers combined on a two-hitter in a 3-2 Giants victory over the Visalia Rawhide on Tuesday evening at Municipal Stadium. San Jose (7-4) scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the first and would hang on late to claim the opener of the four-game series.

Bryan Reynolds (3-for-4) and Ryan Howard (2-for-3) each produced multi-hit games while Dillon Dobson (1-for-3, 2 RBI) drove home a pair of runs to lead the Giants offensively. Michael Morse finished 0-for-2 with a walk in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment.

San Jose starter Matt Krook worked the first four innings and surrendered just one hit and one unearned run. Krook, who received a no-decision, walked five batters and struck out five during his 79-pitch outing. Bryan Morris, Carlos Diaz, Caleb Simpson and Ryan Halstead then combined for five scoreless innings of relief. Morris (1-0) was credited with the win after tossing a 1-2-3 top of the fifth while Halstead pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the year.

Facing Visalia starter Justin Donatella, the Giants' first-inning rally began with a one-out single from Reynolds. Morse then worked a full-count walk to put runners on first and second. Aramis Garcia was up next and he belted a high fly ball off the fence in deep left center for a double. The hit scored Reynolds with the first run of the night while Morse advanced to third. Following a Gio Brusa strikeout, Dobson stepped to the plate and blooped a single into shallow center plating both Morse and Garcia for a 3-0 advantage. The inning continued with a Howard single before a walk to Jonah Arenado loaded the bases, but Donatella struck out Johneshwy Fargas, the ninth batter of the frame, to end the inning.

San Jose would then manage just four baserunners for the remainder of the game - a walk to Jalen Miller followed by a Reynolds single in the bottom of the second, Reynolds' single in the fifth and a single from Howard in the bottom of the sixth. Donatella and two Rawhide relievers combined to record 14 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Visalia's only run against Krook came in the top of the second. Marty Herum led off by reaching safely on a fielding error committed by Dobson at second base. After the next two hitters popped out, Francis Christy drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Daniel Lockhart was up next and he lined a single into right bringing home Herum to trim the Giants lead to 3-1. Krook followed by issuing a walk to Zach Nehrir to load the bases, but prevented further damage in the inning when he induced leadoff batter Matt McPhearson to groundout.

Krook then pitched around a one-out walk in the top of the third and a pair of walks in the fourth to keep the San Jose lead at two runs. In the fifth, Morris (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO) needed just 10 pitches to retire the Rawhide in order. Diaz (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) then entered from the bullpen to begin the top of sixth and breezed through a pair of 1-2-3 innings.

Visalia rallied for a run against Caleb Simpson (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) in the top of the eighth. After Simpson quickly set down the first two batters of the inning, Sergio Alcantara lined a single into right - the Rawhide's first hit since the second inning. Herum was then hit by a pitch to put the potential tying run on base. With Austin Byler at the plate, Visalia successfully executed a double steal and when Garcia's throw bounced down the left field line for an error, Alcantara came home to cut the Giants lead to 3-2. Simpson though recovered and struck out Byler on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning and leave the tying run at third.

Halstead (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) then notched a pair of strikeouts in a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the ninth to seal the victory.

Donatella (0-3) was saddled with the loss after yielding three runs (all earned) on six hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out eight.

Notes
* The Giants improved to 3-1 on their homestand.
* Tuesday was the first of 28 meetings this season between San Jose and Visalia.
* The Giants out-hit the Rawhide 7-2.
* The two teams combined for 26 strikeouts.
* With two hits, Howard increased his league-leading hit total to 18 (.367 AVG).
* Morse played in his first game since suffering a hamstring injury in spring training on March 20.
* Morris' outing was his first of the year after sustaining a foot injury during spring training. Both Morse and Morris were officially added to San Jose's roster from the Sacramento (AAA) disabled list before the game. Infielder Michael Bernal and pitcher Yordy Cabrera were placed on the 7-day DL.
* Giants starting pitchers own a 1.42 ERA (3 ER/19.0 IP) through the first four games of the homestand.

On Deck
The Giants and Rawhide will play a doubleheader on Wednesday evening with the first game at Municipal Stadium scheduled to begin at 5:30 PM. Both games of the twinbill will be seven innings in length. Heath Slatton (0-0, 4.76 ERA) and Mark Reyes (0-1, 7.45 ERA) are slated to start on the mound for San Jose in the doubleheader while Visalia is expected to counter with Joel Payamps (0-0, 5.40 ERA) and Nick Baker (1-0, 5.40 ERA). Michael Morse is scheduled to continue his rehab assignment with San Jose. 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.

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