SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants closed out the first half with a 5-2 loss to the Visalia Rawhide on Sunday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. With the defeat, the Giants were swept in the four-game series by Visalia to finish the half with a 30-40 overall record.
Gio Brusa (2-for-4, 2B) and Matt Winn (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) had two hits apiece to lead the way offensively on Sunday.
Visalia never trailed in the contest scoring twice in the top of the first before plating another run in the second to take an early 3-0 lead. The game began with three straight hits against San Jose starter Mark Reyes as Matt McPhearson singled before Matt Jones singled. Austin Byler then stepped to the plate and hammered an RBI double to deep right center before Marty Herum produced a sacrifice fly to score the second run of the inning.
In the second, Daniel Lockhart led off with a double before a Galli Cribbs single put runners on the corners. McPhearson followed with a sacrifice fly plating Lockhart for a 3-0 Rawhide advantage.
The Giants scored their first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the third. Winn led off with a double down the left field line before a two-out infield single from Ryan Howard put runners on first and third. Daniel Carbonell was up next and he lined a single into left to score Winn trimming the Visalia lead to 3-1. Rawhide starter Jose Almonte though prevented further damage in the inning when he struck out Heath Quinn to retire the side.
The game would then remain at 3-1 all the way until the eighth. Reyes finished his start with three straight scoreless innings over the third, fourth and fifth frames. Caleb Simpson (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO) then faced the minimum six hitters over the sixth and seventh innings to keep San Jose within two runs.
The Giants though would not put another runner into scoring position until the ninth. Almonte worked around a leadoff walk in the fourth and a one-out single from Ronnie Jebavy in the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth, Quinn singled with one out against reliever Trevor Simms, but the next two batters struck out to end the inning. Then in the bottom of the seventh, Winn drew a one-out walk, but again Simms came back to set down the next two hitters.
Visalia extended their lead to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. Facing Will LaMarche (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO), the inning began with McPhearson reaching safely on a fielding error committed by Dillon Dobson at first base. McPhearson then immediately scored when the next batter, Jones, belted an RBI double to deep right center. After back-to-back strikeouts, Grant Heyman knocked out an RBI single as Jones came home to make it 5-1.
San Jose was set down in order in the bottom of the eighth before mounting a rally in the ninth. With Austin Mason on the mound, Brusa clubbed a one-out double off the right center field fence. Two batters later, Winn delivered a two-out RBI single as Brusa scored to cut the Rawhide lead to 5-2. T.J. Bennett followed with a single up the middle to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Mason induced Jebavy to pop out to first ending the game.
Almonte (5-5) earned the win after tossing five innings with one run allowed. The right-hander surrendered five hits, walked one and struck out five.
Reyes (3-9) suffered his league-leading ninth loss of the season for the Giants after yielding three runs (all earned) in five innings. Reyes gave up six hits and did not walk or strikeout a hitter.
* The Giants were swept in a series for the second time this season. Inland Empire swept San Jose in a four-game series from May 12-15 at Municipal Stadium.
* The Giants end the first half with a league-worst 10-25 home record. San Jose has lost 15 out of their last 19 home games.
* Reyes retired 11 out of the last 12 batters he faced in his start on Sunday.
* Both teams finished with nine hits.
* The Giants finish in last place in the first half North Division standings for the first time since 2003.
* Sunday's game time temperature at Municipal Stadium was 100 degrees.
San Jose Giants Aramis Garcia, Bryan Reynolds, Ryan Howard, Mike Connolly and Conner Menez will participate in the California League All-Star Game on Tuesday evening at Recreation Park in Visalia. The Giants then open the second half on Thursday night in Visalia. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM with Matt Krook (3-6, 6.00 ERA) slated to start on the mound for San Jose. Thursday's second half opener can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:40 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.