MODESTO, CA - The San Jose Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Modesto Nuts with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday evening at John Thurman Field. Bryan Reynolds gave the Giants the lead with a tiebreaking two-run double in the top of the sixth before San Jose held off the Nuts late to secure the win. The Giants (30-36) swept a series for the first time this year while extending their season-high winning streak to four games.
Matt Krook (3-6) earned the win with a dominant start on the mound as the left-hander surrendered just one run and two hits over 5 2/3 innings. Krook walked two and struck out eight during his 97-pitch outing. Dylan Rheault worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth stranding the potential tying runs on base to pick-up the save.
Reynolds (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) drove home three of the four runs to lead the way offensively. Ronnie Jebavy (2-for-4, 2B) added a pair of hits while Heath Quinn (1-for-3, HR, RBI) smacked a solo home run.
The Nuts initially enjoyed a 1-0 lead with a single run in the bottom of the third against Krook. After the San Jose starter retired six batters in a row to begin his start, a walk to Willie Argo began the third. Argo then advanced to second on Arturo Nieto's groundout before scoring when the next batter, Jordan Cowan, lined a single into right center.
Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma started for Modesto on a rehabilitation assignment and fired four scoreless innings. Iwakuma, who retired 12 out of the 13 batters he faced, struck out four and did not issue a walk. The Giants' only hit against Iwakuma was a second-inning double to deep right off the bat of Gio Brusa.
With the score still 1-0, the Nuts' originally scheduled starter Pablo Lopez was summoned from the bullpen to begin the top of the fifth. Quinn led off for San Jose and blasted a solo home run down the left field line to tie the game 1-1. The homer was Quinn's eighth of the season.
Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth thrown by Krook, the Giants then took the lead with a two-run top of the sixth. Jalen Miller walked to start the frame before Jebavy singled to put runners on first and second. Lopez came back to strikeout T.J. Bennett, but Reynolds then stepped to the plate and laced a double into the right field corner. The hit easily scored both Miller and Jebavy for a 3-1 San Jose advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Krook quickly retired the first two batters before issuing a walk to Gianfranco Wawoe. Chris Mariscal then singled - only Modesto's second hit of the game - putting runners on first and second. A pitching change brought Will LaMarche into the game and he promptly struck out Joey Curletta to retire the side.
LaMarche (2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO) returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and immediately ran into trouble as Braden Bishop led off with a single before Logan Taylor also singled. Willie Argo then lined a single into center to bring home Bishop cutting the Giants lead to 3-2. LaMarche though settled down to prevent further damage as Nieto popped out on a bunt attempt, Cowan flied out to center and Rayder Ascanio popped out to first to end the inning.
San Jose then got the run right back in the top of the eighth. With one out, Jebavy doubled before moving to third on Bennett's groundout to second. Reynolds then beat out a slow roller to third for an infield single as Jebavy raced home for a 4-2 Giants cushion.
LaMarche breezed through a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth striking out all three hitters to maintain the two-run lead. Rheault (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 SO) entered to begin the bottom of the ninth, but walked Bishop to start the inning. Bishop then stole second and moved to third when catcher Matt Winn's throw bounced into center field for an error. Moments later, Rheault walked Taylor to put the potential tying run on base. The San Jose closer though would escape. Argo followed with a grounder to third that Jonah Arenado fielded and ultimately tagged out Bishop between third and home after a brief rundown. Taylor moved to second on the play while Argo, the tying run, was safe at first on the fielder's choice. Rheault then induced pinch-hitter Eric Filia to ground into a fielder's choice to shortstop with Argo forced out at second. Cowan followed with a fly out to center which ended the game.
Rheault was credited with his fifth save of the season.
Lopez (3-6) suffered the loss after yielding four runs (all earned) on six hits over 3 2/3 innings of long relief. He walked one and struck out six.
* San Jose went 5-2 on their seven-game road trip.
* Wednesday was the Giants' final road game of the first half. San Jose finished the half with a 20-15 road record.
* Krook is 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA over his last four starts. He retired 16 out of 21 hitters on Wednesday.
* Rheault is 5-for-5 in save opportunities this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.20.
* The Giants out-hit the Nuts 7-5.
* Modesto was swept in a series for the first time this year.
* The San Jose bullpen gave up an earned run for the first time since June 5. Over the last eight games, Giants relievers have pitched 27 1/3 innings with just one earned run allowed (0.33 ERA).
* Jebavy went 7-for-13 (.538 AVG) during the three-game series versus the Nuts.
* San Jose improved to 6-1 at John Thurman Field this season (8-6 overall versus Modesto).
The Giants return to Municipal Stadium on Thursday evening to begin a four-game series against the Visalia Rawhide. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Grant Watson (0-0, 7.88 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Visalia is expected to counter with Bo Takahashi (4-2, 2.16 ERA). It's a KFOX 98.5 Classic Rock Thursday at the ballpark and tickets can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.