BAKERSFIELD - The San Jose Giants swept a doubleheader from the Bakersfield Blaze on Wednesday afternoon earning wins of 5-4 and 8-6 at Sam Lynn Ballpark. With the two victories, San Jose takes two out of three games in the series.
In the opener, Ydwin Villegas (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) hit a three-run home run to key a decisive fourth-inning rally for the Giants. San Jose then used a five-run top of the fifth inning in the second game before holding on late to complete the doubleheader sweep. The Giants finished both seven-inning contests with 11 hits.
Bakersfield jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first game with a three-run bottom of the first against San Jose starter Martin Agosta. The Giants though rallied in the fourth. Mitch Delfino led off the inning by reaching on a fielding error committed by Zach Vincej at shortstop. After Ben Turner singled to put runners on first and second, Tyler Horan popped out and Chuckie Jones grounded into a force play. With runners on the corners and two down, Villegas stepped to the plate and belted a three-run home run down the left field line to give San Jose a 4-3 lead.
The fourth-inning rally then continued when Jared Deacon doubled down the left field line and immediately scored when the next batter, Shawn Payne, blooped a single into shallow center.
Meanwhile, Agosta settled down after his rocky start keeping the Blaze off the scoreboard in the second, third and fourth innings. He had retired nine out of 11 hitters until Vincej led off the bottom of the fifth with a single. After the next two batters were retired on fly outs, Marquez Smith smacked a triple off the fence in left center plating Vincej to cut the lead to 5-4. Agosta, however, recovered as he set down the next batter, Juan Perez, on a fly out to left to end the inning and keep San Jose ahead.
Stephen Johnson (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO) relieved Agosta to begin the bottom of the sixth and maintained the one-run lead with a scoreless inning of work. Bryce Bandilla (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO) then pitched around a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory. After Vincej singled with one out to put the tying run on base, Bandilla bounced back registering consecutive swinging strikeouts of Jeff Gelalich and Sean Buckley to finish the game.
Agosta (2-2) earned the win after tossing five innings with four runs (all earned) and seven hits allowed. He walked two and struck out none. Bandilla picked-up his seventh save in seven opportunities this season.
Blaze starter Ismael Guillon (0-5) suffered the loss after he was charged with five runs (one earned) on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. All four runs allowed by Guillon during the fourth-inning rally were unearned.
Payne (2-for-4, RBI, SB), Turner (2-for-4) and Ryan Lollis (2-for-4) had two hits apiece for the Giants.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Blaze leadoff batter Beau Amaral hit the first pitch thrown by San Jose starter Kendry Flores over the fence in center to give Bakersfield a 1-0 lead. Flores allowed just one other hitter to reach base during his start as the right-hander was pulled after working three innings. Flores surrendered one run on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts during his outing.
Blaze spot-starter Layne Somsen retired the first 10 batters he faced until Jones launched a one-out solo home run to left center in the top of the fourth tying the game 1-1. The home run was Jones' 11th of the season.
After Jeff Soptic threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth out of the bullpen, the Giants exploded in the fifth to take the lead. The inning began with Turner lining a double into the right center field gap. After Sam Mende drew a walk and Payne struck out, Villegas grounded a single up the middle to load the bases. Galindo was up next and he cleared the bases with a line drive double into the left field corner. The hit gave San Jose a 4-1 lead. The Giants rally then continued as Jones singled to move Galindo to third before Lollis ripped an RBI single into center for a 5-1 advantage. Delfino then stepped to the plate and produced an RBI single of his own to make it 6-1. San Jose collected five consecutive one-out hits during the fifth-inning rally.
Soptic returned to the mound in the bottom of the fifth and worked around a pair of singles to maintain the five-run lead. However in the sixth, Vincej led off with a single, Gelalich walked and then Buckley greeted new pitcher Ian Gardeck with an opposite-field three-run homer to right center. The home run trimmed the Giants lead to 6-4. Gardeck then walked Smith, but bounced back to set down the next three hitters to end the inning.
San Jose then plated two key insurance runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 8-4. After a leadoff single from Jones, Delfino doubled down the right field line to put runners on second and third. Horan was intentionally walked to load the bases before Turner hit a fly ball double down the right field line to score two Giants runs.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Blaze received a leadoff pinch-hit double from Sammy Diaz before Gardeck notched consecutive strikeouts. However down to their last out, Bakersfield rallied as Gelalich walked and then Buckley walked to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. Tyler Mizenko was then summoned from the bullpen, but he promptly allowed a two-run single to left off the bat of Smith as the Blaze moved to within 8-6. But with the potential winning run at the plate, Mizenko induced Perez to fly out to left ending the game.
Soptic (2-1) was credited with the win after working two innings in relief yielding two runs (both earned) on two hits. He walked one and struck out two. Mizenko collected his 10th save.
Brian Pearl (0-2) was saddled with the loss out of the Bakersfield bullpen after giving up all five runs in the top of the fifth. Pearl surrendered four hits, walked one and retired just one out of six batters faced.
Jones (3-for-4, HR, RBI), Turner (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Delfino (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) had multi-hit games while Galindo (1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) drove home three runs to lead the offensive attack in game two.
Notes: Wednesday was San Jose's first doubleheader of the season … The Giants out-hit the Blaze 11-8 in both games … Turner (4-for-8, 2 2B, 2 RBI) led San Jose with four hits during the twinbill … Villegas's game one home run was his second of the season and fourth of his seven-year professional career … Villegas returned to the Giants from Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday … San Jose was a combined 9-for-22 (.409) with runners in scoring position during the two games … San Jose finishes with a 9-7 record against Bakersfield this season (4-2 at Sam Lynn Ballpark) … The Giants improved to 60-56 overall.
On Deck: The Giants return home on Thursday evening to begin a four-game series against the Lancaster JetHawks. First pitch at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Nick Vander Tuig (1-0, 3.60 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Lancaster is expected to counter with Matt Heidenreich (3-3, 4.25 ERA). Tickets are available and 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.