SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants dropped both games of Wednesday's doubleheader at Municipal Stadium suffering losses of 9-3 and 3-0 to the Visalia Rawhide. Visalia scored seven runs in the top of the first inning in the first game before cruising to the victory. In the nightcap, three Rawhide pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout to complete the doubleheader sweep. The Giants (7-6) lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Aramis Garcia (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) hit his league-leading fourth home run of the year in the first game of the doubleheader. Jalen Miller (2-for-4) added a pair of singles for San Jose in the opener. In the second contest, the final 13 Giants hitters were retired as San Jose was shutout for the first time this season.
In Wednesday's first game, Visalia erupted in the top of the first scoring seven runs on six hits to take early control. Giants starter Heath Slatton began the game by issuing a walk to Matt McPhearson before Colin Bray singled. A sacrifice bunt from Sergio Alcantara then advanced the runners to second and third before Marty Herum grounded a two-run single into left giving the Rawhide a 2-0 lead. The rally continued when the next batter, Austin Byler, smacked an RBI double to make it 3-0 before a walk to Francis Christy. Grant Heyman's groundout to second then plated Byler for a 4-0 Visalia advantage. Daniel Lockhart was up next and he doubled home another run before ninth-place hitter Galli Cribbs delivered an RBI single to make it 6-0. David Owen was then summoned from the bullpen, but he promptly allowed an RBI double to McPhearson to cap the first-inning scoring. The Rawhide sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first.
Owen (2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) worked scoreless second and third innings for the Giants before Visalia pushed across two more runs in the top of the fourth. Herum produced a one-out RBI double to bring home the first run of the inning before Byler's RBI single extended the Rawhide lead to 9-0.
San Jose broke through offensively in the bottom of the fourth as Michael Morse singled with two outs before Garcia stepped to the plate and launched a towering two-run home run to left center. The Giants' final run of the night then came in the bottom of the sixth as Mac Williamson led off with a single, advanced to third on Garcia's one-out double down the left field line and scored when Jonah Arenado grounded out.
Visalia starting pitcher Joel Payamps (1-0) earned the win in game 1 after tossing five innings with two runs (both earned) allowed. Payamps surrendered three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Slatton (0-1) suffered the loss for San Jose in Wednesday's opener. The right-hander yielded a career-high seven runs (all earned) on five hits over 2/3 of an inning. Slatton retired only two out of the nine batters he faced.
In the nightcap, Rawhide hurlers Nick Baker, Cameron Gann and Bud Jeter combined to shutdown the Giants offense. The trio held San Jose to three hits and retired 20 out of the 23 Giants batters that came to the plate.
Visalia scored once in the top of the second before plating two more runs in the third against Giants starter Mark Reyes to build their 3-0 lead. In the second, Byler led off with a double before stealing third. After a walk to Matt Jones put runners on the corners, Byler scored when Heyman grounded into a 3-6-3 double play.
An inning later, Alcantara started the rally when he reached safely on a one-out fielding error committed by Miller at second base. A walk to Fernery Ozuna followed to put runners on first and second before Reyes set down Herum on a fly out to center. Byler though hit a soft liner into shallow left that bounced in front of Gio Brusa and then skipped past the San Jose left fielder. Byler was credited with a double on the play as both Alcantara and Ozuna scored to make it 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Giants managed only three baserunners in the entire second game. In the bottom of the second, Brusa and Arenado produced back-to-back singles to start the inning. However, Brusa was picked-off at second by the pitcher Baker before Jose Vizcaino Jr. and Daniel Carbonell both grounded out.
In the bottom of the third, Miller singled with two outs, but was stranded when the next hitter, Ryan Howard, grounded out. San Jose was then set down 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to close out of the game.
Baker worked the first four innings for Visalia and surrendered three hits with no walks and no strikeouts. Gann (4-0) was credited with the win out of the bullpen after pitching perfect fifth and sixth innings. Jeter tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning for his third save of the year.
Reyes (0-2) was charged with three runs (one earned) over four innings to take the loss in game 2 for the Giants. The left-hander allowed three hits, walked five and struck out two during his 79-pitch outing.
* Visalia has now won two out of the first three games in the series.
* The Giants are 3-3 on their homestand with one game remaining.
* San Jose scored a total of only three runs on nine hits over 14 innings during Wednesday's doubleheader.
* Garcia also leads the California League with 15 RBI's.
* Dusten Knight worked 3 2/3 innings of perfect relief in the first game. Knight, who lowered his season ERA to 0.87 (1 ER/10.1 IP), struck out four.
* The Giants did not have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position in the second game of the doubleheader.
* The Rawhide snapped a three-game losing streak with the win in Wednesday's first contest.
* San Jose was playing only their second doubleheader at Municipal Stadium in the last five years (May 31, 2016 vs. Lancaster).
* Williamson (1-for-3) and Morse (1-for-3) both only played in the first game of the twinbill. Williamson was officially added to San Jose's roster as part of a rehabilitation assignment before Wednesday's games. Morse was playing in his second game with the SJ Giants this week as he also returns from injury.
The Giants and Rawhide wrap-up their four-game series on Thursday morning with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 11:30 AM. Jake McCasland (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Visalia is expected to counter with Jose Almonte (0-0, 2.89 ERA). 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.