SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants lost for the 11th time in their last 14 home games with a 3-2 defeat to the Inland Empire 66ers on Saturday evening at Municipal Stadium. Inland Empire took the lead for good with a run in the top of the fifth as San Jose (15-21) suffered their second consecutive loss to begin the series.
Matt Winn (3-for-3) singled three times as part of a perfect night at the plate to lead the Giants offensively.
Saturday's game went back-and-forth early with San Jose jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. A two-out single from Jonah Arenado started the run-scoring rally before Jose Vizcaino Jr. singled to put runners on first and second. Winn then stepped to the plate and lined a single into right - the third consecutive hit - to plate Arenado with the first run of the contest.
Matt Krook started on the mound for the Giants and retired seven out of the first eight Sixers hitters that came to the plate. However with one out in the top of the third, Jordan Serena drew a walk before Jared Foster laced a two-out, RBI double into the left field corner to tie the game 1-1.
San Jose though responded in the bottom of the third with a run of their own to reclaim the lead. With one out, Ryan Howard walked. Two batters later, Aramis Garcia hammered a two-out double down the left field line to score Howard all the way from first giving the Giants a 2-1 advantage.
Inland Empire, however, came right back in the top of the fourth scoring a run without the benefit of a hit to tie the game again. After Krook retired the first two batters of the inning, Connor Justus drew a walk and then stole second. A passed ball moved Justus to third before a Krook wild pitch on ball four to Jose Rojas brought home the tying run.
The 66ers then took their first lead of the night with a run in the top of the fifth. Serena started the rally with a one-out infield single before Krook walked Foster with two down. Connor Kaden was then summoned from the bullpen, but he promptly allowed a single to Matt Thaiss which scored Serena giving Inland Empire a 3-2 lead.
The Giants managed just two baserunners over the final five innings on Saturday. Jalen Miller led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, but was picked-off at first base. Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, Winn singled with one down in the seventh. However, Sixers reliever Garrett Nuss quickly retired the next two batters to end the inning. Nuss then breezed through a perfect eighth inning before Sam Holland went three up and three down in the bottom of the ninth to seal the Inland Empire victory.
66ers starter Austin Robichaux (1-1) picked-up the win after allowing two runs (both earned) over the first six innings. Robichaux surrendered six hits, walked two and struck out three. Holland earned his third save of the year.
Krook (0-5) was saddled with the loss for the Giants despite throwing a season-high 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander was charged with three runs (two earned) on just two hits. Krook walked five and struck out six during his 95-pitch outing.
* The Giants fell to 1-4 on their current homestand.
* San Jose has still not won a series at Municipal Stadium since taking two out of three games from the Stockton Ports to open the home schedule this season (April 13-15).
* The Giants out-hit the Sixers 7-6 on Saturday.
* Krook's six strikeouts was a season-high (one off career-high).
* Kaden (3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO) and Dylan Rheault (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for San Jose.
* Inland Empire has won four games in a row.
* The Giants fell to 3-5 in one-run games this season.
The Giants and 66ers continue their series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 1:00 PM. Mark Reyes (1-4, 5.70 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Inland Empire is expected to counter with Jaime Barria (1-3, 2.72 ERA). The first 500 mothers in attendance will receive a special Mother's Day giveaway gift courtesy of Orchard Supply Hardware. It's also a Kids Eat Free Sunday at the ballpark. 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.