SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose's late comeback effort fell short in a 5-4 loss to the Inland Empire 66ers on Monday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. The Giants scored once in the bottom of the ninth and had the potential tying run at third base with two outs before the Sixers closed out the win. With the defeat, San Jose (15-23) was swept in the four-game series and finished with a 1-6 record on their homestand.
Gio Brusa (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) had a pair of run-scoring hits to lead the Giants offensively in defeat. Daniel Carbonell (2-for-5, 2B), Ryan Howard (2-for-4, RBI), Bryan Reynolds (2-for-5, 2B) and Dillon Dobson (2-for-4) added two hits apiece. San Jose out-hit Inland Empire by a 12-9 margin.
The 66ers never trailed in the contest scoring twice in the top of the second against Giants starter Jake McCasland to take an early lead. Cody Ramer started the frame by drawing a walk before Brendon Sanger stepped to the plate with one down and launched a two-run home run to right. The homer, Sanger's second of the season, gave Inland Empire a 2-0 advantage.
San Jose cut the Sixers lead in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Howard led off with a single before Dobson's one-out single put runners on first and second. Then with two outs, Brusa grounded a single down the right field line plating Howard to make the score 2-1.
Inland Empire though got the run right back in the fifth against McCasland. With one out, Michael Barash singled and then immediately scored when the next batter, Jose Rojas, belted a double to deep left center.
The 66ers pushed their lead to 4-1 with another run in the top of the sixth. Facing reliever Carlos Diaz, the rally began with a leadoff double from Sanger. After Diaz retired the next two hitters, Troy Montgomery lined a single into left bringing home Sanger to stretch the Inland Empire lead to three runs.
The Giants rallied in the bottom of the sixth as back-to-back singles from Reynolds and Dobson put runners on first and second with none out. Two batters later, Brusa hammered a one-out double off the fence in deep left center to plate Reynolds. Following a walk to Matt Pare, Jonah Arenado delivered a sacrifice fly to center scoring Dobson to bring San Jose to within 4-3. Brusa, the potential tying run, advanced to third on the sac fly, but was stranded there when Jose Vizcaino Jr. struck out.
After both teams went down quietly in the seventh, the 66ers scored a key run in the top of the eighth to extend their lead to 5-3. Diaz (3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) walked Jordan Serena to start the inning before Sanger singled. After a Jake Yacinich sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Diaz fanned Kyle Survance Jr. for the second out. However with Montgomery at the plate, Diaz uncorked a wild pitch allowing Serena to score for a 5-3 Inland Empire cushion.
Still trailing by two runs, San Jose mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth against 66ers closer Sam Holland. With one out, Vizcaino Jr. singled to left before a double down the left field line from Carbonell put runners on second and third. Howard was up next and he hit a sacrifice fly to right plating Vizcaino Jr. to trim the Inland Empire lead to 5-4. Carbonell, the possible tying run, also advanced to third on the play. Holland though induced the next hitter, Reynolds, to ground out to first on the first pitch of the next at-bat to quickly end the game.
Inland Empire starter Jose Rodriguez (4-2) picked-up the win after tossing five innings with one run allowed. Rodriguez surrendered five hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk. Holland earned his fourth save of the year.
McCasland (0-4) was saddled with the loss for the Giants after yielding three runs (all earned) over the first five innings. The right-hander allowed six hits, walked four and struck out five during his 84-pitch outing.
* The Giants were swept at home in a four-game series for the first time since June 4-7, 2016 vs. Bakersfield. It marked only the third time San Jose suffered a four-game sweep at home over the last six seasons.
* Three of the four wins by Inland Empire in the series came by one run.
* The Giants have lost 13 out of their last 16 home games overall.
* Heath Quinn was added to San Jose's roster from Extended Spring Training before the game. Quinn, the #7 prospect in the San Francisco organization according to MLB.com, went 1-for-4 with a double in his season debut on Monday.
* In a corresponding roster move, pitcher Connor Kaden was placed on the 7-day DL.
* McCasland's matched his season-high with five strikeouts. His four walks were a career-high.
* San Jose manager Nestor Rojas was ejected in the top of the sixth inning for arguing a call at home plate.
The Giants next travel to Visalia for a three-game set beginning on Tuesday night at Recreation Park. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 6:00 PM. Conner Menez (2-1, 3.73 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while the Rawhide are expected to counter with Joel Payamps (2-0, 3.27 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 5:40 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.