Miller's Home Run Lifts Giants To Walk-Off Win

San Jose overcomes six-run deficit, earns 8-7 victory in 11 innings over Stockton

By San Jose Giants | April 14, 2018 11:00 PM ET

SAN JOSE, CA - Jalen Miller hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to propel the San Jose Giants to a dramatic 8-7 victory over the Stockton Ports on Saturday evening at Municipal Stadium. San Jose twice rallied in the contest after being down to their last out. The Giants tied the game with a two-out run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra-innings. Then after Stockton went back ahead with a run in the top of the 11th, Miller smacked a two-run homer with two down in the bottom of the frame to lift San Jose to the walk-off the win. With the victory, the Giants (6-4) have now taken two out of the first three games in the series from the Ports.

Miller (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Jacob Heyward (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) each homered for San Jose in the victory.

The Giants trailed 6-0 after a half-inning, but chipped away at the Stockton lead before finally tying the game in the bottom of the ninth on Gio Brusa's two-out RBI single. The Ports reclaimed the lead in the top of the 11th, but San Jose again rallied in the bottom of the inning to secure the walk-off victory.

Down 6-5, the bottom of the ninth began for the Giants with a Bryce Johnson single down the left field line. Miller then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance Johnson to second before Frandy De La Rosa grounded out. Brusa then stepped to the plate and hit a high pop up into shallow left-center field that dropped in out of the reach of shortstop Kevin Merrell for a single. The hit easily scored Johnson from second base to tie the game 6-6.

After both teams were kept off the scoreboard in the 10th inning, the Ports reclaimed the lead in the top of the 11th. Stockton's Nate Mondou started the frame at second base per the new minor league extra-inning rules. Collin Theroux then led off the inning with a bunt. Giants catcher Matt Winn fielded the bunt, but his throw to third was late in an attempt to retire Mondou. Kevin Merrell then reached on a bunt single to bring home Mondou with the go-ahead tally as the Ports took back the lead at 7-6. San Jose reliever Dylan Rheault though prevented further damage in the inning when he retired the next three hitters to keep the Stockton lead at a single run.

In the bottom of the 11th, pinch-runner Johneshwy Fargas started the inning at second base for the Giants. Brandon Van Horn led off with a grounder back to the pitcher Miguel Romero, who fielded the ball and threw back to second to retire Fargas for the first out of the inning. Johnson then struck out for the second out, but Miller followed by launching an 0-1 pitch from Romero over the fence in left for a game-winning two-run homer. The home run was Miller's second of the season as it gave San Jose the walk-off victory.

Rheault (1-1) was credited with the win despite giving up a run in the top of the 11th.

San Francisco Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija started on the mound for San Jose on a rehab assignment and initially struggled giving up six runs in the top of the first inning. Samardzija retired the first two batters of the game before allowing a two-out single to Greg Deichmann. Dairon Blanco then hit a slow roller in front of the mound that Samardzija fielded, but threw wildly to first. Blanco was credited with a single on the play with Deichmann taking third on the throwing error. Then when right fielder Sandro Fabian airmailed a throw back towards the infield, Deichman raced home with the first run of the game. The rally continued when the next batter, Will Toffey, delivered an RBI double to make the score 2-0. Edwin Diaz and Luis Barrera then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases before Mondou crushed a grand slam to deep right for a 6-0 Stockton advantage.

Samardzija pitched 2 2/3 innings during his start yielding six runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out five. Samardzija recovered after his early struggles to retire six out of the final seven batters he faced. He struck out the side in a perfect top of the second before registering another strike out in the third. Samardzija departed the game with two outs and a runner on first base in the third inning after reaching his pitch count limit.

The Giants scored their first run in the bottom of the first on a two-out RBI single from Heyward. In the fourth, Heyward connected for a solo home run to straightaway center to bring San Jose to within 6-2. The Giants then scored three more runs in the fifth inning to trim the Stockton lead to 6-5. Winn led off the inning with a single before Van Horn drew a walk. Then with two outs, Frandy De La Rosa lined a single into right to plate Winn with the first run of the inning. A throwing error from the right fielder Deichmann on the play then allowed Van Horn to also score as San Jose pulled to within 6-4. Brusa was up next and he ripped a double to deep center field plating De La Rosa to make the score 6-5.

The Giants left the potential tying run in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings before pushing across the tying tally in the bottom of the ninth.

Notes
* Miller hit the Giants' first walk-off home run since June 7, 2015 (Seth Harrison 13th inning home run versus High Desert).
* Saturday was San Jose's first extra-inning game of the season.
* The six-run margin was the Giants' largest overcome to win a game this year.
* Both teams finished the game with 10 hits.
* Brusa (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI), Heyward (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Johnson (2-for-6) produced multi-hit games for San Jose.
* Samardzija was making his first rehab appearance with the Giants.
* Carlos Diaz (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO), Raffi Vizcaino (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO), Patrick Ruotolo (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO) and Rheault (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) combined on 8 1/3 innings of relief for San Jose with no earned runs allowed.

On Deck
The Giants and Ports conclude their four-game series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 1:00 PM. Melvin Adon (0-1, 4.15 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Zack Erwin (1-0, 0.00 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.

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