VISALIA, CA - The Visalia Rawhide jumped out to a six-run lead after four innings and then held off the Giants late to earn a 6-4 win over San Jose on Wednesday evening at Recreation Park. The defeat extended the Giants' (15-25) season-high losing streak to six games.
Dillon Dobson (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Heath Quinn (1-for-3, HR, RBI) each homered for San Jose in the loss. San Francisco Giant Aaron Hill (2-for-3, 2 2B) added two doubles in the second game of his rehabilitation assignment. Jalen Miller (2-for-5, 2B) and Gio Brusa (2-for-5) also finished with multi-hit games. The Giants scored four runs over the final three innings against the Rawhide bullpen, but could not overcome a 6-0 deficit.
Visalia plated two runs in three separate innings against San Jose starting pitcher Mike Connolly to take early control of the contest. In the bottom of the first, Matt McPhearson was hit by a pitch to leadoff before immediately scoring when the next batter, Sergio Alcantara, laced a double into the right center field gap. Two batters later, Marty Herum delivered an RBI single into right extending the lead to 2-0.
In the bottom of the third against Connolly, a one-out double from McPhearson started the rally. After Alcantara grounded out, a walk to Austin Byler put runners on first and second. Herum then stepped to the plate and belted a double to the fence in deep right center scoring both McPhearson and Byler for a 4-0 cushion.
The Rawhide kept the pressure on with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Henry Castillo led off with a single before Grant Heyman crushed a two-run home run to right center. The homer, Heyman's team-leading seventh of the season, pushed the lead to 6-0.
Meanwhile, the Giants managed just three hits over the first five innings against Visalia starter Jose Almonte. In the sixth, San Jose loaded the bases with none out, but failed to score. Back-to-back walks to Dobson and Quinn started the inning before Ryan Howard singled. Almonte though settled down to register three straight strikeouts of Brusa, Matt Winn and Johneshwy Fargas to retire the side.
The Giants finally broke through in the top of the seventh facing Rawhide reliever Keegan Long. With one out, Hill doubled down the left field line. Then with two down, Dobson crushed an opposite-field two-run homer to left. Dobson's fifth home run of the season trimmed the Visalia lead to 6-2.
San Jose inched closer with a single tally in the eighth, but again left the bases loaded. The inning began with a walk to Howard before Brusa lined a single into right. With two outs, Miller beat out a slow roller to third to load the bases. Mason McCullough was then summoned from the Visalia bullpen and he issued a full-count walk to pinch-hitter Jonah Arenado to force home Howard bringing the Giants to within 6-3. McCullough though came back with a three-pitch strikeout of Aramis Garcia to end the inning.
In the ninth, Quinn blasted a one-out solo home run to right center to make the score 6-4. However, McCullough responded with a strikeout of Howard before Brusa popped out ending the game.
Almonte (3-3) picked-up the win after tossing six scoreless innings. The right-hander worked around four hits and three walks while striking out nine. McCullough recorded the final four outs of the game to collect his third save of the year. Rawhide pitching amassed 15 total strikeouts.
Connolly (3-4) was saddled with the loss after yielding a season-high six runs (all earned) in four innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out one.
* Visalia has won the first two games of the series. The Giants have still not won a regular season series at Recreation Park since the opening weekend of the 2013 season (12-35 record since).
* The Rawhide out-hit San Jose 12-9 on Wednesday.
* The Giants were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.
* Connolly had allowed only seven earned runs in his first six starts combined this season prior to Wednesday. He entered the game leading the California League with a 1.78 ERA.
* Quinn is 4-for-11 (.364 AVG) with two doubles and a home run in his first three games with San Jose this season.
* Herum went 4-for-4 with three RBI's to lead the Visalia offensive attack. He's 7-for-8 at the plate in the first two games of the series.
* The Giants fell to 2-20 this season when their opponent scores first (13-5 record when scoring first).
* Hill is 2-for-7 with two doubles in two rehab games with the SJ Giants.
* Yordy Cabrera (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) and Dylan Rheault (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) combined to work four scoreless out of the San Jose bullpen.
* The Giants are 10 games below .500 overall for the first time since July 9, 2015 (37-47 record - finished season 72-68 and reached Championship Series).
The Giants and Rawhide conclude their three-game series on Thursday evening with first pitch at Recreation Park scheduled for 7:00 PM. Matt Solter is slated to start on the mound for San Jose in his California League debut while Visalia is expected to counter with Bo Takahashi (0-1, 2.38 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:40 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.