SAN JOSE - Chris Stratton took a shutout into the seventh inning and the Giants scored all five of their runs in the bottom of the fourth en route to a 5-2 victory over the High Desert Mavericks on Tuesday evening at Municipal Stadium. The series-opening triumph was San Jose's third win in a row.
Stratton (3-6) struck out a season-high eight batters over seven strong innings to pick-up the win. The right-hander allowed two runs (both earned) on five hits and walked two during his 94-pitch performance. Mason McVay (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO) and Steven Okert (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) then each worked a perfect inning of relief to seal the Giants victory. Okert earned his league-leading 17th save of the season.
Chuckie Jones (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), Elliott Blair (2-for-4) and Jesus Navarro (2-for-3, RBI) had two hits apiece to lead San Jose offensively.
The game was scoreless until the Giants sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run bottom of the fourth. Shawn Payne was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. Blake Miller followed with a shallow fly ball into right center field that dropped for a hit. The ball then skipped past Mavericks center fielder Travis Witherspoon as Payne raced home with the game's first run. Miller made it into second on the play for a double and then immediately scored himself when the next batter, Mitch Delfino, grounded a single up the middle. The rally continued when Blair singled to left before Jones ripped an RBI double down the left field line to make it 3-0. Jones' hit marked the fifth straight San Jose batter to reach base to start the inning. Brian Ragira then lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate Blair before Navarro's two-out RBI single into left extended the lead to 5-0.
Meanwhile, Stratton cruised through the first six innings of his start. The Giants hurler pitched around a leadoff single in the first and a one-out single in the fourth, inducing double plays in each inning. High Desert's only other hit against Stratton in the first six innings was a two-out single from Jabari Henry in the top of the second. Stratton struck out the side in the fifth before registering two more punchouts in the sixth inning.
The Mavericks finally broke through with a pair of runs against Stratton in the top of the seventh. A walk to D.J. Pederson started the rally before Gabriel Guerrero singled to left. After Jordy Lara flied out, Henry doubled down the left field line to plate Pederson was High Desert's first run. Stratton then walked Tim Lopes to load the bases with one out and bring the potential tying run to the plate. Steve Baron was up next and he hit a sacrifice fly to right bringing home Guerrero to make it 5-2. However with Luis Caballero then at the plate, the San Jose catcher Navarro picked-off Henry at second base to end the inning.
The Giants managed only two hits after their fourth-inning barrage - back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the eighth from Jones and Ragira - but continued to hold onto the lead.
McVay needed just 11 pitches to breeze through the top of the eighth inning. Then in the ninth, with San Jose still ahead by three runs, Okert set down the Mavericks in order. The Giants closer struck out Lara on three pitches to end the game.
High Desert starter Min-Sih Chen (2-4) suffered the loss after yielding five runs (all earned) on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Notes: Stratton's seven innings pitched also matched a season-high … Stratton won for the first time in five starts (May 3 at Lancaster) … The Giants out-hit the Mavericks 9-5 … Tuesday was the first meeting of the season between San Jose and High Desert … McVay extended his scoreless inning streak to 17 … Okert is 17-for-17 in save opportunities this year … San Jose has won nine out of their last 13 games.
On Deck: The Giants and Mavericks continue their three-game series on Wednesday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Kendry Flores (3-4, 5.94 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while High Desert is expected to counter with Scott DeCecco (2-4, 5.68 ERA). Wednesday is the second annual STAR WARS® Night at the ballpark. The team will be wearing special STAR WARS® jerseys that will be available during an in-game silent auction. Dress like your favorite STAR WARS® character and receive two free future game tickets. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.