SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants collected three straight two-out RBI hits in the bottom of the eighth inning on their way to a 5-3 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers on Sunday evening at Municipal Stadium. With the win, the Giants (52-62 overall, 22-22 second half) take three out of four games in the series and finish the homestand with a 6-1 record.
Jonah Arenado (3-for-4, 3 3B, RBI) doubled three times and drove home a run during the pivotal eighth-inning rally to lead San Jose at the plate. Dillon Dobson (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) added a pair of hits and two RBI's while Bryan Reynolds (1-for-4, RBI) delivered the go-ahead RBI single.
With the game tied 2-2, Steven Duggar produced a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth to put the potential go-ahead run on base. After Ryan Howard flied out, Duggar stole second. Moments later, Reynolds lined a single into left to easily score Duggar giving the Giants a 3-2 lead. The rally then continued as Arenado blasted a double off the fence in deep left center plating Reynolds with the second run of the frame before Dobson doubled home another run to make it 5-2.
Heath Slatton (2-3) earned the win out of the bullpen after working 1 2/3 hitless innings. Slatton inherited a bases loaded, one-out jam in the top of the seventh, but induced a double play to keep the game tied. He then stranded the potential go-ahead run at third base in the top of the eighth before San Jose took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Will LaMarche (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) surrendered a one-out solo home run to Jahmai Jones in the top of the ninth, but quickly retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a groundout to seal the victory. LaMarche picked-up his first save of the season.
The Giants initially enjoyed a 2-0 lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the bottom of the third, Jalen Miller led off with a double before stealing third base. After Duggar flied out, Howard lifted a sacrifice fly into center plating the first run of the night. An inning later, Arenado led off with a double and immediately scored when the next batter, Dobson, singled.
Mark Reyes started on the mound for San Jose and carried a shutout into the sixth inning. Reyes pitched around two walks in the top of the first before working through a two-out single in the second. The Giants left-hander then cruised through 1-2-3 third and fourth innings before using a double play to keep the Sixers off the board in the fifth.
Trailing 2-0, Inland Empire finally broke through against Reyes in the top of the sixth. Jordan Zimmerman led off with a double before Jack Kruger singled to put runners on the corners with none out. Jared Walsh was up next and he blooped a double down the left field line bringing home Zimmerman with the first 66ers run while Kruger, the potential tying run, advanced to third. Keith Grieshaber then hit a sacrifice fly to center as Kruger scored to tie the game 2-2. Reyes though escaped further damage as Connor Justus' deep fly ball to center was caught by a diving Ronnie Jebavy before Brandon Sandoval grounded out to second to end the inning.
Inland Empire threatened to take the lead in the top of the seventh loading the bases with one out, but came away empty-handed. After Reyes struck out the first batter of the inning, Brandon Diaz and Jones knocked out back-to-back singles. The two runners then successfully executed a double steal before Reyes walked Zimmerman to load the bases. However Slatton was summoned from the bullpen and he induced Kruger to ground into an 3-6-3 double play to end the inning and keep the score tied.
The 66ers again threatened in the top of the eighth with Slatton on the mound, but once more failed to take the lead. Slatton walked Walsh to start the inning before Grieshaber flied out. Justus followed with a groundout advancing Walsh to score before a Slatton wild pitch moved the go-ahead run to third. Slatton eventually walked Sandoval, but came back to strikeout Jordan Serena on three pitches to retire the side and set the stage for San Jose's dramatic rally in the bottom of the inning.
Nathan Bates (0-3) was saddled with the loss out of the Inland Empire bullpen after he was charged with the first two runs in the bottom of the eighth. 66ers starting pitcher Nate Bertness pitched five innings with two runs (both earned) allowed. Bertness, who was making his California League debut, gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight.
* The Giants have won seven out of their last eight games overall.
* San Jose is 8-1 in their last nine home games after starting the season 16-35 at Municipal Stadium.
* Arenado became the first Giants player to hit three doubles in a game this season. He finished the four-game series against Inland Empire 11-for-16 (.688 AVG) with four doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBI's.
* San Jose out-hit Inland Empire 9-8.
* Reyes pitched 6 1/3 innings with two runs (both earned) and seven hits allowed. He walked three and struck out two during his 79-pitch outing.
* Slatton has thrown 11 innings with no earned runs allowed for the Giants in the second half (six relief appearances).
* San Jose stole a season-high three bases on Sunday (Dobson, Miller, Duggar).
* The Giants (22-22) are back at .500 in the second half for the first time since July 3 (6-6). San Jose remains one game behind Visalia (23-21) for the top spot in the second half North Division standings.
Following an off day, the Giants embark on a six-game road trip to Stockton (three games) and Modesto (three games). Tuesday's series opener against the Ports at Banner Island Ballpark is a 7:10 PM first pitch. Grant Watson (4-1, 3.02 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Logan Shore (1-5, 4.78 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:50 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.