RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA - The San Jose Giants were unable to hold an early three-run lead on Thursday night as the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes rallied for an 8-5 victory at LoanMart Field. The Quakes moved in front for the first time with a four-run bottom of the fifth and never looked back en route to their second straight win to open the series. Giants pitching issued 10 walks and also uncorked five wild pitches in the loss.
Jonah Arenado (1-for-2, HR, RBI) smacked his eighth home run of the season in defeat for San Jose. The Giants scored four runs over the first two innings, but were then held to just one hit after the top of the second.
San Jose jumped out early scoring three times in the top of the first against Rancho Cucamonga starter Adam Bray. Back-to-back one-out walks to Eduardo Nunez and Bryan Reynolds started the rally before Aramis Garcia grounded an RBI double down the right field line for a 1-0 advantage. Ryan Howard followed with a sharp single into left plating Reynolds before Gio Brusa hit a sacrifice fly to deep left extending the lead to 3-0.
Matt Krook started on the mound for the Giants and surrendered one run in the bottom of the first as the Quakes trimmed the San Jose lead to 3-1. Zach McKinstry drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third when Drew Jackson bounced a single into left. Luke Raley then drove home the run with a groundout.
The Giants reclaimed their three-run cushion in the top of the second when Arenado led off with a solo home run to left. San Jose though would manage only one more hit and three total baserunners for the remainder of the contest.
McKinstry brought Rancho Cucamonga to within 4-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the third. Krook then pitched around a pair of walks in the fourth to maintain the two-run lead, but would run into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Jackson started the pivotal fifth-inning rally with a double into the left field corner before Raley walked. DJ Peters then grounded a single up the middle to plate Jackson with the first run of the inning. The RBI hit prompted a pitching change as Connor Kaden was summoned from the bullpen, but the Giants reliever walked Keibert Ruiz on five pitches to load the bases. Kaden (2/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) then issued a four-pitch walk to Omar Estevez forcing home Raley to tie the game 4-4. Then with Ibandel Isabel at the plate, Kaden threw a wild pitch allowing Peters to score for a 5-4 Quakes lead. Kaden recovered to strikeout Isabel, but Brandon Montgomery followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Ruiz to make it 6-4. Kaden then threw another wild pitch before a walk to Ariel Sandoval led to a change on the mound. Heath Slatton was brought into pitch and he struck out McKinstry, the ninth batter of the frame, to end the inning. Rancho Cucamonga scored four runs on two hits and also took advantage of four walks and two wild pitches in the bottom of the fifth.
San Jose cut the Quakes lead in half with a run in the top of the seventh, but stranded the potential tying run in scoring position. With two outs, Arenado drew a walk and then immediately scored when the next batter, Jalen Miller, doubled down the left field line. Miller's double - the first Giants hit since the second inning - trimmed the Rancho Cucamonga lead to 6-5. Ronnie Jebavy though followed by grounding out to third to end the inning.
The Quakes then extended their lead with single runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings before closing out the Giants. In the seventh, Estevez reached second base to leadoff when his grounder to third was misplayed by John Polonius for an error. Isabel then singled up the middle to plate Estevez for a 7-5 lead. An inning later, Will LaMarche (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) surrendered back-to-back singles to Jackson and Raley to start the inning. A LaMarche wild pitch then advanced the runners to second and third before another wild pitch scored Jackson to make it 8-5.
Dean Kremer retired all six batters he faced over perfect top of the eighth and ninth innings to pick-up his second save of the year for Rancho Cucamonga.
Bray (4-2) earned the win after tossing five innings with four runs (all earned) allowed. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out four. After giving up four runs over the the first eight batters, Bray retired 12 straight San Jose hitters to end his outing.
Krook (3-9) suffered the loss for the Giants. The left-hander was charged with five runs (all earned) on six hits over four-plus innings of work. Krook matched a career-high with six walks and struck out four during his 85-pitch outing.
* The Giants have lost three straight and nine out of their last 12 games overall.
* Rancho Cucamonga out-hit San Jose 10-4.
* The Giants had only three at-bats with runners in scoring position (2-for-3).
* Arenado has hit two home runs over his last four games.
* The 10 walks issued by San Jose pitching was one off their season-high. The Giants lead the California League with 403 walks this season.
* Slatton struck out four and allowed just one unearned run over 2 1/3 innings of relief. It was his first appearance in San Jose since May 20.
* LaMarche returned to the Giants from Sacramento (AAA) before the game on Thursday. Pitcher Albert Suarez was transferred to Sacramento.
* Nunez played the first six innings at third base in the second game of his rehab assignment. He finished 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate.
* San Jose (38-53) fell 15 games below .500 for the first time since the 2003 season (finished 58-82).
The Giants and Quakes continue their series on Friday evening with first pitch at LoanMart Field scheduled for 7:05 PM. Jake McCasland (4-8, 4.87 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Rancho Cucamonga is expected to counter with Devin Smeltzer (2-3, 4.66 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.