It seemed as if the National Anthem had just ended when the scoreboard read 7-0 in favor of the Lancaster Jethawks on Friday. The San Jose Giants had not had their turn on offense yet, and watched as Lancaster sent 11 hitters to the plate who would put up seven runs on five hits en route to an 8-5 victory at Municipal Stadium. All of the damage, save one hit, came in just 1/3 of an inning at the expense of San Jose starter Michael Main. Having given up four or more runs in four of his last five appearances, Main could not shake the Jethawks’ lineup before getting the hook after recording just one out.
The first five Lancaster batters all reached base and scored in the top of the first. Grant Hogue’s leadoff double, Austin Wates being hit by a pitch and Adam Bailey’s base hit quickly loaded the bases. Lancaster then caught a break when catcher’s interference was called on the Giants’ Alex Burg, forcing home the first run to give the Jethawks a 1-0 lead. A Jose Thompson single and an Erik Castro walk soon extended the lead to 3-0.
With the bases still loaded, Andrew Simunic delivered a huge blow in the form of a grand slam, sending Main’s 3-1 fastball over the wall in left. The blast resulted in a 7-0 advantage for Lancaster, and also marked the early end of Main’s evening. Ari Ronick replaced Main and got the Giants out of the inning without further damage. He and a slew of relievers would limit the Jethawks to just one more run the rest of the way.
That run came in the top of the third, as Jonathan Meyer provided another leadoff double for Lancaster. Rene Garcia’s two-out base hit brought Meyer in to inch the Jethawks’ lead to 8-0.
San Jose’s first signs of life came in the bottom of the fourth. The Giants began chipping away at the large deficit and at Lancaster starter Robby Donovan, who had thrown three perfect innings up to this point. Donovan entered Friday with a 2-12 record, 6.86 ERA, an 0-6 record in his previous nine starts and having allowed multiple runs in all but one of those starts.
Gary Brown’s leadoff single was San Jose’s first hit of the game, and Ehire Adrianza followed with a walk. Jose Flores’ groundout advanced the runners to second and third, and Ryan Cavan’s groundout moved them each up again. Brown scored on Cavan’s out to put the Giants on the board, 8-1.
Back-to-back walks of Jarrett Parker and Alex Burg loaded the bases, setting the table for Luke Anders. Anders delivered with a base hit through the right side, plating Adrianza and Parker to shrink the deficit to 8-3. A Juan Ciriaco walk loaded the bases again for San Jose, however, Nick Liles’ strikeout to end the inning stranded all runners. Still, the Giants were in business.
San Jose put up one run in the seventh and eighth innings. Adrianza singled and scored in the seventh, as did Ciriaco in the eighth to pull the Giants within three at 8-5. But San Jose would not score again, as Lancaster reliever Kirk Clark threw 1 1/3 perfect innings to close it out and notch his 16th save of the season.
At 69-35 overall, the Giants aim to earn a split in this four-game series with the Jethawks on Saturday in the series finale. San Jose sends Chris Heston (8-4, 3.96 ERA) to the mound to face off against Jake Buchanan (5-5, 3.84 ERA) for Lancaster. Each has been the workhorse of their rotation as of late, with Heston having gone at least six innings in seven of his last 10 starts and Buchanan doing so in eight of his last 10, including six straight.
Game time for Saturday’s series finale is set for 6:00 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. Tickets are available by visiting www.sjgiants.com, or by calling (408) 297-1435.
* With a pair of base hits on Friday, San Jose center fielder Gary Brown extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Brown’s 2-for-5 effort was his fifth multi-hit game during the streak in which he is batting .395 (15-for-38) with one home run, one double, two RBI and eight runs scored. Brown also owns a 15-game hitting streak this season from May 5-20.
* Aside from Brown’s streak, San Jose catcher Tommy Joseph has a five-game hitting streak going. Joseph was out of the lineup Friday, however, and is scheduled to miss Saturday’s game with a minor shoulder injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
* San Jose first baseman Luke Anders also has a hit streak in progress, which stands at four games with two-multi-hit showings in that stretch.
* San Jose infielder Jose Flores is swinging a hot bat recently. In his last 10 games, Flores is batting .323 (10-for-31) with three doubles, five RBI and seven runs scored.
Former Giants in the News:
* Former San Jose third baseman Chris Dominguez’s go-ahead solo home run was the difference on Friday in Double-A Richmond’s 3-2 win over the Trenton Thunder. Dominguez’s eighth inning blast was his fifth of the year for the Flying Squirrels.
* Former San Jose closer Heath Hembree pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings and struck out two on Friday to earn his 11th save of the season for Double-A Richmond. Hembree has nine saves in his last 10 appearances.
* Former San Jose outfielders Francisco Peguero and Wendell Fairley each had two hits and an RBI in Double-A Richmond’s 3-2 win over the Trenton Thunder on Friday. Peguero was 2-for-5 and Fairley went 2-for-4. Each has 11 hits and three multi-hit games in their last nine.
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