The 12 runs produced by the San Jose Giants on Sunday equaled their output in their previous four games combined. That effort enabled the Giants to take both ends of their doubleheader over the Visalia Rawhide by scores of 7-3 and 5-0. Chris Heston shook off a rocky start in game one to improve his record to 8-4 on the season, going the full seven innings and striking out four. Offensively, Gary Brown and James Simmons led a balanced Giants attack. Brown went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Simmons was 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
As mentioned, Heston struggled early in game one as Visalia put up two runs immediately in the top of the first. Keon Broxton led off the game with a base hit, and took second on a wild pitch by Heston in the Rawhide’s next at-bat. Heston was almost out of the weeds, however, after recording two outs before Matthew Davidson stepped into the box. Davidson dueled Heston to a full count before taking him out of the yard to give Visalia a 2-0 lead. Davidson’s home run was his 12th of the year, and second consecutive against San Jose having also homered on Saturday.
David Nick tagged Heston for another round-tripper in the third, leading off the inning with a solo shot to inch the Rawhide lead to 3-0. Nick’s homer was his 10th of the season.
Meanwhile, Visalia starter David Holmberg was enjoying a rather easy afternoon, facing the minimum of 15 batters through five innings. But the wheels came off fast and in a big way in the sixth, where the Giants scored all seven of their runs. Before he recorded a single out, Holmberg gave up three hits (two doubles), three runs and committed a throwing error. In the blink of an eye, San Jose was within one, 4-3.
Holmberg was replaced by Evan Marshall and was responsible for two base runners upon exit. Marshall fared no better, as his first pitch was laced by Tommy Joseph into center for a double that scored Gary Brown to tie the game, 4-4. Joseph would score along with Juan Ciriaco on Visalia’s second error of the inning to give San Jose its first lead, 6-4. Jose Flores’ sacrifice fly with two outs allowed Jarrett Parker to tag and score to make it 7-4, and the Rawhide’s three-run lead all of a sudden became a three-run deficit. Heston, who rebounded from the first three innings, surrendered just one hit in the seventh the rest of the way to close out the win.
Visalia was never in it in game two, while the San Jose bats never cooled off. Especially that of Parker, who led off the second inning with a single and later scored to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. After an RBI single by Joseph and an RBI sacrifice fly by Ryan Cavan, Parker delivered another base hit to score Joseph for a 4-0 San Jose advantage.
“I’m just trying to stay consistent with my approach and get a good pitch to hit,” Parker said. “This is my first season professionally. I’m realizing it’s tough and the competition is a lot better, so I’m just trying to put together quality at-bats and make consistent contact.”
Joseph would score on a wild pitch to make it 5-0 Giants, a lead plenty big enough for starter Andy Reichard to work with. Reichard threw five shutout innings, giving up just five hits and striking out one en route to upping his record to 6-1 on the season. Jose Valdez held the lead in the sixth and newcomer Stephen Harrold pitched a perfect seventh to secure the victory in game two. The appearance was Harrold’s second of the year with San Jose since being called up from Low-A Augusta on July 20.
At 67-33 overall, the Giants are winners of three straight and look to sweep their series with Visalia on Monday. San Jose, like Parker, is aiming to find consistency as their three-game win streak comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak, which itself was preceded by an 11-game win streak.
“We’re going out and doing the same thing every day,” Parker said. “Bakersfield is a tough place to play, so we were kind of in a weird spot in Bakersfield. But we’re just going out, playing every day and whatever happens, happens.”
The Giants will go out and play again on Monday in the series finale against the Rawhide. Tickets are available by visiting www.sjgiants.com, or by calling (408) 297-1435.
Three Stars of the Game*:
1. Jarrett Parker (RF, SJ): 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R
2. Tommy Joseph (C/DH, SJ): 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R
3 (tie). Andy Reichard (P, SJ): 5.0 IP (game two), 0 ER, 5 H, 1 K
Gary Brown (CF, SJ): 3-for-6, 2B, 2 R
* Offensive stats are combined for both games
Former Giants in the News:
* Former San Jose left fielder Wendell Fairley went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored on Sunday for Double-A Richmond in game two of their doubleheader. The Flying Squirrels also swept both ends of their doubleheader, taking two from the Harrisburg Senators and phenom Bryce Harper.
* Former San Jose outfielder Francisco Peguero was 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in game two of Double-A Richmond’s doubleheader, which the Flying Squirrels won, 7-5.
* Former San Jose reliever Heath Hembree was credited with a hold in game two of Double-A Richmond’s doubleheader, his first of the season for the Flying Squirrels. Hembree was also 1-for-1 at the plate with two RBI, which proved to be the difference late in the 7-5 victory.
* Former San Jose reliever Mitch Lively was also credited with a hold in game two of Double-A Richmond’s doubleheader on Sunday. Lively threw a scoreless 2/3 of an inning while striking out one. The lone hit he surrendered was a double to Bryce Harper.
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