The San Jose Giants had built a lead large enough to withstand Visalia’s five-run outburst in the ninth, as San Jose held on to win, 8-6, and sweep the Rawhide on Monday. Entering their last at-bat down 8-1, Visalia scored on a bases loaded walk, a passed ball and a three-run home run off the bat of Bobby Borchering, all with two outs.
Giants reliever Stephen Harrold took the brunt of the onslaught, having surrendered all five runs after giving up just one hit before getting two outs. Jacob Dunnington struck out Jon Mark Owings to end the game to earn his first save of the season. Kelvin Marte notched the win to improve to 8-6 on the year. Marte gave up just one run on four hits to go with a pair of strikeouts in his five innings pitched. After struggling in June, Marte has won three of his last four starts.
San Jose continued its theme of scoring in bunches in this series, putting up five runs on five hits in the bottom of the second. Juan Ciriaco, Nick Liles, Gary Brown and Jose Flores all had RBIs in the inning, and a wild pitch by Diogenes Rosario accounted for the fifth run, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead heading to the third. Brown’s RBI single extended his hitting streak to seven games.
First baseman Luke Anders singled and score a run in the inning, and went on to finish 2-for-4 on the night. After a rough stretch where he hit .200 in June and missed 10 days on the disabled list earlier this month, Anders now has four multi-hit games in his last nine.
“Just seeing the ball,” Anders said about his resurgence. “I wasn’t seeing the ball real well. My head was moving a lot. Now it’s just back to the basics of seeing the ball.”
The two clubs traded ones on the scoreboard in the fifth, as David Nick’s RBI single plated Keon Broxton to put Visalia on the board, 5-1. The Giants answered immediately in the home half of the inning, as Ciriaco knocked in his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Tommy Joseph to tag and score. San Jose had regained its five-run edge, 6-1.
James Simmons provided what turned out to be much-needed insurance in the bottom of the eighth, as his two-run home run cleared the wall in left to push the San Jose lead to 8-1. The homer was Simmons’ seventh of the season. Like Brown, Simmons has a hit streak of his own in the making at four consecutive games.
A Rossmel Perez base hit was all the Rawhide had to show for themselves with two outs in the ninth. But as mentioned, that was when Visalia mounted a comeback. Chris Owings’ single and Nick’s walk loaded the bases for the Rawhide against Harrold. Matthew Davidson battled and earned a walk, which allowed Perez to score and narrow the gap to 8-2 in favor of San Jose. A passed ball by Joseph followed, plating Owings to make it 8-3.
Then the biggest blow came, in the form of Borchering’s three-run home run to center, his 19th of the year. The Giants, who had an 8-1 lead and the Rawhide down to their final out, unexpectedly had a game on their hands. Dunnington came on to slam the door on Visalia, but not before an outburst of five runs on three hits, two walks and a home run.
The roller coaster of streaks continues, this one in favor of the Giants who have now won four straight. San Jose is hoping to find consistency down the stretch and avoiding following this win streak with another losing streak.
“I think we just need to play fundamental baseball,” Anders said. “We had a couple of mistakes tonight that could have cost us and didn’t, but we need to clean it up as a team.”
At 68-33 overall, the Giants have Tuesday off before welcoming the Lancaster Jethawks to town for a four-game series on Wednesday. San Jose is 5-2 against Lancaster this season, and has won four in a row over the Jethawks dating back to a four-game series sweep May 10-13 at home.
Following the Lancaster series, the Giants hit the road for most of August, including three road trips to Southern California. San Jose will only be home from August 7-9 vs. Bakersfield, August 19-22 vs. High Desert and August 23-25 vs. Stockton.
San Jose sends Craig Westcott (11-2, 3.15 ERA) to the mound against Jose Cisnero (6-8, 6.48 ERA) in Wednesday’s series opener against Lancaster. Tickets are available by visiting www.sjgiants.com, or by calling (408) 297-1435.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. James Simmons (RF, SJ): 1-for-4, HR (7), R, 2 RBI
2. Juan Ciriaco (SS, SJ): 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI
3 (tie). Gary Brown (CF, SJ): 2-for-5, R, RBI
Tommy Joseph (C, SJ): 2-for-4, 2 R
Former Giants in the News:
* Former San Jose reliever Mitch Lively recorded his first save of the season for Double-A Richmond on Monday. Lively threw 1 1/3 perfect innings, striking out a pair to close out the Flying Squirrels’ 3-2 win over the Erie Sea Wolves.
Did you enjoy this article? Want to know when more content is available? Click “subscribe” at the top of this article. It’s free! And it’s only one extra occasional email in your inbox. Feedback is always welcome, either via comment or by emailing Ken directly.
Continue reading on Examiner: http://joltleft.com/sports-in-san-jose/big-innings-help-san-jose-sweep-doubleheader