Skid Snapped; Blaze Beat Giants 4-2August 17, 2012 - California League (CalL) Bakersfield Blaze
Regardless, the Bakersfield Blaze busted out of a six-game slump with a much-needed Thursday afternoon 4-2 win over the San Jose Giants at Municipal Stadium. And the Blaze never trailed.
In the top of the first inning, as fans were still making their way over from the barbeque stop, Kurtis Muller and Ryan Wright singled to begin the game. Then, with Jack Snodgrass (L, 10-6) utilizing the high leg-kick in his delivery, Muller and Wright executed a beautiful double-steal, with catcher Dan Burkhart's throw bouncing down the leftfield line.
The error allowed Muller to come in and score, and after a strikeout of Juan Duran, Travis Mattair rolled a soft grounder to short, bringing in Wright and putting the Blaze up 2-0.
That would be all Josh Smith would need for his dominant 6.0 innings. Smith allowed one baserunner in each of the first five innings of the game, but that was all, inducing pop-up after shallow flyball en route to his six shutout frames. In all, Smith (W, 8-7) would allow just three hits, striking out five and walking three.
As it turned out, Bakersfield would need just a hair more insurance to get through the 9th. Fortunately, they managed to get just that. In the top of the 6th inning, after scoreless 2nd through 5th frames, the Blaze got two more, collecting four singles to chase Snodgrass, and going up 4-0.
Chris Joyce came on for the Blaze to pitch the 7th, and his strong work allowed manager Ken Griffey to keep him in the game. Joyce struck out the side in the 8th, but allowed an infield single and a bunt hit to begin the 9th. After a fielder's choice grounder, Griffey went to the pen for a righthander, bringing in new Blaze reliever Carlos Contreras (S, 1). Carlos induced a flyball to center to score the Giants first run and bring the score to 4-1, then walked the second man he faced, bringing the potential tying run to the plate in slugger Adam Duvall.
Duvall worked a 2-2 count before rolling a soft grounder to third. The ball locked up Mattair, however, and in a rare fielding miscue, the Giants got a gift second run, and Ricky Oropesa stepped to the plate as the potential winning man.
But Conteras was up to the task. Carlos got Oropesa to bounce a soft two-hopper to Niko Vasquez, ending the game, and securing the Blaze a skid-stopping win.
The victory allows Bakersfield to salvage one in San Jose, and ends a rough road trip at 1-5. Fortunately, however, the Blaze now host High Desert with a chance to get a little revenge on the south half's top team. That series begins Friday at Sam Lynn Ballpark at 7:15pm, with fireworks to follow.
Can't make it? Listen LIVE on internet or radio for the Blaze Friday Night Game of the Week at BakersfieldBlaze.com and locally on SmartTalk AM-1230. Blaze play-by-play man Dan Besbris will have the call, beginning ten minutes prior to first pitch.
California League Stories from August 17, 2012
- Lindsey and Cowart Crush, 66ers Cruise 5-1 - Inland Empire 66ers
- Offense Sputters in Series Opener Loss - Lancaster JetHawks
- Upcoming Homestand, Former Nuts Player Makes MLB Debut - Modesto Nuts
- Froggy's Wedding August 18 - Bakersfield Blaze
- San Jose Giants on Deck: Giants Travel to Stockton for Three-Game Series - San Jose Giants
- Quakes Peaking...Win Fifth Straight - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
- Skid Snapped; Blaze Beat Giants 4-2 - Bakersfield Blaze
- Solid Start Plagued by Errors, Missed Chances - Lancaster JetHawks
- Cron, Correa, Kelley Help 66ers Coast To Win - Inland Empire 66ers
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