May 13, 2009 - California League (CalL) - San Jose Giants
Craig Clark tossed six scoreless innings to begin the game before Steve Edlefsen worked the last three frames without allowing a run leading the San Jose Giants to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Visalia Rawhide on Wednesday afternoon at Recreation Park. Clark allowed only three hits and struck out a season-high nine batters to earn the win while Edlefsen collected his first save as a San Jose Giant. Offensively, Roger Kieschnick hit his fourth home run of the season as the Giants improved their overall record to 20-13.
Clark (2-2) retired the last 10 batters of his outing and achieved the highest strikeout total of any San Jose pitcher this season.
The Giants out-hit Visalia by a 7-4 margin with seven different San Jose players knocking out one hit in the contest.
San Jose immediately jumped in front with a single run in the top of the first inning before an out was recorded. Brian Bocock began the game by reaching on an error before Nick Noonan blasted an RBI double off of the fence in right center field.
The Giants threatened in the fourth and fifth innings against Rawhide starting pitcher Trevor Harden, but failed to score in each frame. In the fourth, consecutive one-out singles from Angel Villalona and Thomas Neal put runners on first and second, but Conor Gillaspie grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Then in the fifth, Bocock doubled with two outs before Noonan drew a walk, but Harden recovered to strike out Buster Posey ending the rally.
Kieschnick extended the San Jose lead to 2-0 when he led off the top of the sixth inning with a home run to right field.
Harden (0-1), who was making his Visalia debut after a promotion from South Bend (Low-A) earlier in the week, suffered the loss after yielding two runs (one earned) on six hits over six innings. Harden walked two and struck out one.
Meanwhile, Clark had little difficulty working through six innings for the Giants. Visalia nearly scored in the bottom of the second when Colin Cowgill led off with a single before Derrick Walker drew a two-out walk. Eli Rumler followed with a line drive single into left, however left fielder Thomas Neal fired a perfect throw to the plate to easily retire Cowgill, who was trying to score from second.
In the third, Taylor Harbin doubled with two outs before a wild pitch advanced him to third. However, Clark induced the next hitter, Ryne White, to fly out to center field.
Clark then worked perfect fourth, fifth and sixth innings striking out five batters during that span. He finished his afternoon with consecutive strikeouts of Harbin and Jhoan Pimentel in the bottom of the sixth.
Edlefsen relieved Clark to begin the bottom of the seventh and promptly issued a leadoff walk to Cowgill. However, Edlefsen rebounded to strike out Ed Easley before Kyle Greene grounded into a 3-6-1 double play that was neatly turned by the Giants infield.
In the bottom of the eighth, Walker led off by reaching on a fielding error committed by Noonan at second base, but Edlefsen calmly retired the next three hitters to keep the shutout intact. Then in the ninth, Pimentel singled with one out to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Edlefsen struck out Cowgill and set down Easley on a routine fly out to right ending the game.
Edlefsen (3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO) earned his first save over 42 relief appearances with the Giants dating back to last season.
Notes: Kieschnick\'s home run was his first in 14 games and only the third this month for San Jose (12 games) ... Clark and Edlefsen combined to strike out 13 hitters - the most for the Giants in a game this season ... San Jose and Visalia have combined to score only five runs in the first two games of the series ... The Rawhide earned a 2-1 victory in the series opener on Tuesday ... Clark walked only one batter during his stint on the mound and has now issued just five walks compared to 35 strikeouts over 30 innings this season ... The Giants climbed to within three games of the Rawhide (23-10) for first place in the North Division ... San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo is expected to make a rehab appearance out of the bullpen in Thursday\'s series finale ... Romo, a 2007 San Jose Giant, is recovering from a strained right elbow sustained during spring training ... He will likely pitch again on Saturday in Modesto.
On Deck: The Giants and the Rawhide will play the rubber game of their three-game series on Thursday evening with first pitch at Recreation Park scheduled for 7:05 PM. Oliver Odle (1-3, 7.94 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Visalia is expected to counter with Christian Beltre (0-1, 12.60 ERA). The game can be heard live on www.sjgiants.com.