August 31, 2011 - California League (CalL) - San Jose Giants
BAKERSFIELD - The San Jose Giants scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning, highlighted by Luke Anders' grand slam, but could not overcome Bakersfield's significant lead in an 11-6 loss to the Blaze on Tuesday evening at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Bakersfield scored in seven out of their eight innings to build an 11-0 advantage en route to claiming the opener of the three-game series.
All six of San Jose's runs were via the long ball as Hector Sanchez (1- for-4, HR, 2 RBI) hit a two-run shot in addition to Anders' (1-for-4, HR, 4 RBI) grand slam. The Giants had managed only two singles over the first eight innings before breaking through in the ninth.
Blaze starting pitcher Tim Crabbe (5-5) earned the win after limiting San Jose to a single hit over seven scoreless innings. Crabbe walked one and struck out eight during his stint on the mound. The right- hander retired 13 straight Giants hitters after Gary Brown started the game with a single before also setting down the last seven batters that he faced.
Bakersfield immediately jumped on San Jose starter Tom Vessella in the bottom of the first as A.J. Means led off with a single before Brodie Greene lined a double to deep center putting runners on second and third with one out. Chris Richburg then singled to center plating Means with the first run of the game, however Brown easily threw out Greene at the plate on the same play.
The Blaze kept the pressure on with two more runs in the second before a single tally in the third. In the bottom of the second, consecutive one-out singles from Devin Lohman and Dayne Read preceded a walk to Jordan Wideman to load the bases. Means then hit a line drive that was caught by a diving Jarrett Parker in right center field for the second out. However with all three runners off their bases, Parker bounced a throw towards the vacated first base area. When the ball rolled out of play near the Bakersfield dugout, Lohman and Read were awarded home to extend the lead to 3-0.
In the bottom of the third, Greene drew a leadoff walk, stole two bases and scored on Alex Buchholz's one-out single.
Vessella tossed a scoreless bottom of the fourth - the only inning in which the Blaze did not score in the game. In the fifth, Ryan LaMarre singled to begin the inning, advanced to second on Richburg's one-out walk, stole third and came home when Carlos Mendez delivered a two-out single. The RBI hit ended Vessella's night as the left-hander was saddled with the loss. Vessella (3-4) was charged with five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings of work. He walked four and struck out two.
Michael Main (1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO) allowed a single run in the bottom of the sixth without surrendering a hit. After back- to-back one-out walks, Main uncorked a wild pitch and LaMarre came through with a sacrifice fly. Then in the seventh, a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases with one out before Read singled home two more runs for an 8-0 advantage.
Aaron King (1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh, but struggled in the eighth as Greene connected for a leadoff homer before Lohman smacked a two-out, two-run shot to make it 11-0.
The Giants appeared headed for a shutout as the first two batters of the top of the ninth were retired by reliever Drew Bowman, however Parker then singled before Sanchez launched an 0-2 pitch well over the fence down the left field line for a two-run homer. The home run was Sanchez's ninth of the season with San Jose.
Following the home run, Bowman issued three straight walks and then Anders greeted new pitcher Jamie Walczak with a line drive over the wall in straightaway center for a grand slam. The blast brought the Giants to within 11-6, however Walczak recovered inducing the next hitter, Jose Flores, to bounce out to first ending the game.
Notes: In addition to surrendering 11 runs, the three Giants pitchers who appeared in the game combined for 10 walks ... Brown (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Bakersfield has won seven straight over the Giants after San Jose had taken 12 in a row in the season series ... Anders became the first Giant to hit two grand slams this year ... The Blaze out-hit San Jose by a 12-5 margin ... The Giants had only one at-bat the entire game with a runner in scoring position (Anders' grand slam) ... San Jose (36-28) remains one game behind the Modesto Nuts (37-27) for the top spot in the second half North Division race with just six games remaining in the regular season.
On Deck: The Giants and Blaze continue their three-game series on Wednesday evening with first pitch at Sam Lynn Ballpark scheduled for 7:30 PM. Chris Heston (11-4, 3.43 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Bakersfield is expected to counter with Matt Fairel (0-4, 10.80 ERA). The game can be heard live on www.sjgiants.com.