Giants Fall in Regular Season Finale
The San Jose Giants closed out the 2021 regular season with a 7-4 loss to the Fresno Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon at Chukchansi Park. Fresno built a seven-run lead in the contest and withstood the Giants' ninth-inning rally to salvage the final game of the series. Despite the loss, San Jose won four of six in the series and concludes the regular season with an outstanding 76-44 record. The Giants and Grizzlies will now meet in the best-of-five Low-A West Championship Series beginning Tuesday night in Fresno.
San Jose fell behind early in Sunday's finale as the Grizzlies scored seven runs over the first three innings to jump out to a 7-0 advantage. Trevor McDonald, who was promoted from the Arizona Complex League (Rookie-level) on Saturday, made his Giants debut on the mound and immediately ran into trouble in the bottom of the first. Eddy Diaz was plunked on the first pitch of the inning before Zac Veen singled sharply into left. Diaz advanced to third on the hit while Veen took second on the throw back to the infield. Drew Romo followed with an RBI groundout to put Fresno on the board. After Robby Martin was also hit by a pitch, Julio Carreras successfully executed a safety squeeze bunt to plate Veen for a 2-0 Fresno lead.
The Grizzlies made it 3-0 when AJ Lewis smacked a solo home run down the left field line in the bottom of the second. Fresno then batted around during a four-run third inning to stretch the lead to 7-0. McDonald retired the first batter of the inning before Martin reached safely on a two-base fielding error committed by second baseman Jimmy Glowenke. Carreras followed with a single to bring home Martin with the first run of the frame. Consecutive walks to Colin Simpson and Mateo Gil then loaded the bases for the Grizzlies. After Joe Aeilts bounced into a force play with Carreras out at home, Lewis reached on an infield single to shortstop scoring another Fresno run. The RBI hit chased McDonald as Haydn King was summoned from the bullpen, but the lefty reliever promptly surrendered a two-run single to Diaz to give the Grizzlies a 7-0 cushion.
Offensively, the Giants were completely shut down over the first eight innings by Fresno pitching. Grizzlies starter Mike Ruff fired five scoreless innings with only one hit allowed - a Harrison Freed second-inning single. Ruff walked one, struck out five and retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced. Anderson Amarista then worked three hitless innings of long relief issuing only one walk with a pair of strikeouts.
San Jose entered the top of the ninth still down by a 7-0 margin and with only one hit for the entire game. Four straight extra-base hits though with one out in the ninth would lead to four runs coming home for the Giants. After Grant McCray struck out to start the inning, Najee Gaskins laced a double into the left field corner. Luis Toribio was up next and he hammered a double to the fence in deep center plating Gaskins to break-up the Fresno shutout bid. Carter Williams followed with his own RBI double as Toribio scored to make it 7-2. Glowenke then stepped to the plate and crushed an opposite field two-run home run to right - his 13th round-tripper of the season - to bring San Jose to within 7-4.
Unfortunately, the Giants would get no closer as Freed followed the homer by grounding out and Yorlis Rodriguez then struck out to end the game and complete the regular season.
Fresno Takes Division Crown
With Sunday's result, Fresno (74-41) won the North Division title and secured the best record in the Low-A West. The Giants (76-44), despite having two more wins than the Grizzlies, finished a half-game out of first place. Fresno played five fewer games than San Jose this season due to Covid cancellations. The Giants last won a regular season division title in 2013.
Regular Season Review
San Jose had their best regular season record since 2011 (90-50). The Giants posted a winning record in all five months this season (May 15-9, June 19-7, July 16-11, August 14-12, September 12-5). San Jose was 36-24 at home and 40-20 on the road. The Giants owned a winning record against every team in the league with the exception of Fresno (14-16). San Jose won nine of their final 11 regular season games and was 21-9 over their last 30 contests overall.
Jimmy Glowenke's ninth-inning blast gave the Giants 150 home runs for the season (second in Low-A West). San Jose established a new team single-season home run record in 2021.
Inside The Box Score
Fresno out-hit San Jose 9-5 on Sunday. Four Giants relievers - Haydn King (1 1/3 IP, 2 SO), Landen Roupp (2 IP, 2 SO), Juan Sanchez (1 IP, 2 SO) and Brooks Crawford (1 IP, 1 SO) combined to throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings to finish the game. Roupp was making his San Jose debut after joining the team from the AZ Complex League yesterday. Glowenke (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his ninth-inning home run. Grant McCray's (0-for-2, 2 BB) hit streak was snapped at 12 games. Trevor McDonald (2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO) suffered the loss.
Infielder Aeverson Arteaga was added to San Jose's roster on Sunday from the Arizona Complex League. Arteaga started at shortstop in the regular season finale and went 0-for-3. In a corresponding roster move, infielder Edison Mora was placed on the injured list.
The Giants and Grizzlies open the best-of-five Low-A West Championship Series on Tuesday night with first pitch at Chukchansi Park set for 6:50 PM. Fresno will also host Game 2 on Wednesday before the series shifts to San Jose for Games 3-5 from Friday-Sunday. The entire Championship Series can be heard live on sjgiants.com with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch each night.
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Low-A West League Stories from September 19, 2021
- Giants Fall in Regular Season Finale - San Jose Giants
- Grizzlies Secure Best Record in Low-A West, North Division Crown with 7-4 Win over Giants in Season Finale - Fresno Grizzlies
- Ports Shut out by Nuts in Season Finale - Stockton Ports
- Nuts Shutout Ports to End the 2021 Season - Modesto Nuts
- Quakes Complete Season with Loss in Finale - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
- Parker Doubles Down the Ports - Modesto Nuts
- Fresno Loses 5-2 to San Jose in Penultimate Game of Regular Season - Fresno Grizzlies
- Surging Giants Earn 5-2 Victory - San Jose Giants
- Nuts' Two-Out Hitting Sinks Ports in 6-1 Loss - Stockton Ports
- Another Walk-Off for Fernandez, Quakes - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
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