Giants Rally to Sweep Visalia, Extend Win Streak to Eight Games
The San Jose Giants continued their late-season surge with a come-from-behind 9-5 win over the Visalia Rawhide on Thursday afternoon at Excite Ballpark. The Giants overcame a 5-1 deficit scoring eight unanswered runs to complete a sweep of the first-place Rawhide. The win was San Jose's eighth in a row and it maintained their hold on the wild card lead in the North Division.
The Giants' thrilling comeback was keyed by a five-run bottom of the sixth. With Visalia ahead by a 5-2 margin, the decisive rally began with a walk to David Villar. Courtney Hawkins was up next and the San Jose clean-up hitter bashed an 0-2 pitch from Rawhide starter Bryan Valdez over the fence in deep left center for a two-run home run. The round-tripper, Hawkins' team-leading 19th of the season, brought the Giants to within 5-4.
The rally then continued when Heath Quinn laced a double into the left center field gap to put the potential tying run into scoring position. Following back-to-back groundouts from Manuel Geraldo and Fabian Pena, a full-count walk to Kyle McPherson put the go-ahead run on base. Aaron Bond then stepped to the plate and hammered a double off the fence in deep left center field. The hit, Bond's first in the California League, scored both Quinn and McPherson to give San Jose a 6-5 lead. Shane Matheny then capped the scoring for the inning with a sharp ground ball single into center plating Bond for a 7-5 advantage.
With a two-run lead, Olbis Parra entered from the bullpen to begin the top of the seventh and pitched around a leadoff single and a two-out single to keep the Rawhide off the board. In the eighth, Alex King singled with one out for Visalia, but Parra induced the next hitter, Geraldo Perdomo, to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Giants then tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Geraldo led off with his team-leading eighth triple of the year as he drilled a ball to the fence in right center. Pena followed with a soaring fly ball that carried over the wall in left for a two-run homer. The home run, Pena's fourth this season, pushed the lead to 9-5.
Frank Rubio closed it out for San Jose with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
Eight-Game Win Streak
The Giants have won eight games in a row for the first time since May 19-27, 2015. San Jose owns a +35 run differential (51-16) and a 1.88 team ERA during their current win streak.
Visalia (league-best 81-51 record) was swept for the first time this season. The Giants have now swept back-to-back series taking four straight in Stockton on the last road trip before the three wins over the Rawhide.
Shane Matheny finished 3-for-5 on Thursday with two singles, a solo home run and two RBI's. Matheny led off the bottom of the first with a home run - San Jose's first leadoff homer this season. Over his last five games, Matheny is 14-for-23 (.609 AVG) with three home runs and nine RBI's.
Mac Marshall (2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO), Olbis Parra (2 IP, 3 H, 0 R) and Frank Rubio (1 IP, 0 R) combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Thursday. Marshall, who was making his first appearance with the Giants since July 1 (injured list), picked-up the win.
Courtney Hawkins (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) has five home runs and 11 RBI's over his last five games.
In addition to Matheny, Heath Quinn (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Manuel Geraldo (2-for-4, 3B) had multi-hit games for the Giants. Fabian Pena (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Aaron Bond (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) each drove home a pair of runs. Bond was making his San Jose Giants debut after joining the club from the Arizona Rookie League on Monday. Bond led Salem-Keizer (Short-Season level) with 14 home runs last season.
Aaron Phillips made the start on the mound for San Jose and allowed five runs (all earned) on six hits over 3 1/3 innings. Phillips began his afternoon with two hitless innings before yielding a solo homer to Anfernee Grier in the top of the third that tied the game 1-1. Visalia then rallied for four runs on four hits in the top of the fourth to knock Phillips out of the game. Alex King hit a three-run home run to extend the Rawhide lead to 5-1.
Eight of the Giants' 11 hits on Thursday went for extra bases (four doubles, one triple, three home runs).
The Giants (64-71) moved to two games ahead of Modesto (62-73) in the North wild card race. The Nuts host Stockton on Thursday evening. The Ports (58-75) were eliminated from playoff contention with San Jose's win. The Giants have four games remaining in the regular season. San Jose (34-32) also remained alive in the second half race as they pulled within three games of Visalia (37-29) for the top spot.
The Giants host the Stockton Ports in a four-game set from Friday through Monday to close out the regular season. Friday's series opener at Excite Ballpark is a 7:00 PM first pitch. Matt Frisbee is San Jose's scheduled starting pitcher.
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California League Stories from August 29, 2019
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