Surging Giants Earn 5-2 Victory
The San Jose Giants won for the ninth time in their last 10 games with a 5-2 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park. Jimmy Glowenke and Abdiel Layer both homered to lead the way offensively while pitchers Will Bednar, Tristan Beck and Clay Helvey each excelled on the mound en route to the win.
The Giants (76-43) and Grizzlies (73-41) will play Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale with the winner securing the North Division title and best record in the Low-A West. The two teams meet in the Championship Series next week.
Bednar made his second start for San Jose on Saturday and the 2021 first round draft pick surrendered his first earned run as a professional when the Grizzlies scored once in the bottom of the first. Eddy Diaz led off the inning with a single before he was forced out at second on Zac Veen's fielder's choice grounder. After Veen advanced to second on a wild pitch and Drew Romo flied out, Robby Martin laced an RBI double into the right field corner to give Fresno the early 1-0 lead.
Bednar though settled in and tossed back-to-back scoreless innings in the second and third to complete his outing. The right-hander struck out a pair in the bottom of the second as he worked around a two-out error. In the third, Romo singled with two outs and stole second, but was stranded when Martin grounded out to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Giants tied the game in the top of the third when Layer led off with a towering solo home run to deep right center field. The homer was Layer's 13th of the season.
San Jose then knocked out five hits in a three-run top of the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Patrick Bailey led off the frame with a single before Luis Matos flied out. Carter Williams was up next and he hit a sharp grounder past first base and down the right field line. The hit went for Williams' team-leading fourth triple of the season as Bailey scored all the way from first to give the Giants the lead. Glowenke followed with a line drive single into center plating Williams with the second run of the inning. After Layer blooped a double down the left field line moving Glowenke to third, Max Wright produced the fourth straight hit for San Jose with an RBI single to make it 4-1.
Beck then relieved Bednar to begin the bottom of the fourth and delivered an outstanding long relief performance. Beck retired the first five batters he faced before pitching around a two-out walk to Diaz followed by a double from Veen to keep Fresno off the board in the bottom of the fifth.
The Giants then stretched their lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth when Glowenke belted an opposite field solo home run to right center - his 12th round-tripper of the year.
Beck continued to roll as he breezed through a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth. In the seventh, Mateo Gil led off with a double, but didn't advance any farther than second base as Beck retired Ronaiker Palma on a groundout to shortstop, struck out Bladimir Restituyo and set down Diaz on a groundout to end the inning.
Beck returned to the mound in the bottom of the eighth with the lead still at four runs and surrendered a double to Veen to begin the inning. After Romo's groundout moved Veen to third, Helvey was summoned from the San Jose bullpen. Martin was up next and he drove in Veen with a groundout to make it a 5-2 game, but the Grizzlies would get no closer. Helvey struck out Julio Carreras to end the eighth and then fired a perfect bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
Division Title At Stake
Sunday's regular season finale will determine the North Division champion this season and the best record in the league although San Jose has already secured home field advantage in next week's Championship Series. The Giants last won a regular season division title in 2013. San Jose was a season-high five games behind Fresno as recently as September 7 (9-1 record since).
With two more long balls on Saturday, the Giants have now clubbed 149 home runs this year. San Jose set their team single-season home run record last weekend.
Abdiel Layer (2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI) and Jimmy Glowenke (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) both homered as part of multi-hit games on Saturday. Glowenke extended his hitting streak to nine games. He's batting at a .472 clip (17-for-36) during the hit streak. Patrick Bailey (2-for-4) also had multi-hit game. San Jose out-hit Fresno 8-6.
On The Mound
Will Bednar tossed three innings in his start with one run and three hits allowed. He struck out two and did not issue a walk. Bednar has now pitched five innings with one earned run surrendered in his two starts for San Jose this season. Tristan Beck (2-0) earned the win out of the bullpen after his stellar appearance. Beck fired 4 1/3 innings and yielded only one run and three hits. He walked one and struck out four. Clay Helvey (1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 SO) retired all five batters he faced to finish the game. Helvey owns a 0.52 ERA (1 ER/17.1 IP) over his last 14 appearances.
Pitchers Trevor McDonald and Landen Roupp were added to San Jose's roster from the Arizona Complex League (Rookie-level) before the game on Saturday. The Giants' 30-man roster now stands at 30 players.
San Jose closes out the regular season on Sunday with the finale of their six-game series against Fresno. First pitch at Chukchansi Park is scheduled for 3:05 PM. The Giants and Grizzlies open the best-of-five Low-A West Championship Series on Tuesday night in Fresno.
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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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