Quakes walk it off with 5-4 win over San Jose Giants

While the Dodgers were enjoying the first of two well-deserved post All-Star Game days off on Wednesday, the team’s Advanced Single-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes were working overtime against the San Jose Giants at LoanMart Field; two innings of overtime, in fact.

In what can only be described as an absolutely brilliant pitching performance, Quakes right-hander Dennis Santana allowed only two runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out six in his season-high 8.0 innings of work. The 21-year-old San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic native did so on only 94 pitches, of which 63 were strikes. Like I said, brilliant.

Santana’s 8.0 innings pitched on Wednesday night was the longest outing of his four-year professional career.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

Unfortunately for Santana, he received zero run support from his teammates after the second inning while the Giants managed to turn the 2-0 Quakes lead into a 2-1 ballgame on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Giants left fielder Health Quinn.

The run support drought continued for the Quakes and a monster sixth-inning solo home run to right field by Giants right fielder Bryan Reynolds tied the game at 2-2. But here again, the Quakes were unable to regain the lead and Santana was replaced in the top of the ninth by right-hander Michael Boyle, having to settle for a no-decision after his brilliant performance.

After pitching a scoreless ninth, Boyle came back out to pitch the 10th inning. But just when it appeared that he was going to have a 1-2-3 inning, Boyle hit Reynolds with a pitch and promptly gave up a devastating two-run home run to Giants catcher Aramis Garcia to give San Jose a 4-2 lead.

With their backs against the proverbial wall in the home half of the 10th inning, Quakes shortstop Omar Estevez lined a leadoff single to center to bring the ever-dangerous Ibandel Isabel to the plate representing the tying run. Moments later, the Cal League’s number two home run hitter no longer represented the tying run, he became the tying run when he muscled an incredible opposite field home run down the right field line to make it a 4-4 game.

Quakes manager Drew Saylor called on right-hander Andrew Istler to pitch the top of the 11th and he answered the bell by retiring the side in order, two by strikeout.

With anxiety at a fever pitch, Giants left-hander Carlos Diaz gave up a leadoff single to Quakes second baseman Drew Jackson. This was followed by an absolutely brilliant at-bat by Quakes center fielder DJ Peters who is the Cal League’s home run leader. Peters showed tremendous plate discipline to work out a five-pitch walk to move Jackson into scoring position, still with no outs.

It goes without saying that having the winning run on second base and a runner at first base with no outs is a textbook sacrifice bunt situation to: A) advance the runners; and B) stay out of a potential double play. But after a brief meeting with Johan Mieses, his best hitter, Saylor allowed the .313-hitting Quakes left fielder to swing away. After taking the first pitch – a ball – without tipping his hand, Mieses lined the second pitch into right-center field to give the Quakes the 5-4 walk-off win, their second of the season.

Saylor’s decision to allow Miesis to swing away with no outs and runners at first and second in the bottom of the 11th inning was rewarded with his team’s second walk-off win of the season on Wednesday night.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

As you can see, the win was a great team effort, this in spite of their slow start. But with some quality at-bats and some gutsy managing by Saylor, the Rancho squad now trails the first place Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) by only one game in the Cal League South division.

The Quakes will square off against San Jose again on Thursday night at LoanMart Field for the second of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants Advanced Single-A affiliate. Right-hander Adam Bray (3-2, 3.39) will take the mound for Rancho Cucamonga. He will be opposed by San Jose left-hander Matt Krook (3-8, 5.85), with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm PT.


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One Response to “Quakes walk it off with 5-4 win over San Jose Giants”

  1. Evan Bladh says:

    Any win over the Giants is a positive in my book. Mieses and Peters look to be up and comers. I’m definitely going to check them out when I return. (Unless they’re in Tulsa by then).

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