Sixers fall short, Quakes postponed

SAN BERNARDINO – For the second time in as many home starts, 66ers
right-hander Tim Sexton was unhittable.
Unfortunately for Sexton, his teammates couldn’t hit either, until it
was too late.
Lake Elsinore scored its first run without a hit, built an eight-run
lead, then barely held on for an 8-7 victory over the Sixers before
874 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Wednesday night.
It was the eighth loss in the last nine games for the last-place
Sixers (8-19). The Sixers had already set a franchise record for most
April losses the night before.
Sexton (2-4) had pitched six perfect innings against the Mavericks on
April 19, his last home start. On Wednesday, Sexton took a no-hitter
into the sixth inning but the Sixers still hadn’t scored.
In the fifth, Lake Elsinore got a run without a hit when Jeremy Hunt
and Rayner Contreras walked, Robert Perry sacrificed them to second
and third and Jodam Rivera hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
Lake Elsinore’s first hit came leading off the sixth inning against
Sexton when second baseman Bridger Hunt and right fielder Tommy Giles
converged on a Cedric Hunter pop fly, then backed off and it dropped
in for a single. That led to two unearned runs in the inning.
Sexton went five-plus innings, allowing one hit, three runs, one
earned while walking five and striking out three. The Sixers pitchers
were done in by a season-high 11 walks.
The Storm (15-12) broke open a 3-0 game with five runs in the eighth
inning against relievers Jordan Pratt and Joe Jones.
The Sixers finally showed some offense in the eighth when they scored
four runs, including a two-run double by Carlos Santana. Left fielder
Javis Diaz also dropped an Eduardo Perez fly ball that allowed
Santana to score.
The Sixers made it interesting in the ninth when Josh Bell hit a
three-run homer with two outs against Dylan Axelrod. But R.J.
Rodriguez replaced Axelrod and struck out Drew Locke to end the game,
earning his fourth save.
Manager John Valentin was not around to see the end of the game. He
was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing with base umpire Bronson
Martinez when Bell was called out trying to advance to third on a
wild pitch. It was Valentin’s second ejection this season.

On Monday at San Jose, Sixers lost a run because they batted out of
Valentin said that he had an early lineup posted in the dugout. But
by the time he wrote down the final lineup that he gave to the
umpires, he had switched batting positions between Santana and Locke.
The problem was, he didn’t change the lineup in the dugout.
“Unfortunately, we made a mistake,” Valentin said. “Stuff happens,
but it’s not supposed to happen.”

Third baseman Bell, bothered by a knee injury, missed Tuesday’s game
but was back in the lineup at designated hitter on Wednesday.
“We hope we’ll be able to get him out there at third soon,” Valentin
With Bell out, first baseman Perez has been playing third and
outfielder Locke has been playing first.
“I wanted to try Carlos (Santana) at third too, because he’s played
there before, but the Dodgers want him to keep catching,” Valentin

The second game of a three-game series at Clear Channel Stadium was
postponed because of severe winds. The JetHawks reported on their Web
site that sustained winds were 38 mph with gusts of 49 mph. The game
will be made up as part of a doubleheader today at 6 p.m.