Quakes let one slip away; 66ers hold on

Mavericks 6, Quakes 4 (10)

The Quakes (35-44 overall, 5-4 second half) were one strike away from their fifth straight victory in one-run games on Saturday, but it slipped away.

Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, the Mavericks (37-42, 5-4) loaded the bases with two outs on a single a walk and a hit batter against Brian Chambers (0-2). Then on a 2-2 pitch to Kuo Hui Lo, the ball got away from catcher Flint Wipke for a passed ball, allowing the tying run to score. But it was a crazier play than the box score indicates. With the run already in, Wipke threw down to third to try and get Leury Bonilla rounding third and the ball bounced away and apparently into the Quakes’ dugout allowing a go-ahead run to score. But plate umpire David Trinidad said time had been called and sent the runners back to second and third despite protests from Mavericks manager Jim Horner. Also on the play, Quakes third baseman Larry Infante was injured and had to be replaced by Carlos Colmenares. Lo then struck out, and the game remained tied.

The Quakes had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth when Peter Bourjos singled with two outs and stole second, but P.J. Phillips grounded out to third to send the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, Carlos Peguero and Chris Minaker had back-to-back one-out singles against Chambers and Jamie McOwen followed with a two-run double against Jordon Towns to give the Mavericks the victory.

The Quakes had built a 4-1 lead on Abel Nieves’ two-run single in the third and Mark Trumbo’s 19th homer, a two-run shot to center in the fifth.

66ers 7, Lancaster 6

Drew Locke’s two-run single snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning and the Sixers (37-42, 6-3) won a second straight game on the road to move into sole possession of first place in the South Division.

Tommy Giles also drove in two runs for the Sixers and David Pfeiffer (1-2) won by allowing one run in four-plus innings of relief. Joe Jones allowed one earned runs in the final two innings for his second save.

Tommy Giles also had two RBI for the Sixers.

Quakes rally again; 66ers win

Quakes 7, Mavericks 6

A day after the Quakes rallied from a three-run deficit in the ninth and won in the 10th, the Quakes rallied again, but this time didn’t make it as dramatic.

This time, the Quakes rallied from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning, and scored the winning run in the eighth.

Trailing 6-3 in the seventh, Flint Wipke hit a two-run homer and Peter Bourjos delivered a two-out bloop RBI single to tie the score.

With the score tied in the eighth, Ryan Mount reached on an infield single with one out. With two outs, he took off too early to second, but the throw from first baseman Erick Monzon to shortstop Carlos Triunfel was a little late and a little off the mark and Mount was safe at second with a stolen base. Larry Infante followed with a line drive single past a diving Triunfel to score Mount.

The win went to Marco Albano (2-3), while David Herndon improved to a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities, but not without some help. After Monzon reached on an error, Kuo Hui Lo singled to centrer, but Monzon was thrown out at third. Lo was then thrown out trying to steal second. It was the fourth time Wipke threw out a runner trying to steal in the game. He tied the Cal League record with six assists in the game.

After Lo was thrown out, Herndon walked Daniel Carroll, but got Carlos Peguero to ground out.

66ers 9, Lancaster 6

Carlos Santana was 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI, including the tie-breaking RBI single in the sixth inning as the Sixers won at Clear Channel Stadium.

Santana’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Sixers a 6-5 lead and he scored another run later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Ryan Rogowski was 3-for-5 with two runs, and Bridger Hunt and Justin Fuller also had two hits apiece for the Sixers.

Francisco Felix (5-2) got the win in relief, allowing one run in three innings, while Paul Koss earned his fourth save with two innings of shutout relief.



Quakes pull off unlikely win; 66ers lose

The fact that the Quakes beat the Mavericks 7-6 in 10 innings on Thursday wasn’t surprising, but how they did it was.


1) The Quakes trailed 6-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, but scored three runs against the Mavericks’ all-star closer, Aaron Cotter to tie the score. P.J. Phillips hit just his third home run in 266 at-bats, a two-run shot, and Abel Nieves added an RBI double.

2) The Quakes scored the tying run in the ninth after Anthony Norman was caught stealing for only the second time in 31 stolen base attempts all season long

3) It was only the Quakes’ second win all season when trailing after eight innings, although the other win came against the Mavericks

4) They won despite making two errors that led to four unearned runs.

5) With the score tied 6-6 in the 10th, Larry Infante led off with a double for the Quakes, and was sacrificed to third. With a runner on third and one out, the Mavericks elected to intentionally walk Flint Wipke and Phillips so left-handed pitcher Steve Uhlmansiek could face left-handed hitting Norman. A double play would be ideal, but the hope for the Mavericks was that they could get an out without a run scoring.

Well, Norman broke his bat, but blooped a single to center that scored Infante with the winning run.


After rallying for the go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth, the Sixers let a game slip away as Josh Reddick’s two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth scored the tying and winning runs against Javy Guerra (1-2) as Lancaster came back for the win at Clear Channel Stadium.

Trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, the Sixers took the lead on an Austin Gallagher RBI double and a Ryan Rogowski RBI single. Rogowski had two hits and three RBI and Jaime Pedroza had two hits, including a triple and scored twice for the Sixers.

In the bottom of the ninth, left fielder Rogowski temporarily preserved the lead when he threw out Aaron Reza trying to score from second on Lars Anderson’s single to left, but the JetHawks won shortly thereafter anyway. 

Pitching a casualty as Quakes beat 66ers, 13-12

Arrowhead Credit Union Park is known as a pitcher’s park, but Thursday it didn’t look like it.

The Quakes and 66ers combined for 25 runs and 32 hits and the Quakes rallied from an early 7-1 deficit, then held off the Sixers for a 13-12 victory.

The Quakes won with only one extra-base hit, Mark Trumbo’s team-leading 17th home run leading off the fourth, and 16 singles. The Sixers had Scott Van Slyke’s first home run, but also had three doubles and a triple among their 15 hits.

The Quakes led 11-7 and 13-10, but had to hold off the Sixers, who scored five runs in the final two innings.

Trailing 13-10 in the ninth, Austin Gallagher doiubled and Tommy Giles singled against Bobby Cassevah, who earned his first save in his first save opportunity, but not without some stress.

Two outs later, Christian Lara singled to left to score Giles and make it 13-12. That’s when an odd thing happened, that I have never seen before in 18 years of covering this league.

With hitting coach Henry Cruz away from the team, outfielder Ryan Rogowski was coaching first. Rogowski changed positions with Lara, serving as a pinch runner while Lara took over coaching first. Jaime Pedroza struck out to end the game, however.

All 18 starting hitters for both teams had a hit. Eight of nine Sixers (exception being Justin Fuller) had an RBI and a run scored. Every Quake had a run and an RBI except Flint Wipke (no run), Larry Infante (no RBI) and Anthony Norman (no RBI).

There were only four errors in the game, not an obsene number, but those errors combined for five unearned runs.

Sixers reliever Joe Jones (2-3), who allowed all eight of the Quakes runs in a eight-run sixth (six were earned), saw his ERA rise from 2.96 to 4.11. Quakes starter Sean O’Sullivan (8-4) was the winner in the game, but still saw his ERA rise from 5.90 to 6.35 as he allowed seven earned runs in five innings.

Six of the nine pitchers allowed runs — only the Quakes’ Brian Chambers and the Sixers’ David Pfeiffer and Jordan Pratt did not allow runs.

Quakes rally for win, 66ers come up short

Quakes 9, Lake Elsinore 6

The Quakes finished off a stirring rally from a 5-0 deficit with a five-run eighth inning that gave them a 9-6 victory over Lake Elsinore on Wednesday night at the Epicenter.

Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth, the Quakes rallied against the Storm bullpen.

With one out, Rolando Valdez (0-2) walked Anthony Norman and Flint Wipke and Cliff Remole delivered an RBI single to right, cutting the lead to 6-5.

Closer R.J. Rodriguez came in and Peter Bourjos hit a routine grounder to shortstop Jesus Lopez that appeared to handcuff him.

Although it looked like a double play ball, Lopez could get only one out, at second, Wipke scored the tying run and the inning remained alive.

Ryan Mount followed with a towering home run to right field, his second of the season and second in the last three days and suddenly the Quakes led for the first time 8-6. It was Rodriguez’s fifth blown save in 17 save opportunities this season.

A Hank Conger triple was followed by a Mark Trumbo double that gave the Quakes a three-run cushion.

The Storm went down meekly in the ninth, against Quakes closer David Herndon, who faced only three batters to record his fourth save all during the homestand. Barret Browning (2-1) picked up his second relief win in as many nights.

Mount and Wipke drove in three runs apiece for the Quakes, while Norman scored three times. The Quakes, who finished off the homestand 4-2, improved to 3-35 this season when trailing after seven innings.

Bakersfield 5, 66ers 3

Mauro Gomez’s two-run home run in the sixth inning snapped a 3-3 tie and the Blaze went on to the victory at Sam Lynn Ballpark, avoiding a sweep.

Tommy Giles drove in two runs and Austin Gallagher drew three walks and scored once to lead the Sixers attack.

The Quakes and 66ers play each other in a three-game series at Arrowhead Credit Union Park beginning Thursday, the final three games before the all-star break.


66ers spoil Stockton’s party

Trayvon Robinson was 3-for-5 with two RBI, and both he and Jaime Pedroza doubled and tripled as the 66ers routed the Stockton Ports 7-0 at Banner Island Ballpark on Saturday.

The Ports’ loss, coupled with San Jose’s 8-4 victory over Bakersfield clinched the first-half North Division title for San Jose with one game remaining today.

Alberto Bastardo (4-5), Francisco Felix and Garrett White combined on the six-hitter as the Sixers won Game 2 of the six-game road trip to Stockton and Bakersfield.

66ers sleepless in Stockton

It was too much to ask. A little more than six hours after winning a 16-inning marathon with Lake Elsinore at home on Thursday night, the 66ers were on a bus bound for Stockton to open a six-game North Division road trip on Friday. Stockton is battling for the North Division first-half title.

The Sixers gave it a valiant effort as Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer (his eighth), Ryan Rogowski was 2-for-4 with two run and an RBI and Drew Locke had two hits and an RBI as the Sixers were even with the better-rested Ports 4-4 in the seventh.

But Stockton scored two in the seventh against Jordan Pratt on two walks, an error, a stolen base, a wild pitch, a ground out and a single to beat the Sixers 6-4. It was impressive that they were that competitive on short rest on the road against a very good Stockton team.


Lancaster overcomes handicaps, wins first-half title

I said it a couple of weeks ago that in a tight race in the California League’s South Division for the first half title, that Lake Elsinore was the team to beat.

Despite the anemic play throughout the division, Lake Elsinore had been in first place for more than a month. Lake Elsinore also had a favorable schedule down the stretch, with more games against South opponents.

That didn’t matter to Lancaster, which won the first-half title anyway on Friday. The JetHawks’ 4-1 victory over Visalia, coupled with High Desert’s 5-4 win over Lake Elsinore, gave Lancaster a three-game lead with two games to play to clinch the title. Lancaster is 4-0 so far on a first-half ending six-game North Division road trip.

Lancaster has won all three half titles since becoming a Boston Red Sox affiliate at the start of the 2007 season. The first-half title leaves Lake Elsinore, the Quakes, the 66ers, and the Mavericks vying for the final two South Division playoff spots in September.

66ers win 16-inning epic on Thursday

The 66ers chances of winning a first-half title were slim entering the half’s final week, but the team has nonetheless succeeded in the role of spoiler.

On Thursday night, they made it even more painful for the former first-place Lake Elsinore Storm.

Ryan Rogowski’s bloop single to center with two outs in the 16th inning scored Esteban Lopez with the winning run as the Sixers won 4-3 before 1,227 fans at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

It was the longest Sixers game since the 18-inning loss to Lancaster in April. It was the team’s first extra-inning win since April 29, 2007 against Modesto in San Bernardino.

The victory wrapped up a three-game sweep by the Sixers (30-37) over the Storm (32-35), who entered the series a game ahead in the South Division.

Lake Elsinore is now two games back in the South with three games to play as Lancaster swept a three-game series at San Jose. Lake Elsinore hosts the Mavericks this weekend, while Lancaster is at Visalia.

The Sixers will have another chance to play spoiler as they take a 6 a.m. bus today to play Stockton to end the half. Stockton trails San Jose by one game in the North Division race.

The game had plenty of scoring in the late innings of regulation, then nothing again until the 16th.

With the score 3-3 in the 16th, Esteban Lopez, 0-for-5 until that point, singled to center against Richie Daigle (3-6). Trayvon Robinson sacrificed him to second and Justin Fuller was intentionally walked. Second baseman Eric Sogard made a great play on a Carlos Santana grounder to keep the score tied, allowing the runners to move up.

But Rogowski followed with a bloop single to center, scoring the game-winner.

The Sixers were 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the game; the Storm were 3-for-14.

The Storm trailed 2-0 entering the eighth and had two outs and no one on.

But Javis Diaz singled against 66ers all-star reliever Paul Koss and Cedric Hunter walked.

Sogard’s single to right scored Diaz with the Storm’s first run, and Sam Carter followed with a dribbler up the third base line. Third baseman Austin Gallagher had no play and the infield single tied the score 2-2.

The Sixers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Santana walked with one out and Drew Locke doubled off the wall in right to score Santana against Storm closer R.J. Rodriguez.

The Storm responded with a rally against the Sixers closer, Jacobo Meque.

Kellen Kulbacki singled with one out and Jesus Lopez singled with two outs to send Kulbacki to second. Pinch hitter Keoni Ruth, who struck out against Meque to end Wednesday’s game, singled to center to score Kulbacki. Lopez was thrown out trying to go to third, but the Storm had tied the score 3-3.

The Sixers squandered opportunities in the late innings to pull out the win.

Christian Lara tripled with one out in the bottom of the ninth against Rodriguez, but Lopez and Robinson each popped up on the first pitch they saw to send the game into extra innings.

Inland Empire left runners in scoring position each inning from the eighth through the 12th.

Nearly lost in the game were outstanding starts by the Storm’s Ernesto Frieri and the Sixers’ Tim Sexton. Frieri allowed runs in each of the first two innings, but didn’t allow any more in a six-inning performance. He struck out five and walked two while allowing four hits.

Sexton went seven shutout innings, as the Storm hit into three double plays in that time. Sexton allowed seven hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

The Sixers got seven innings of shutout relief from Javy Guerra (3 2/3 innings), David Pfeiffer (1/3 inning) and Joe Jones (three innings, improving his record to 2-2).






Quakes win a rare pitcher’s duel in Adelanto

Quakes 3, Mavericks 1

Amalio Diaz outdueled all-star Kyle Parker as the Quakes (28-39) salvaged the final game of a three-game series with a win over the Mavericks (29-38) at Stater Bros. Stadium on Thursday night.

Diaz (5-4) allowed only seven hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings  while walking one and striking out five. Parker (5-3) struggled with wildness, walking six and allowing two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings. Parker allowed only five hits and struck out two.

Alberto Rosario was the only Quake with two hits and had an RBI.

The Quakes return home for a six-game homestand beginning Friday against Modesto.