66ers walk off with thrilling win

For the first time this season, the Sixers won a game when trailing after eight innings, and did it in a fashion that made it look like they’d been doing it all year.

Trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth on Thursday against first-place Lancaster, Tommy Giles led off with a bloop single to left against Cody McAllister (3-1), his third hit of the game. Matt Berezay was unable to bunt him over, but hit a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left for his ninth home run, a game-winner and his first homer since July 19.

The win not only improved the Sixers to 1-50 this season when trailing after eight (Bakersfield is the only team still winless in those games), but moved them into first place, a half game ahead of Lancaster and a game ahead of the Quakes. The Sixers are 22-18 in the second half.

The Sixers entered the game with the second-most runs scored in the league in the eighth inning (77) and most in the ninth (74), but those ninth-inning runs had never been in come-from-behind fashion — they’d been either snapping a tie, building on a lead, or on a comeback that fell short. Manager John Valentin was asked recently if it would be a boost to the team to get a win when trailing after eight innings.

He said it would give the team some confidence, knowing they had come back in the ninth inning before. Now he’s got that win, so we’ll see if that leads to more ninth-inning comebacks during the season’s final month.

66ers play another epic game, lose in 16

The 66ers haven’t played a lot of extra-inning games this season, but when they have, they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

For the third time in six extra-inning games this season, the Sixers had a game go at least 16 innings.

Kris Negron’s homer leading off the 16th inning lifted Lancaster to a 2-1 victory over the Sixers at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Wednesday night. The win put Lancaster (21-17 second half) a half game ahead of the Quakes and 66ers in the race for the second half South Division title.

The hard-luck loss went to left-hander David Pfeiffer, who was outstanding. Pfeiffer allowed only three hits and the one run in six innings of relief, while striking out five.Four Sixers pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 18 batters, while walking only one.

The Sixers lost an 18-inning game 6-3 to Lancaster at Arrowhead Credit Union Park in the team’s first meeting of the season on April 7, a game that was suspended after 15 innings. The Sixers then won a 4-3 game in 16 innings against Lake Elsinore June 12, also at home. The Sixers are 1-5 in extra inning games this season, and have lost 11 of their last 12 extra inning games over the last two seasons.

The Sixers had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an error by left fielder Matt Sheely on a ball hit by Tommy Giles, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a Jaime Pedroza RBI single.

Jon Still homered leading off the seventh against starter Victor Garate, who struck out 10 in seven-plus innings.

The Sixers were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the game, Lancaster just 0-for-7.


It’s rare to win game when trailing after the eighth inning, even in the pitching-challenged California League, but both the Quakes and the Mavericks did exactly that on Thursday night.

The win by the Quakes (19-14 second half) gave them a one-game lead over second-place Lancaster (18-15), while the Sixers’ loss to the Mavericks dropped them to 18-16, in third place a game and a half back.

Down 8-6 going to the bottom of the ninth, the Quakes rallied for their third such win this season with two in the ninth, and Mark Trumbo’s walk-off two-run homer in the 10th for a 10-8 victory.

It was the first time all season Stockton lost a game when leading after eight innings (47-1). Stockton was the last team in the league to be perfect when leading after eight, while the Quakes improved to 3-43 when trailing after eight.

Meanwhile, the Sixers built a 10-5 lead going to the bottom of the ninth against the Mavericks at Adelanto. However, the Mavericks rallied in the ninth on a Jamie McOwen grand slam, an RBI single by Kuo Hui Lo, and a Carlos Triunfel sacrifice fly to take an improbable 11-10 victory. Not as improbable as it might be for other teams. It is the Mavericks’ league-best sixth win (6-52) when trailing after eight. No other team has won more than three times and the Sixers have yet to do it. The Sixers dropped to 47-3 when leading after eight.

As for the Quakes, Drew Toussaint hit a homer to right with one out in the ninth to bring them to within a run.

Larry Infante then reached on an infield single and with two outs, Anthony Norman struck out. But the ball eluded catcher Josh Donaldson for a wild pitch, allowing Norman to reach base.

Pinch-hitter Abel Nieves came through with an RBI single to left to tie the score 8-8 and send the game to extra innings.

In the 10th, Hank Conger was hit by a pitch with one out before Trumbo launched his 25th home run off the scoreboard in right field.

“It was a fastball. The first one I’d seen all day,” Trumbo joked.

Trumbo had been 0-for-5 with three strikeouts up to that point, and could’ve been ejected by home plate umpire Jonathan Bailey after striking out to end the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Manager Ever Magallanes had been ejected by Bailey in the top of the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

“We weren’t getting that call all game,” Trumbo said. “He could’ve easily tossed me, but I didn’t say ‘you’ with anything I said to him. I was glad to get another chance. You should talk to the other guys. They all contributed.”

They certainly did, since the team had 19 hits and all nine starters, plus pinch-hitter Nieves, had hits. Peter Bourjos (3-for-6, two runs, RBI) and Larry Infante (3-for-5, run, RBI) each had three hits, while Trumbo, Conger and Toussaint each drove in two runs.

Toussaint extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a pair of hits.

Wasted in the Sixers loss was a pair of home runs by Austin Gallagher (Nos. 4 and 5), while Tommy Giles (No. 15) and Drew Locke (No. 7) also homered. Gallagher and Giles had three hits and three RBI apiece.


66ers drop slugfest to Mavericks

6-4 and 9-6 leads aren’t safe in the California League, and certainly not in Adelanto.

And they didn’t hold up for the Sixers, who held those leads over the Mavericks on Tuesday before dropping a 10-9 decision

With the score 9-9 in the ninth, Carlos Triunfel led off with a single against Matthew Sartor (0-1), went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a passed ball, and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by Jose Yepez.

Jaime Pedroza was 3-for-5 with three doubles, three runs and two RBI for the Sixers, Austin Gallagher was 2-for-2 with three RBI and Tommy Giles hit a two-run homer, his 14th.

Huo Kui Lo hit a three-run homer in the seventh for the Mavericks in the seventh inning to tie the score, 9-9.

Quakes’ unlikely streak ends

I came back from a two-week vacation to find out that the Quakes have the appearance of an actual piching staff.

They stretched a scoreless inning streak to 29 inning before Stockton scored two runs in the ninth in a 7-2 Quakes victory on Tuesday. That was only seven innings short of tying the league record for consecutive shutout innings set by the Redwood Pioneers in June 1984.

The talent has been there, but not the execution until lately. In fact in June, the Quakes’ team ERA was an ugly 6.29. This was a team that lost back-to-back 17-7 games June 9 and 10, and allowed 50 runs in a four-game series at Stockton in April.

Yet, the Quakes have now allowed two runs or less in six of the last seven games. Impressive.

66ers extend scoreless streak with another rout

The 66ers are not only off to a great start in the second half, but they’ve shown they can continue a streak they started in April.

The Sixers routed the Mavericks 9-0 on Saturday before 2,078 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park to improve to 10-6 in the second half. That gives them a two-game lead in the South Division standings over the Mavericks (8-8) and Quakes (8-8).

The Sixers have now held the Mavericks scoreless for 42 straight innings at Arrowhead Credit Union Park. That includes the final 24 innings of the last series between the teams in San Bernardino April 18-20, and the first 18 innings of the current four-game series. It was the ninth shutout in 2008 for the Sixers, who are now 41-45 overall this season.

James Adkins (5-6) won his second straight start after failing to win since May 12. He allowed six hits, no walks and struck out five in seven innings. David Pfeiffer finished off the nine-hitter.

The Sixers scored in each of the first six innings, beginning with Carlos Santana’s two-run homer in the first. That gives Santana 12 home runs and 80 RBI. Santana was tied for the minor league lead in RBI entering the game. Christian Lara was 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Austin Gallagher had two hits.

Quakes beat 66ers in front of 7,025

The Independence Day game — whether it’s actually on the Fourth of July or not — is a great time for a big victory.

A day after losing by 10 runs, the Quakes moved back into a tie for first place in the South Division with a solid 5-3 victory over the 66ers before 7,025 at the Epicenter on Thursday.

The Quakes are not home Friday, so the big fireworks show was Thursday. The Quakes were only 74 fans short of their all-time attendance record, set on July 4, 2002.

The Quakes, Sixers and Mavericks (all 8-6 in the second half) are tied for first place in the South Division.

Quakes starter Sean O’Sullivan (9-4) settled down after the Sixers looked like they were in for an extension of Wednesday’s 18-run outburst by scoring three runs in the first inning. Carlos Santana had his league-leading 78th RBI, a run-scoring single, and Austin Gallagher (RBI double) and Jaime Pedroza (RBI single) had run-scoring hits in the first. O’Sullivan lasted five innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out five.

The Quakes tied it up with three in the fourth against Sixers starter Alberto Bastardo as Peter Bourjos had an RBI single, P.J. Phillips followed with an RBI double and Phillips later scored on a wild pitch.

Drew Toussaint’s RBI double in the fifth against Javy Guerra (1-3) gave the Quakes the lead for good and Abel Nieves added a sacrifice fly in the sixth for an insurance run.

Brian Rembisz (two innings), Trevor Bell (one inning) and David Herndon (one inning) pitched shutout relief. Herndon improved to eight-for-eight in save opportunities.

The Sixers will get a chance to win in front of a big crowd on Friday, when they host their Independence Day celebration against the Mavericks.


66ers beat Quakes in slugfest, 18-8

The 66ers have feasted on Quakes pitching this season, and on Wednesday, it got to an extreme.

The Sixers scored in double digits against the Quakes for the fourth time this season, pounding out 21 hits and scoring in each of the first five innings for an 18-8 victory at the Epicenter on Wednesday. The victory gave the Sixers (8-5 second half) sole possession of first place in the South Division second half race, one game ahead of the Quakes (7-6).

The Quakes’ ERA against the Sixers this season rose to 6.10 and the 21 hits allowed represented a season high for a Quakes opponent. The Sixers lead the season series, 9-8.

Drew Locke was 4-for-5 with five runs and four RBI, Tommy Giles was 4-for-6 with two runs and four RBI, Jaime Pedroza was 3-for-5 with four runs and an RBI, and Carlos Santana was 3-for-7 with four runs and three RBI for the Sixers. It was Locke’s first four RBI game since July 4, 2006.

But the most critical performance was that of right-hander Joe Jones (3-3), who pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief. Starter Josh Wall had a four-run lead before he took the mound and a 10-4 lead going to the bottom of the fourth but couldn’t go long enough to earn the win.  Wall went 3 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs.

Quakes starter Jeremy Haynes (0-1) was rocked as well, allowing eight hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

Marco Albano was the only one of six Quakes pitchers who didn’t allow a run when he pitched a scoreless ninth. Even rehabbing major leaguer Chris Bootcheck allowed three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

The Quakes managed 10 hits, including two apiece by Peter Bourjos, Ryan Mount, Wil Ortiz and Anthony Norman. Bourjos doubled and tripled and scored twice, while Mount was 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.