Quakes fail to clinch, 66ers stay alive

The Quakes’ run to their first playoff berth in 5 years has hit a snag, and they’re halfway to a collapse.

After leading the 66ers by four games with four games to play, the Quakes’ lead is now down to two with two to play after Saturday’s action.

Although the Quakes needed only 1 win or 1 Sixer loss in the final four games to clinch a spot, the Quakes have lost twice and the Sixers have won twice.

First, while playing at Bakersfield, the Quakes lost 15-9 on Friday, and then 8-4 on Saturday. On Saturday, the Quakes fell behind 8-0 and a four-run eighth was too little too late. Mauro Gomez homered and drove in six to lead the playoff-bound Blaze. Hector Estrella drove in two runs for the Quakes.

Playing at Lancaster, the Sixers on 6-5 on Friday, and 11-8 on Saturday. Preston Mattingly was 5-for-5 with three doubles on Saturday for the Sixers, while Jaime Ortiz homered twice and drove in five runs. Jovanny Rosario’s RBI triple in the eighth snapped an 8-8 tie.

Even though the Quakes have a magic number of 1 to make the playoffs, it’s not a done deal. The Quakes are playing a playoff-bound Bakersfield team, while the Sixers are playing a Lancaster team that has lost 11 of its last 12 and is out of the playoffs.

Should the Sixers win twice and the Quakes lose twice, there would be a one-game playoff at the Epicenter on Tuesday, because the Quakes won the head-to-head season series between the teams.

A year ago, the Quakes led the Sixers by 3 games with nine to play, but went 2-7, including 1-5 head-to-head vs. the Sixers, while the Sixers went 5-4. The lone Quakes win came on the last day to force a one-game playoff, which was won by the Sixers, 7-6 in 13 innings at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.