Quakes win in 12; 66ers lose

All-star Angelo Songco’s 11th home run of the season, leading off the bottom of the 12th, lifted the Quakes to a 4-3 victory over Lancaster on Friday night at the Epicenter. The Quakes (40-32 overall) improved to 2-0 in the second half.

The Quakes entered their game on Friday tied for playing the fewest extra-inning games in the league, and with Friday’s win improved to 3-1 on the season, including 2-0 at home. They have won their last three extra-inning games since dropping one in the second game of the year at the 66ers. Lancaster (28-43 overall, 0-2 second half) was the last team in the league to lose an extra-inning game this season, dropping to 4-1.

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Quakes tied the score without a hit. Anthony Jackson led off with a walk, went to second on a groundout and took third on a passed ball. Songco struck out for the second out. J.T. Wise struck out as well, but the pitch was wild and Jackson scored the tying run. Wise homered in  the third inning and Songco had an RBI single in the first for the Quakes’ other runs. Jordan Roberts (4-1) got the win with an inning of relief.

The Sixers played another long game, but unlike Thursday’s 11-inning game, this one only lasted nine innings but went 3 hours, 22 minutes. Starter Manuel Flores (7-4) gave up runs in each of the first five innings (and six runs overall) and the Sixers lost to Lake Elsinore, 8-4. Kole Calhoun, Dwayne Bailey and Steven Irvine had two hits apiece for the Sixers.

66ers fall, 8-5 in 11 innings

Nate Freiman’s RBI double with one out in the 11th inning snapped a 5-5 tie and sent Lake Elsinore to an 8-5 victory over the 66ers on Thursday night, in the first game of the second half.

Lake Elsinore improved to 1-5 in extra-inning games and became the last team in the league to win an extra-inning game. The Sixers dropped to 2-3 in extra-inning games, all of which have been at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

Michael Wing’s RBI single with one out in the seventh had tied the score 5-5 and sent it into extra innings.

Wing finished 2 for 5, as did Kole Calhoun, Casey Haerther and Dillon Baird, in his first game back with the team. Steven Irvine finished a triple short of the cycle.

Two of the Sixers relievers in the game, Mike Kenney and Kevin Johnson (1-1), who took the loss, will be speaking today (Friday) at Dollahan Elementary School in Rialto as part of the after school “Think Together” program at about 2:30 p.m.

Quakes shine in Cal League all-star 6-1 win

MODESTO — The Cal League improved to 7-6 with two ties in the series by taking down the Carolina League 6-1 before 5,082 fans at John Thurman Field on Tuesday. It was the third straight win by the Cal League. It was the most runs and largest margin of victory since the Cal League’s 10-5 win in 2007.

The trio of Quakes in the game all contributed. Here’s the bottom line:

Quakes LF Angelo Songco: 0 for 1 with a sacrifice fly to deep center in the Cal League’s 4-run third.

Quakes C Gorman Erickson: 0-1 with a walk and a run scored in the third inning.

Quakes SS Jake Lemmerman: 1 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. He had one of only two extra-base hits in the game. Made several nice plays in the field, including throwing out a runner at the plate on a relay from Josh Fellhauer in the eighth. He was also charged with the Cal League’s only error .

San Jose CF Gary Brown (Diamond Bar HS): 1 for 4 with a single, run scored and an RBI

Bakersfield LF Josh Fellhauer (Rancho Cucamonga HS): 1 for 2 and started the play in throwing a runner out at the plate on a double in the eighth.

66ers RHP David Carpenter: After arriving in Modesto, he was told he was promoted to Double-A Arkansas, so he did not get to pitch in the game. He was not replaced on the roster by another 66er player, so no Sixer got to play in the game

All-star Quakes ready here in Modesto

It’s hot here in Modesto for the all-star game, reaching triple digits

Three Quakes are representing the California League. Left fielder Angelo Songco is batting sixth, catcher Gorman Erickson is eighth and shortstop Jake Lemmerman is ninth. They’re all far down in the lineup from where they usually hit, but understand that theyre in a loaded lineup.

San Jose’s Gary Brown, a Diamond Bar High alum, is batting leadoff and playing center field. Rancho Cucamonga High’s Josh Fellhauer, a Bakersfield outfielder, will be coming off the bench.

Lancaster’s Kody Hinze just won the Home Run Derby, beating Winston-Salem’s Ian Gac in the finals.

Reliever David Carpenter, the lone 66er named to the team, was promoted to Double-A Arkansas on Monday, leaving the Sixers with no players in the game.

Quakes win first-half title

It wasn’t pretty, and it seemed like the final out would never come.

But the Quakes prevailed in a 17-9 slugfest over the 66ers at the Epicenter on Tuesday night, clinching the California League South Division first-half title.

The Quakes are in their first year as a Dodgers affiliate. They also won the second half title last year as an Angels affiliate. By winning the first half, the Quakes have a first-round bye and will host the first two games of the best-of-5 South Division Finals Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11.

“These guys really wanted to win it tonight,” said Quakes manager Juan Bustabad, amidst the postgame celebration. “From this group, 15 of 25 guys were with Great Lakes (a playoff team) last year. They know what this is like.”

The game was over once the Quakes put eight runs on the board in the sixth inning to take a 13-3 lead. But the Sixers didn’t go down without a fight. In the ninth, with one out, four consecutive batters reached base to make it 17-7. A flyout was the second out, then Steven Irvine hit a possible game-ending grounder that ricocheted off shortstop Rafael Ynoa’s glove for a two-run error. A walk followed, prompting manager Juan Bustabad to remove reliever Robert Romero and bring in Luis Vasquez.

It wasn’t a closing situation, because if it was, the Quakes probably would have used right-hander Steve Smith. But Bustabad wanted to bring in Vasquez in a situation with something on the line. Vasquez is ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 30 prospect, is on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, but has spent much of the first half on the disabled list and walked 11 in his first 6 2/3 innings. Vasquez struck out Rian Kiniry to send the team into celebration.

It didn’t start out as particularly raucous. They were excited to throw the Quakes’ traditional victory balls into the stands for fans and hurried into the clubhouse. With the clubhouse well-protected, the Quakes players were armed with goggles to protect their eyes from the champagne. But eventually, the alcohol-soaked players spilled back onto the field to celebrate, including running through the sprinklers and they were still celebrating on the field in an otherwise empty stadium an hour after the final out.

Quakes close in on title, but it could be costly

The Quakes clinched at least a tie for the South Division first-half title with a 4-3 victory over the 66ers on Monday night at the Epicenter.

They now lead the Sixers and Mavericks by six games each with six games remaining, but the victory may cost them one of their three all-stars.

Starting all-star shortstop Jake Lemmerman was hit on the side of his right (throwing) hand with a pitch in the seventh inning and came out of the game. He went for x-rays after the game.

“If it’s broken, he’ll miss the all-star game,” Quakes manager Juan Bustabad said.

If it isn’t broken, Lemmerman is just day to day and the Quakes don’t make a roster move, they will probably go with the defensive alignment they used for the final two innings Monday: second baseman Rafael Ynoa at shortstop, third baseman Travis Denker at second and Tony Delmonico at third.

All the Quakes need to do to clinch the first half title before hitting the road is win either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Quakes inch closer; San Jose clinches in North

While the Quakes could have just as easily seen their lead in the South Division trimmed down to three games, instead it’s up to five as they lowered their magic number to clinch the first-half title to six. They lead High Desert and the 66ers by five games each with 10 games remaining.

In the late innings, the Quakes were tied with Visalia and High Desert was tied with Lake Elsinore.

But Rafael Ynoa’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth snapped the tie and lifted the Quakes to a 4-3 victory. Meanwhile, in Adelanto, Lake Elsinore scored three times in the top of the ninth to record a 12-9 victory. The Sixers kept pace with a 3-2 win over Lancaster.

The North Division was certainly a foregone conclusion as San Jose was running away with the first-half title. With Thursday’s win over Modesto, coupled with Bakersfield’s loss to Stockton, San Jose had a 11 1/2 game lead with 10 games remaining and clinched the North. It marked the eighth straight year San Jose qualified for the playoffs and the seventh straight year they won the first-half title.

Pressure on for Quakes; Wells set to join 66ers

When the High Desert Mavericks came to Rancho Cucamonga for a four-game series that began on Wednesday, the Quakes had a chance to put a stranglehold on the first half South Division race. The Quakes led by 5 games with 18 to play. Instead, thanks to the Mavericks winning 3 of 4 (including Saturday’s 7-4 win), the Quakes’ once formidable lead is down to 3 games with 14 remaining.

The teams are done playing each other for the first half, but the Mavericks hold all the momentum now.

The Quakes’ remaining first half schedule beginning today: 3 at Bakersfield (29-27), day off, 4 vs. Visalia (25-30), 3 vs. 66ers (24-32), 4 at Stockton (29-27). The Mavericks’ remaining schedule beginning today: 3 vs. 66ers (24-32), day off, 4 vs. Lake Elsinore (25-31),  3 at Stockton (29-27), 4 at Lake Elsinore (25-31).

Meanwhile, the Mavericks will have a deal with a big leaguer for at least one game beginning Sunday: Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, who will begin a rehab assignment with the 66ers as he recovers from a groin strain. Game time in Adelanto is 5:05 p.m. It seems Wells was originally supposed to rehab with Triple-A Salt Lake, but possible bad weather in Reno (where Salt Lake is supposed to play) had the Angels shift his rehab assignment to the Cal League. No word on how many games he’s scheduled to play for the 66ers.

Quakes restore South lead to 5

It wasn’t the ideal pitching matchup for the Quakes on paper, but the games, they say, aren’t played on paper.

The Quakes scored in four of the first five innings and routed the High Desert Mavericks 6-1 at the Epicenter on Thursday. The win gave the Quakes (31-23) a five-game lead over the Mavericks (26-28) in the South Division with 16 games to play.

All-star candidate Chris Sorce started for the Mavericks, sporting a 5-1 record and a sparkling 2.92 ERA. Arismendy Ozoria (0-2, 9.72 ERA) was slated to pitch for the Quakes after Dodgers reliever Blake Hawksworth pitched the first inning in a rehab assignment.

But the Quakes hit Sorce hard, as he allowed 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Ozoria, meanwhile, allowed only three hits and one run in five innings. Greg Wilborn, just off the disabled list, pitched the final three shutout innings for the save.

Travis Denker (ninth) and Gorman Erickson (third) each homered for the Quakes.

Quakes’ comeback comes up short; lead trimmed to 4

What was a 7 game lead over the High Desert Mavericks is down to 4 with 17 games to play as the Quakes’ comeback came up short on Wednesday, 7-6.

The Quakes really had no business to even be in the game.

They were out-hit 17-6 and High Desert scored in each of the first four innings. But the Mavericks didn’t run away with it as they ran into four double plays and left 13 runners on base.

The Mavericks led 7-1 in the sixth before Angelo Songco hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-2. It was Songco’s first two-homer game in his three-year pro career.

It was still 7-2 in the eighth, when a fielding error by Mavericks shortstop Nick Franklin opened the door for three unearned Quakes runs, capped by Blake Smith’s two-run homer.

Trailing 7-5 in the ninth, the Quakes rallied again with help from the Mavericks defense as closer Daniel Cooper dropped a throw from first baseman Dennis Raben for an error on what would have been the second out. Then Franklin made another error on what would’ve been the third out. A fielder’s choice and an RBI single by Rafael Ynoa made it 7-6 with two outs and Cooper struck out Songco to end the game.

The Quakes (30-23) are only seven games over .500 for the first time since May 11, when they were 20-13. The Mavericks have three more games in the current series to cut into the Quakes’ lead.