66ers, Quakes both win, 2012 schedule released

Sixers got 2 insurance runs in the eighth inning to win their fourth straight beating High Desert 5-2 on THursday. The Sixers lead the race for the wild-card spot over the Mavericks by five games.

The Quakes meanwhile, moved into a tie for the second-half race in the South Division by beating Lake Elsinore 7-3 at The Diamond on  Thursday.

The Cal League schedule for next year is out as well, but I don’t have time to fully analyze it as I am getting ready for vacation.

The highlights: Season opens Thursday April 5 with the Sixers playing at the Quakes.

The Sixers’ home opener is a week later, Thursday April 12, when they host High Desert.

The Sixers will also host the Quakes on July 4. The Quakes, as usual, will have their Independence Day fireworks on July 3, this time hosting High Desert.

Both teams will finish the season on the road. the Sixers at Lake Elsinore and the Quakes at Bakersfield. The season ends on Labor Day, September 3.

Claremont’s Germano throws perfect game

Congratulations to Claremont High product Justin Germano, who threw a perfect game while pitching for the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A Colombus affiliate on Tuesday night. Germano and Columbus beat Syracuse (the Washington Nationals’ affiliate) 3-0 in a game at Syracuse.

Germano, who has 79 career appearances (including 36 starts) in the big leagues, had been demoted to Triple-A after compiling a 5.68 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Indians.

Tuesday was his 15th appearance and fifth start since joining Columbus. The 28-year-old threw 65 of his 95 pitches for strikes and he struck out seven, including the final batter.

It was just the fifth perfect game in the history of the International League and first for the Columbus franchise.

Here’s a link to the minorleaguebaseball.com article with quotes from Germano


66ers, Quakes hope injuries aren’t serious

In the Sixers 5-3 victory over the Quakes on Monday, both teams had key players leave the game with injuries. With today’s off day the true extent probably won’t be known until Wednesday.

Upland High product Michael Wing, the hottest player on the Sixers, injured his shoulder sliding into second in the fourth inning and left the game. Wing has reached base in 27 consecutive games.

“We don’t really know how serious it is right now,” Sixers manager Damon Mashore said. “We’ll have to see.”

The Quakes meanwhile, lost right fielder Ramon Jean and center fieler Anthony Jackson when they collided going after Dwayne Bailey’s fly ball in the sixth inning. Manager Juan Bustabad said Jean suffered a sprained ankle and Jackson’s right hand was spiked by Jean.

Bustabad didn’t consider either injury to be serious. “Hopefully we won’t have to put them on the DL,” Bustabad said. “He (Jackson) might be available for the next game.”

Outside of the injuries, the Sixers won because they made smart plays and the Quakes made dumb plays.

–Quakes’ Pedro Guerrero was doubled off first on a popup to third in the fifth inning. In the sixth, with the bases loaded and no outs, Rafael Ynoa hit a fly ball to right. Austin Gallagher held at third, but Angelo Songco wandered off second and Gallagher was caught in a rundown.

“He (Songco) should’ve realized Gallagher was on third. We weren’t going to send him,” Bustabad said.

–The Sixers meanwhile, executed the 9-2-6-1 rundown perfectly. With catcher Carlos Ramirez staying calm  and shortstop Dwayne Bailey making a nice throw to Ariel Pena to get Gallagher.

–Second baseman Jon Karcich, who entered the game when Wing was hurt, made a great play in the eighth inning. Nick Buss hit a drag bunt. With first baseman Eric Oliver having to field the ball, pitcher John Wiedenbauer was late covering first. Karcich hustled over and Oliver threw to him to get Buss.

“That’s a great play.  That’s a smart baseball play,” Mashore said.

Saturday’s Quakes-66ers game could be sign of exciting finish

Yes, Saturday’s Quakes 12-9 victory over the 66ers before 3,785 at the Epicenter was just one game, but the game seemed to be an indication of other trends for the team.

First, the recap.

The Quakes took a 10-2 lead in the fourth inning, thanks to two-run homers by Austin Gallagher (11th), Preston Mattingly (second) and Angelo Songco (19th). Gallagher and Mattingly are ex-Sixers and they hit the homers against starter Ryan Chaffee (2-10), an ex-Quake.

The Sixers rallied and Casey Haerther hit a pinch-hit three-run homer (his eighth) in the seventh inning to make it 10-8. After Michael Wing hit two early homers and Matt Long one, it was the fourth homer of the game. It was the first time this season the Quakes allowed four homers. They were the last team in the league who hadn’t allowed at least four homers in a game.

The Quakes added two runs in the seventh to make it 12-8, but the Sixers weren’t done.

Eric Oliver’s RBI double in the ninth made it 12-9 and after a single by Haerther, Quakes manager Juan Bustabad summoned closer Logan Bawcom.

Bawcom walked David Harris to put the tying run on base, but Jose Jimenez hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game as Bawcom earned his third save.

Some things we learned:

1–The Quakes (56-43 overall, 18-11 second half) aren’t playing like a team that already won the first half. They keep winning and winning.

2–The Sixers (45-54, 13-16) aren’t the same team that lost the first nine games of the second half. They’ve won or split their last six series this season (5-0-1).

3–While the pitching matchup involved probably the two worst starters for each team, both bullpens have been suspect of late. Both teams have plenty of untested arms that will make for an interesting closing stretch to the regular season.

66ers rally, win in improbable fashion, 11-9

In a game about as crazy — but not as scripted — as the postgame lucha libre Mexican wrestling show at Arrowhead Credit Union Park, the Sixers rallied from two four-run deficits to down Lake Elsinore 11-9 on Friday night.

Sixers starting pitcher Kyle Hurst was knocked out of the game after three batters in the first inning when he apparently felt something in his shoulder and had to come out.

The Sixers trailed 5-1 in the third inning and 7-3 in the fifth but rallied.

RBI singles by Kole Calhoun and Eric Oliver in the sixth tied the score 7-7.

Lake Elsinore took a 9-7 lead in the eighth on a two-run single by Reymond Fuentes, his fourth hit of the game.

The Sixers rallied in the bottom half, with help from Lake Elsinore defense. Matt Long’s fairly routine fly ball to left was played into a triple when left fielder Wande Olabisi and  Fuentes miscommunicated. Michael Wing’s third hit of the game, an RBI single put the Sixers within 9-8. After a fly out, Jason Ray came into pitch and got a potential inning-ending double play grounder to third but third baseman Jacob Blackwood couldn’t handle it for an error. Dillon Baird’s RBI single to right tied it and Carlos Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly that gave the Sixers a 10-9 lead. David Harris drove in his first run as a Sixer with a double off the wall in right.

Mike Kenney (3-3), who was charged with the second of two runs in the top of the eighth got the win. He stayed in for the ninth and after Danny Payne singled for his fourth hit of the game to start the inning, Kenney retired the next three batters to preserve the win.

The Sixers used five relievers in the game and only one, Eric Cendejas (who faced only three batters) wasn’t charged with a run. But understandably, the bullpen as a whole got the game ball.

Quakes, 66ers extend winning streaks

For the second time in the last three games, the Quakes won a game by a 12-11 score on Wednesday night at Recreation Park in Visalia.

But unlike Saturday’s 12-11 win over Modesto when the Quakes rallied from deficits of 9-1 in the sixth and 11-7 in the ninth, this time the Quakes were trying to hold on.

J.T. Wise’s three-run homer in the seventh gave the Quakes a 10-8 lead. But the Rawhide scored a run in the eighth to make it 10-9. The Quakes got two important insurance runs in the top of the ninth to make it 12-9, then turned the game over to new closer Logan Bawcom.

Bawcom allowed two runs with one out, with Yucaipa High product Matt Davidson’s RBI single pulling the Rawhide to within 12-11. After a walk put runners on first and second, Bawcom retired Jon Mark Owings on a fly ball and he struck out Angel Marte to earn his second save.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Quakes (54-42 overall, 16-10 second half).

The 66ers (44-52, 12-14) meanwhile, won their third straight game, 5-3 over Lake Elsinore at Arrowhead Credit Union Park. Jon Karcich drove in three runs, including a two-run double that snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning. Dillon Baird, in his first game off the disabled list, had an RBI single to tie the game earlier in the inning but was picked off third base.

Ariel Pena (8-3) struck out 10 (with no walks) and allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, giving him 126 strikeouts for the season. That moves him past Tyler Skaggs (now in Double-A) and Modesto’s Chad Bettis (who had five strikeouts Wednesday) into first place in the league.

Buddy Boshers (double-play grounder on his only pitch), Fernando Rodney (with the team from the Angels on a rehab assignment) and Mike Kenney (earning his first save) did not allow a baserunner the rest of the way to preserve the victory.

Redding sets franchise record in Quakes win

Quakes right-hander JonMichael Redding set a franchise record for strikeouts in Saturday’s 7-3 victory over Modesto at the Epicenter

Redding struck out 14 in seven innings, surpassing the previous record of 13 set 5 previous times, including once by Bobby Jenks. Redding took 99 pitches to throw 7 innings, allowing two runs on four hits (two solo homers) and no walks. He struck out 7 of the final 10 batters he faced and he struck oiut every batter in the lineup at least once.

He combined with two relievers for 18 strikeouts, also a franchise record for a nine-inning game. The old record was 17.

Tony Delmonico homered and drove in four runs and Angelo Songco also homered for the Quakes.

66ers pull out victory at Modesto in 12

Jose Jimenez’s two-run single with two outs in the top of the 12th inning snapped a 7-7 tie and the 66ers downed Modesto 9-7 at John Thurman Field on Thursday night.

It was the first road extra-inning win of the season for the Sixers (40-51 overall, 8-13 second half).

Jimenez, the 66ers catcher, then provided the decisive defensive play as he threw out Carlos Martinez trying to steal on a game-ending strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.

The Sixers had taken a 7-3 lead in the top of the eighth, but the Nuts answered with four in the bottom half to tie it up.

Eric Oliver was 3 for 6 with two runs and an RBI, Matt Long homered and scored four runs and Kole Calhoun walked three times and scored three times. The Sixers won despite being out-hit 14-9.

Reigning league Pitcher Of the Week Ariel Pena allowed three runs while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. Although Kevin Nabors allowed the four runs in the eighth, the Sixers’ other three relievers were very solid: Caleb Graham, Kevin Johnson and Buddy Boshers (1-4) combined for six shutout innings.

Sorce tosses gem at Sixers; Quakes rout Lancaster

Mavericks right-hander Chris Sorce (6-5) pitched only the fourth nine-inning complete game in the California League this year and the first of his pro career as the Mavericks (8-9 second half) downed the Sixers (5-12) 6-2 before 3,522 on Dan Haren Bobblehead Night at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

Sorce retired the first 13 batters he faced before Casey Haerther doubled with one out in the fifth. He struck out five, and did not walk a batter and allowed only one earned run, on Eric Oliver’s leadoff homer in the seventh.

Sixers starter Manuel Flores (8-6) struck out 10 in six innings and was pitching a shutout through five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. In the sixth, he walked the first two batters and Shaver Hansen followed with a two-run double that broke up the shutout. Flores allowed three runs.

The Quakes, (10-7 second half) snapped a four-game losing streak, scoring all their runs in the first five innings and routed Lancaster 12-3 at Clear Channel Stadium. Jake Lemmerman was 3 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs, Pedro Guerrero was 3 for 5 and Austin Gallagher was 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs. The Quakes had 16 hits, including one by Dodger catcher Rod Barajas, playing his third game with the team as part of a rehab assignment. Barajas was 1 for 4 on Saturday, and is now 5 for 13 in the three games.

Matt Magill (8-2) allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings for the Quakes.

Bonita HS product Jiovanni Mier was 1 for 4 and his average with Lancaster sits at .225.