66ers clinched a playoff spot on Monday, winning 1-0 at Stockton.
On Tuesday at Lake Elsinore, the were back at it and rallied from 4-0 and 8-7 deficits for a 12-8 victory at the Diamond. The win put the Sixers into a tie with the Storm for home-field in the first round of the playoffs. There are two games left in the series and six games left in the regular season. Lake Elsinore leads the season series 12-11 and that would be the tiebreaker if the teams finish with identical regular season records.
The Quakes, meanwhile, led 11-2 but blew the lead, allowing six runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and two in the ninth to go extra innings for the second time in four games.
This time, instead of 14 innings, they went 11 as Angelo Songco homered in the top of the 11th for a 12-11 victory. Matt Magill (10-5), normally a starter, got the win with two shutout innings of relief.
San Jose center fielder’ Gary Brown’s sliding attempt on Wil Ortiz’s blooper with two outs and the bases loaded in the 14th inning came up just short and allowed Ramon Jean to score the game-winner as the Quakes won 8-7 at the Epicenter on Saturday.
The game-winner came against Juan Ciriaco, a position player who had to pitch because the Giants were out of relief pitchers.
At 4 hours, 54 minutes, it was the longest game in terms of time in Quakes history, surpassing a 4:48 game at the 66ers in 2008. The record for longest Quakes game in innings was 16.
Ortiz’s hit was his first of the game, but he had walked four times. Tony Delmonico was hitless, but also walked four times. Jean had four hits, including two doubles and a home run in the epic battle. Jaime Pedroza had hit a three-run triple with no outs in the seventh to tie the score 7-7 in the seventh. The game remained that way until the 14th.
After Pedroza’s hit, the Quakes had gone 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position before Ortiz’s blooper.
Meanwhile, in a game that ended about 2 hours earlier, the 66ers rallied from a 3-0 deficit and downed Stockton 6-3 to trim their magic number for a playoff berth to 2.
The 66ers trimmed their magic number for a playoff spot by rallying for a 9-6 win in Stockton on Friday night.
David Harris was 3 for 5 with two runs, a home run and two RBIs. Kole Calhoun was also 3 for 5 and had the go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning that put the Sixers up 7-6. Eric Oliver, Carlos Ramirez (including a home run) and Jon Karcich added two hits apiece for the Sixers in their 14-hit attack.
The Sixers went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left just five runners on base. Stockton was 5 for 17 with RISP but left 14 on base.
The Sixers moved to within three games of the Quakes in the second half race after the Quakes lost to San Jose 8-7 at the Epicenter. Second-place Lake Elsinore also lost and is one game back.
Austin Gallagher’s home run with one out in the bottom of the eighth tied the score 7-7 and capped a comeback from a 5-1 deficit after two innings. But James Simmons’ grounder went under the glove of third baseman Tony Delmonico for an error with two outs in the ninth to score the go-ahead run as San Jose won.
San Jose’s Gary Brown, a Diamond Bar High product, was 3 for 5, with a walk, a double, a run and two RBIs.
The Quakes were without Blake Smith in the final innings. Smith returned on Tuesday after missing two months from hernia surgery. Manager Juan Bustabad said Smith’s quad was sore and that’s why Ramon Jean was sent in to pinch-run for him in the fifth inning. It was Smith’s fourth straight game since returning (he is 6 for 15 since returning). Bustabad said Smith would probably get at least two days off, possibly three before he returns.
“We don’t need to risk anything,” Bustabad said. “We want to make sure he’s healthy for the playoffs.”
Left-hander Chris Reed, the Dodgers’ first-round pick this year out of Stanford, made his pro debut on Wednesday and looked solid for the Quakes against Bakersfield at the Epicenter.
Reed started and pitched two shutout innings. He threw 27 pitches, 19 for strikes and allowed one hit and struck out two. He had only one two-ball count to the eight batters he faced. He also commited an error, when he knocked down a line drive, but then bobbled it before throwing late to first.
Perhaps his performance was even more impressive when you look at one each of the next three pitchers did: allow a run.
Matt Magill, a regular starter, allowed five runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Normally reliable Josh Walter allowed four earned runs in 1 1/3 innings and Jordan Roberts (7-4) allowed one run in two innings but picked up the win.
Roberts got the win because the Quakes rallied from a 10-7 deficit in the eighth with five runs. In the inning, the Quakes drew three walks and two batters were hit by pitches. Angelo Songco (3 for 5, 2 doubles, a triple, four RBIs) hit a game-tying two-run double and Jaime Pedroza (four RBIs) added a two-run single that snapped a 10-10 tie.
Logan Bawcom entered in the ninth and walked a batter with one out to bring the tying run to the plate. But Jordan Wideman grounded into a spectacular 5-4-3 double play to end the game. Bawcom earned his ninth save in preserving the 12-10 win.
Travis Witherspoon, yet another speedy defensive outfielder in the Angels’ system, made his 66ers debut on Saturday. He helped lead the Sixers to a 7-2 win over the Quakes and lower their magic number to
All he did in his firrst at-bat was hit a home run to the back of Home Run Hill in left field, a feat rarely accomplished in pitcher-friendly Arrowhead Credit Union Park.
He showed his speed by beating out an infield grounder (ruled an error) in the third inning, going first to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scoring on another grounder.
He tried to steal home as part of a double steal in the fourth, but was foiled. With Kole Calhoun at first and Witherspoon on third and two outs, Calhoun took off for second. Catcher Jessie Mier fired a strike to second baseman Jaime Pedroza. Unable to get Calhoun, Pedroza fired back to Mier to tag out Witherspoon.
It was only the 10th time this season in 54 attempts that Witherspoon had been caught trying to steal. Overall at Cedar Rapids, Witherspoon hit .245 with 12 homers and 44 stolen bases.
Matt Long, who had a breakout season with the 66ers, got the call after Friday’s game that he was promoted to Double-A Arkansas.
Long hit .301 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 121 games. He has been so consistent that his average has been between .300 and .310 after every game since July 17.
He did not enter the season as one of the Angels’ top-30 prospects, but should be next year.
In his place, the Sixers are getting Travis Witherspoon, the Angels’ No. 21 prospect. Witherspoon hit just .245 in 102 games for low Single-A Cedar Rapids, but had 12 home runs, 44 stolen bases, just three errors and was hitting .284 in the second half.
Witherspoon will play center field and bat leadoff, for the Sixers, who are 8 1/2 games up on a playoff spot.
I got my 15 minutes of fame at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Thursday night, as part of the “Fish or No Fish” game after the third inning.
If you haven’t seen it, a name of a possible fish is put up on the scoreboard and the contestant has to determine whether it is a fish or not a fish.
The name of the fish was “Bearded Marshall.” The lucky contestant guessed correctly that it was not a fish. And when they did, my picture came up on the scoreboard.
Hopefully my mug didn’t prompt anyone to run to the bathroom. By the way, this was all a surprise to me.
Quakes all-star shortstop Jake Lemmerman had an inkling before Thursday’s game but didn’t know for sure until a few hours later when he was told he had been promoted to Double-A Chattanooga.
“They kind of hinted at it before the game,” Lemmerman said after Thursday’s game as he cleaned out his locker. “And then I found out for sure. I’m really excited to be going to a new league and I already know a lot of the guys there who were here earlier this year, like (Allen) Webster, (Steven) Ames, (Shawn) Tolleson, and Griff (Gorman Erickson).”
Lemmerman was not in Thursday’s starting lineup, and then was placed on the inactive list prior to the game and Pedro Guerrero was activated so he could replace injured Tony Delmonico in the starting lineup. Lemmerman’s promotion was official after Thursday’s game.
“He’s done a great job for us all year. Hit around .290, been solid all around,” Quakes manager Juan Bustabad said. “Our job is to prepare guys for the next level and that’s what we did.”
Lemmerman, a California League all-star in June, batted .293 with eight home runs, 54 RBIs, 71 runs scored and nine stolen bases for the Quakes. Bustabad said that Wilberto Ortiz and Rafael Ynoa will share the starting shortstop role. Ynoa will also play some second base with Jaime Pedroza.
In another development, espnla.com was reporting Thursday that the Dodgers had signed first-round draft pick Chris Reed, a left-hander from Stanford and that he would join the Quakes. Bustabad said he has not been told anything about Reed.