66ers inch closer to playoffs; Quakes let one slip away

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.”