The Sixers got a second straight outstanding starting performance in the playoffs. This time, they didn’t get the hitting.
Ariel Pena struck out 13 in 7 1/3 spectacular innings, but Edinson Rincon’s bases-loaded single with one out in the ninth scored Nate Freiman with the game-winner as Lake Elsinore was victorious 2-1 over the Sixers in Game 2 of the South Division first round.
The decisive Game 3 is Friday at Lake Elsinore at 7:05 p.m.
The pitching matchup for Friday is the Sixers’ right-hander Cody Evans (2-0, 3.18 ERA) against Storm left-hander Jose DePaula (10-5, 5.22). DePaula is the third straight left-handed starter the Sixers will face in the playoffs, following Andrew Werner and Nick Schmidt.
The season stats would indicate an advantage for the Sixers, but head-to-head numbers favor the Storm. DePaula is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three appearances (one start) against the Sixers, while Evans is 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Storm.
The 66ers will be looking to defeat the Storm in the playoffs for the first time since the South Finals in 2006. They lost in 2007 and 2008. However, those were Mariners (06) and Dodgers (07 and 08) affiliates. In 2009 and 2010, the Angels’ old affiliate, the Quakes ousted Lake Elsinore in the playoffs.