The Quakes didn’t need to win Wednesday. They had already clinched a playoff spot earlier in the evening, thanks to Lancaster’s loss to Lake Elsinore.
But they didn’t lay down, either. Trailing the Mavericks 8-2 in the fifth inning the Quakes scored two runs in the fifth, two in the seventh, one in the eighth and two in the ninth to win 9-8 at the Epicenter on Mike Trout’s four-pitch walk-off walk with two outs. Gabe Jacobo’s team-leading 21st homer of the season leading off the inning had tied the score.
It was the second time this season the Quakes rallied to win after trailing by as many as six runs. On July 12, also at home and also against the Mavericks, the Quakes trailed 7-1 in the sixth before rallying to win 8-7 on Clay Fuller’s RBI single with one out in the ninth.
The offense will get much of the credit for Wednesday’s win, and deservedly so. Trout had two hits, including a home run, and drove in three. Jacobo was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Angel Castillo hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot, in the comeback.
But the bullpen was just as important. Michael Piazza and Matt Meyer (1-0) combined to pitch 4 1/3 hitless innings of relief after starter Orangel Arenas couldn’t make it through the fifth.
After building the 8-2 lead, the Mavericks managed only one baserunner over the final four innings, a two-out walk by Jake Shaffer in the sixth. Piazza and Meyer then retired the final 10 Mavericks they faced.
The regular season ends on Monday and the Quakes and Mavericks will face each other in the first round beginning Wednesday. It remains to be determined which team will host the best-of-three first round series.
After an off-day Wednesday (the last of the first half), both the Quakes and 66ers return home from road trips on Thursday. The Quakes went 5-2 on a seven game road trip to Visalia and San Jose and will play host to Lancaster for a four-game series that starts Thursday.
The 66ers went 2-1 on a brief trip to Lancaster, and return home to host High Desert on Thursday.
In that game, the Sixers are expected to have two Dodgers pitchers making rehabiliation assignments: left-hander George Sherrill and right-hander Vicente Padilla.
Padilla, who hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since April 22, has been on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his throwing arm. He is expected to start Thursday’s game for the 66ers. Sherrill (back), who made his first appearance for the Sixers on Tuesday, allowing one run in one inning, is expected to follow Padilla in Thursday’s game.
Since the six month waiver for Brett Sports to sell the High Desert Mavericks expired almost two weeks ago, the question has been, what next?
The Bretts announced their intention to sell the Mavericks last spring when they announced they were buying the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. That was required by California League and Minor League Baseball rules; one owner cannot own two teams in the same league.
Both Minor League Baseball and the California League have granted extensions to the Bretts to sell the team.
“Bobby has been trying diligently to sell the team,” California League president Charlie Blaney said.
Blaney would not comment on how long the extension is for, or how the league vote went, but “the league is very supportive of Bobby.” Blaney said that since the Bretts took control of the Quakes in August, no teams have been sold in minor league baseball.
There have been situations in the past where the league would take control of a league franchise, including I believe, Bakersfield with the California League a few years ago. But Blaney said this is not one of those situations.
“It would be a possibility, if they couldn’t pay their bills or were having trouble financially, but that’s not applicable here,” Blaney said.