The 66ers got off to a quick start, scoring 13 runs in the first 3 innings en route to a 15-1 blasting of host Lancaster on Friday night. C.J. Cron hit a grand slam (his 19th) and a two-run double, giving him a minor league-leading 101 RBIs this season. he leads the rest of pro baseball by seven.
Drew Heid (4th), Taylor Lindsey (6th) and Randal Grichuk (12th) also homered for the Sixers. Max Russell won for the first time in more than a month, giving up one run in five innings. The Sixers scored at least 10 runs for the 4th time in 5 games. Every Sixer had a hit and scored a run and only Kaleb Cowart failed to drive one in.
C.J. Cron’s dramatic grand slam with one out in the bottom of the 11th capped a rally from a 6-3 deficit at the 66ers downed the Quakes 10-6 before 6,376 on Loma Linda Night at San Manuel Stadium.
Class act? Matt Kemp is doing at least 1 thing to prove he’s a class act in his time in the minor leagues.
The Dodgers all-star outfielder, in his third game of a rehabilitation assignment with the Quakes, went 1 for 4 with a single and an RBI groundout as the 66ers downed the Quakes 5-2 at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino on Thursday night.
But Kemp is doing his best to endear himself to the Sixers. Big leaguers, when they rehab in the minors, are expected to buy the postgame spread.
But Kemp not only bought Outback Steakhouse buffet for the clubhouse for his own team, but for the Sixers as well.
I can’t remember anyone doing it in this league, buying for both teams. (Manny Ramirez wouldn’t even do it for his own team). Sixers broadcaster Sam Farber hadn’t seen it anywhere he broadcasted. Quakes broadcaster Mike Lindskog only recalls it in the Texas League with Cardinals pitchers Adam Waindright and Chris Carpenter.
“These guys have to eat too,” Kemp said. “I remember when I was coming up it was a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Top Ramen.”
Neither the 66ers nor the Quakes rewarded their home fans with a win at the end of a long game on Saturday night.
In a game that lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours, the 66ers lost their eighth straight, falling 6-4 to High Desert at San Manuel Stadium.
With three games to go, the South Division first-half title is the Quakes’ to lose.
Joc Pederson hit a tie-breaking home run leading off the eighth inning to give the Quakes a 3-2 victory over Lancaster on Wednesday night, their ninth in 10 games. The win coupled with High Desert’s 5-4 win over Lake Elsinore, gives the Quakes (36-31) sole possession of first place in the South Division. Lake Elsinore, which had been tied with the Quakes, drops into a second-place tie with High Desert, one game back. Lancaster (34-33), which could have forged a four-way tie for first with a victory, dropped into fourth place, two games back.
Before the game was good news for the Quakes; outfielder Leon Landry became an all-star injury replacement for High Desert’s Julio Morban. Landry is batting .329 with three home runs, 16 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases.
And of course, it was Landry at the plate with the game on the line in the ninth inning: trailing by a run with runners on second and third and two outs. But Landry couldn’t beat out a grounder to second, and the Quakes’ 8-game winning streak ended with a 3-2 loss to Lancaster at the Epicenter.
A the Quakes and 66ers returned home to both begin 6-game homestands on Friday, the California League South Division race couldn’t get much tighter.
But after Friday’s results, it did.
The Quakes won their fifth straight game, beating first-place High Desert 6-1. Meanwhile, the 66ers downed second-place Lancaster 5-4 in 11 innings. In addition, Lake Elsinore, which was tied with Lancaster for second place, defeated Visalia 11-1.
So after Friday, each team in the South Division has eight games remaining, and the standings are: High Desert and Lake Elsinore tied for first with 33-29 records; Lancaster and the Quakes tied for third, with 32-30 records, just one game back. The 66ers (29-33) are in last place, but are only four games out of first. The Sixers may technically be alive, but it would nearly be impossible for them to win the first half, needing to vault over four teams.
If the 66ers went 8-0 the rest of the would have a 37-33 record. Because the Quakes and High Desert play each other 5 more times before the end of the half, one of those two teams will need to have at least 35 wins. And with Lake Elsinore and Lancaster in the mix, everything needs to break right.
Rafael Valenzuela and Ben Orloff, key figures in a 9th inning rally, teamed up again in the 11th as the Lancaster JetHawks completed a comeback in a 4-3 victory over the 66ers on Friday night in Lancaster.
In one of those games that is typical of baseball in Adelanto, the Quakes came from behind then lost a lead before losing 13-12 to the High Desert Mavericks on Saturday night.
The Quakes trailed 4-1, 6-3
There have been several notable roster moves for the Quakes and Sixers in the last few days and perhaps the biggest one came on Thursday to the Sixers’ prior to the Quakes 4-3 win over the Sixers at the Epicenter.
Sixers right-hander Donn Roach, who was off to a 5-0 start in the Cal League and perhaps the hottest pitcher in all of minor league baseball, was traded to the San Diego Padres, along with ex-Quake