Years of dedication and sacrifice from these two. To see them share this moment together on the biggest stage means everything to me. Love you @paigehalstead time to go get fitted for that . https://t.co/WkVwng10UW— Ryan Halstead (@ryhalstead) June 5, 2019
The beauty and passion of sports.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw had first two AAA hits of 2019; Zach Houchins hit 3rd HR of roadtrip; Sean Hjelle allowed 0 ER in 6 IP in home debut.
Sacramento has been breaking out some decidedly non-PCL looking PCL games lately. Three runs total? What the heck is that about?
Well one thing that it’s about is Andrew Suarez having a huge bounce-back performance. In four games split between Sacramento and San Francisco since May 13, Suarez had given up 25 runs in just 20.1 IP. While he did have a decent amount of traffic yesterday — surrendering seven hits, a walk and a HB in 5 IP — he was touched up for just a single run on a solo HR from Rocky Gale, which is a pretty 80 grade baseball name.
But while Suarez’ performance was a return to form (hopefully), the work of the four relievers that followed was just business as usual for this Sacramento team. The bullpen has been a consistent source of strength for the RiverCats (just as it has for the Giants). Williams Jerez, Sam Coonrod, Fernando Abad, and Jandel Gustave combined to throw 4 scoreless innings, retiring the first 11 straight batters they faced, before Gustave allowed back to back two-out singles in the 9th. After briefly bringing suspense into the final innings, Gustave closed things out with a K.
The offensive was also a collective effort — a collection of Abiatal Avelino and Chris Shaw to be precise. Shaw collected his first two AAA hits, and both of them brought Avelino around to score. He started the day with an RBI single in the top of the 1st. He liked the experience so much he doubled Avelino in with the eventual winning run in the 8th.
Richmond jumped out early with a big 4-run 1st inning, keyed by a two-out three-run HR from Zach Houchins, who’s really taken to his new home-organization.
G NE— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) June 5, 2019
Zach Houchins blasts a three-run homer over the Monster
We're leading 4-0 in the 1st inning pic.twitter.com/8mJWxoL0RB
Zach Houchins continues to flat-out rake during the road trip. He's 1-for-3 with a three-run homer tonight & has tied a @GoSquirrels season high with four RBIs.— Jake Eisenberg (@JakeEisenberg_) June 6, 2019
During road trip (7 games, including tonight):
.346 (9-26) w/ 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R
That was all the Squirrels would need but they continued to pile up hits throughout the night. Four different hitters — CJ McElroy, Jalen Miller, Jacob Heyward and Hamlet Marte — collected two hits with an extra base hit.
In addition to the hits, McElroy, Miller and Heyward all added a Stolen Base. For Miller that was his 15th SB of the year, creeping closer to teammate and league leader Johneshwy Fargas (16).
Alfred Gutierrez, Chase Johnson, and Tyler Cyr would cruise to the shutout, striking out 10 Sea Dogs while surrendering just 6 hits. Gutierrez did have to survive 5 walks in his 5 innings, but worked through the traffic effectively with the big lead.
Sean Hjelle, welcome to San Jose! pic.twitter.com/VVkWWlGQIm— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 6, 2019
With Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos taking a collective 0 for 7 (with 1 walk), the spotlight shifted to to Sean Hjelle, who made a strong first impression in front of the home crowd.
Tonight is Sean Hjelle’s night to shine in San Jose. Hjelle works six strong innings allowing just one unearned run. Gave up four hits, walked one & struck out four. 91-93 MPH sinker was really working - induced nine groundouts.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 6, 2019
The big right-hander had given up 10 hits in a Loss to in Lake Elsinore last time out, but he was on his game last night, using his extreme down hill angle to rack up grounders. What Hjelle has really done successfully this year is pound the strike zone. He’s handed out just 13 walks on the season against 58 Ks in 57.2 IP between Augusta and San Jose.
T1| Sean Hjelle’s first pitch at Excite Ballpark. 93 mph on the radar gun. Side note: don’t stand against the stadium netting folks! pic.twitter.com/mjosKLPhnJ— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 6, 2019
With the Dynamic Duo silenced by Logan Gilbert, it was up to a couple of old vets to carry the offense. Former White Sox 1st rounder Courtney Hawkins homered for the second straight game, and the third time in four games as he’s added a big power bat to the lineup. And Minor League Rule 5 pick Peter Maris added his 4th HR with San Jose. Maris has had at least one hit in 11 of the 14 games he’s played with the Giants and is now hitting .341/.482/.727.
Maris’ addition to the lineup really started the team’s turnaround. When Maris joined the team they were 14-23, but since then they’ve won 13 of 20 games and are nearing the .500 mark. At their worst they were 10 games below .500 (10-20).
Augusta lost at Asheville Tourists (Rockies), 4-3
winning their series, 2-1
Augusta played their third consecutive one-run game against the Tourists, but this one finally went the wrong way. Luis Amaya entered a tie game in the bottom of the 9th and surrendered a leadoff double that put him in danger immediately. One out later a grounder into LF brought the winning run around in a walk off.
Still the Greenjackets once again showed some grit, coming back from a 3-0 deficit with five hits in the 7th inning to tie the game. They had runners on 3rd and 2nd with one out and a chance to go ahead, but Jeffry Parra and Jose Layer each struck out to end the threat, and they were unable to score again.
Like his draft-mate Hjelle, Keaton Winn has been an extremely successful strike thrower in his first full season. Through 54 innings he’s walked just 8 batters this year — and in just one of his 12 games has he walked more than a single batter.
5 runs on 3 hits? Proof positive of a DSL game! The Royals contributed seven walks, a hit batsman, three wild pitches and three errors to the Giants’ offensive efforts. The Giants did get one big swing of the bat however, from Victor Bericoto — a two-run triple that keyed a three-run rally. The right-handed 1b is now 4 for 13 over his first four games with a double, a triple, four walks and two SB. He’s been a big contributor to the lineup in the team’s three straight victories.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Enderson Franco) @ Oklahoma City (Mitchell White)
Richmond (Garrett Williams) @ Portland (Tanner Houck)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) vs. Modesto (Penn Murfee)
Augusta (Blake Rivera) vs. Kannapolis (TBD)
DSL Giants vs. DSL Pirates2
Sacramento and Richmond look to take their series while San Jose attempts the sweep. Augusta returns home looking to make a final push to try to grab a first half title.
Baseball. It’s a beautiful thing.