BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For the second time in as many nights, the Bakersfield Blaze bats were quiet for eight innings before rumbling in the 9th, but a goofy call on a roller up the first base line cost the club a chance at a rally, and the Blaze lost their third in a row to the visiting San Jose Giants, 4-2.
Jason Forjet (W, 4-3) got the start for the Giants in place of the promoted Austin Fleet, and was excellent against Bakersfield. In his third start this year against the Blaze, Forjet picked up where he left off, going five innings and allowing just a single run. On the year, the righty is now 2-0 against the Blaze, giving up just four runs over 17 innings.
The Blaze got their run in the 3rd, when Julio Morillo, Junior Arias, and Juan Silva each singled in succession, giving Bakersfield its first, and only, lead of the series.
Just a half inning later, the Giants took the lead for good. Mac Williamson began the frame with a solo homer to tie the contest, his team-leading 23rd. With two outs and the bases empty, the Giants struck quickly. Ryan Cavan and Jeff Arnold doubled to give San Jose the lead, and Elliott Blair followed with a single for another. Just three pitches later, Chris Lofton tripled to left, putting the Giants ahead, 4-1, more than enough against a slumping Blaze offense.
The club did, once again, show signs of life in the 9th. After Luis Rojas worked the 6th and 7th, and Chris Marlowe, the 8th, Stephen Harrold (S, 3) came on for the 9th. The Giants normal closer, Derek Law, was unavailable, and the Blaze almost squeezed back into the game.
David Vidal began the 9th with a double, and with two outs, Arias singled him home to cut the deficit to 4-2. Silva then worked a 10-pitch walk to put the tying run aboard before one of the stranger plays of the 2013 season took place. Juan Silverio, with a 1-and-1 count, hit a little dribbler up the first base line. Giants first baseman Ricky Oropesa appeared to reach into foul territory, slapping the ball back into fair ground with his glove. The home plate umpire Paul Clemons ruled the ball fair, and with only two players on the field treating the play like it was live, Silverio was thrown out at first to end the game.
The play marked the end to what was otherwise a fantastic day at the yard, as the team staff hosted the first Sermon on the Mound, a huge success that drew one of the largest Sunday crowds in recent Sam Lynn Ballpark history.
Such has been the luck of the Blaze of late, as the club fell for the eighth time in the last nine games, and drops to a season low 28 games under the 500 mark, with just eight games to play, including one more with the Giants.
That series finale -- though the homestand continues through Thursday -- is set for 7:15pm on Carl's Jr. Dollar Monday, the final dollar day of 2013. Gates open at 6:15pm - arrive early to secure the best seat in the General Admission section. As always, tickets and hot dogs are each just a buck, as Bakersfield's Shaun Ellis faces off with San Jose's Adalberto Mejia.
Can't make it? Listen to the action live via the Blaze streaming broadcast online, as Dan Besbris brings the call at BakersfieldBlaze.com and via the TuneIn Radio App on your mobile device. The Blaze pregame show begins at 7:10pm, with first pitch to follow.
Information provided by the Bakersfield Blaze.