SAN JOSE, CA. - The San Jose Giants erupted for 21 runs and 26 hits in a 21-9 blowout victory over the Visalia Rawhide on Thursday evening at Recreation Park. Former Hudson Hornet Brandon Belt and Juan Perez each finished with four hits while Johnny Monell connected for his team-leading fifth home run of the season as San Jose took three out of four games in the series. With the victory, the Giants improved their record to 17-16 and moved to within 1 1/2 games of first place in the North Division.
Belt (4-for-6, 2 2B, 4 RBI) and Perez (4-for-7, 3 RBI, 2 SB) led the offensive explosion while Drew Biery (3-for-6, 2 RBI) and Charlie Culberson (3-for-7, RBI) also contributed three hits apiece. San Francisco second baseman Freddy Sanchez (3-for-3, 2 2B, RBI) reached base in all five of his plate appearances in the final game of his rehabilitation assignment with San Jose.
The Giants jumped out to a 14-0 lead after only 3 1/2 innings while all nine starters finished with multiple-hit performances at the plate. San Jose's 21 runs scored was one shy of the team record for runs in a single game.
The Giants immediately jumped ahead with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning against Rawhide starting pitcher Ryan Cook before an out was recorded. Perez led off the game with an infield single while Sanchez was hit by a pitch before Belt doubled home both runners with a fly ball off the fence in deep left center field.
San Jose then scored seven runs - all with two outs - in the top of the second inning to break the game open. After the first two batters of the frame were retired, James Simmons was hit by a pitch. Simmons was then picked off, however Cook's throw to first sailed over the head of Paul Goldschmidt and down the line for an error. Perez followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0 before Sanchez doubled down the left field line to score another run. Belt followed with an RBI single of his own and then Biery delivered an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-0. After Monell drew a walk, Culberson came through with an RBI single and then two batters later, Wendell Fairley brought home two more runs with a sharp single into right. When the dust had settled, nine consecutive Giants hitters had reached base safely and San Jose had a 9-0 lead.
The Giants kept the pressure on in the top of the third inning when Sanchez doubled with one out followed by Belt's single and then Monell crushed a 1-0 pitch over the fence in right center field for a three-run homer. Three consecutive singles from Culberson, Ehire Adrianza and Fairley scored the fourth run of the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Sanchez singled with one out, advanced to third on Belt's double and scored when Biery singled to make it 14-0.
Kyle Nicholson (3-2) was credited with the victory for San Jose despite allowing seven runs (all earned) on eight hits over five-plus innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out two. Nicholson began his outing by retiring eight consecutive Visalia hitters, but surrendered four runs in the bottom of the fourth before Rossmel Perez blasted a three-run homer in the sixth to bring Visalia to within 14-7.
The Giants continued their offensive onslaught in the top of the eighth as Simmons led off with a triple into the right field corner before coming home on Perez's single. Jose Flores then delivered an RBI double to make it 16-7.
Facing Rawhide outfielder Tim Sherlock, who was appearing in a game on the mound for the first time in his professional career, San Jose added five more runs in the top of the ninth. Simmons brought home the first run of the frame with an RBI double before Perez's fourth hit - a single - scored another run extending the lead to 18-7. Flores followed with a groundball to third base that was mishandled by Ryan Wheeler for an error as another run scored. Belt then grounded out to score the fourth run of the inning while Monell's two-out RBI single scored the 21st and final run of the night for the Giants.
Kyle Woodruff (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO), who was making his California League debut worked a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen before Brian Anderson (2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO) pitched the eighth and ninth.
Monell (2-for-6, HR, 4 RBI, SB), Adrianza (2-for-5), Fairley (2-for-5, 3 RBI) and Simmons (2-for-5, 3B, RBI) all finished with two hits.
Cook (1-2), who entered the game with a 2.08 ERA, suffered the loss after allowing nine runs (all earned) on eight hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Notes: The 21 runs and 26 hits are both high marks for any team in the California League this season ... San Jose's previous season-high in runs was eight ... Belt and Perez became the first Giants players to finish with four hits in a game this year ... San Jose was 16-for-28 with runners in scoring position ... The Giants scored 35 runs in their three wins during the series ... San Jose's team batting average jumped from .269 to .280 ... Every Giants starter with the exception of Adrianza recorded at least one RBI ... Sanchez was 6-for-9 with five doubles in three games with San Jose ... He is expected to join Triple-A Fresno on Friday to continue his rehabilitation assignment.
On Deck: The Giants return home on Friday evening to begin a four-game series against the Bakersfield Blaze with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Aaron King (1-2, 7.29 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Bakersfield is expected to counter with Carlos Pimentel (3-1, 3.34 ERA). The game is already sold out, but it will be televised live on Comcast Hometown Network, Digital Channel 104.