SAN JOSE, Calif. (Press release) - The San Jose Giants scored a walk-off 5-4 victory before claiming a 5-1 decision to sweep a doubleheader from the Visalia Rawhide on Tuesday evening at Municipal Stadium. James Simmons scored the winning run on a fielder's choice groundball in the bottom of the seventh in the opener while Oliver Odle fired five scoreless innings in the nightcap as San Jose extended their winning streak to eight games. With the sweep, the Giants improved their record to 23-16 and now lead the North Division by one game over the Modesto Nuts (21-16).
Juan Perez was 5-for-6 with a double, four runs scored, an RBI and three stolen bases over the two games to lead the Giants offensively. San Jose stole six bases in the first contest before swiping two more bags in the nightcap.
In the first game, the Giants scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to earn a thrilling win. With the score tied 4-4, Simmons began the frame with a leadoff single to shortstop before advancing to second on Ehire Adrianza's sacrifice bunt. Simmons then stole third base while Perez drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Perez promptly stole second base leading to an intentional walk of Francisco Peguero to load the bases. Former Hudson Hornet Brandon Belt was up next and he grounded a 3-2 pitch to the shortstop Brent Greer. On the play, Greer fired the ball home in an attempt to force out Simmons, however the runner beat the throw in a close play sending San Jose to the victory.
Brian Anderson (1-0) earned the win out of the Giants bullpen after working a scoreless top of the seventh. With a runner on first base and one out in the frame, Greer hammered a fly ball to deep right center field that was caught by a running Peguero, who then threw to first to double off the runner and end the inning.
Justin Fitzgerald started on the mound for San Jose and worked six innings with four runs (all earned) and six hits allowed. Fitzgerald walked two and struck out a career-high eight. The right-hander struck out at least one batter in all six of his innings.
The Giants took a 4-1 lead with four runs in the bottom of the second inning against Visalia starter Kevin Eichhorn. Drew Biery led off with a double to deep left field before Johnny Monell singled to put runners on first and third. Charlie Culberson then grounded an RBI double down the left field line while Monell also scored on the play when Marc Krauss bobbled the ball for an error. Jose Flores followed with an RBI single for the third run while a successful double steal with Simmons swiping home made it 4-1.
Visalia climbed to within 4-3 in the top of the fifth when Greer belted a two-run double to deep left center field. Greer though was stranded at third base when Fitzgerald struck out Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Josh Ford ripped a solo homer to deep left tying the game at 4-4 setting up San Jose's dramatic bottom of the seventh rally.
Perez (2-for-3, 2 SB), Culberson (2-for-3, 2B, RBI, SB) and Simmons (2-for-3, 3 SB) produced multi-hit games for the Giants in the opener. San Jose out-hit Visalia by a 10-6 margin.
In the nightcap, Odle (4-0) recorded his team-leading fourth victory of the season after limiting the Rawhide to four hits over his five innings. Odle, who retired the last five batters that he faced, walked one and struck out three.
The Giants led throughout the second game plating a single run in the top of the first against Visalia starter Chase Anderson. Perez began the game with a single before Peguero reached on an error to put runners on first and third. The two players than successfully orchestrated a double steal as Peguero took second and Perez stole home for a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Adrianza led off with a double down the right field line before scoring when the next hitter, Perez, lined a single into left.
San Jose moved ahead by a 4-0 margin in the top of the sixth as Perez led off with a double before Belt drew a one-out walk. Then with two outs, Monell drove a double to the fence in deep right center field to bring home both runners.
Joe Paterson (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO) relieved Odle to begin the bottom of the sixth and allowed one run in his first inning of work. Greer started the frame with a double and scored two batters later on Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly to right.
The Giants went back in front by four runs in the seventh when Wendell Fairley led off with a double and scored on Joel Weeks' single into left. Paterson then struck out a pair in a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning to seal the victory.
Perez (3-for-3, 2B, RBI, SB) reached base in all four of his plate appearances to lead San Jose offensively in the nightcap. The Giants out-hit Visalia 8-6.
Notes: San Jose's last doubleheader at home was on April 15, 2007 when they lost a pair of games to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes ... Four of the Giants' eight consecutive victories have come against Visalia ... Perez raised his batting average to .352 ... San Jose was the road team in game two due to the April 21 rainout in Visalia ... The Giants were 8-for-12 in stolen base attempts over the two games.