SAN JOSE, Calif. (Press release) - Drew Biery hit a game-tying solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning before Charlie Culberson's RBI double in the 14th lifted the San Jose Giants to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium. Culberson's one-out double to deep center field scored Brandon Belt all the way from first base sending San Jose to the win in their longest game this season. With the victory, the Giants improve their record to 37-23 and open up a five-game lead over Modesto (31-27) in the first half North Division race.
Culberson (2-for-7, 2B, RBI) and Biery (2-for-6, HR, RBI, SB) both produced multi-hit games at the plate to lead San Jose offensively. Brandon Belt (2-for-6, HR, RBI) added a home run early in the contest and also scored three times.
Brian Anderson (2-0) earned the win after holding the Nuts scoreless in the 13th and 14th innings. Anderson stranded the potential go-ahead run at second base in each frame.
After Modesto went ahead by a 3-2 margin with a run in the top of the 12th, Nuts closer Adam Jorgenson quickly set down the first two batters in the bottom of the inning. Biery then stepped to the plate and crushed a 2-0 pitch over the fence in straightaway left field for his sixth home run of the year.
Anderson entered the game to begin the 13th and allowed a two-out single to Michael Mitchell. Mitchell promptly stole second base before Tim Wheeler was intentionally walked. However, Anderson settled down to strikeout Beau Seabury to end the threat.
In the 14th, Thomas Field singled with one out and advanced to second when Jimmy Cesario bounced out to first. Anderson then fanned Michael Zuanich to keep the score tied.
Belt began the game-winning rally with a one-out walk in the bottom of the 14th before Culberson hammered a line drive over Mitchell's head in center field. On the hit, Belt raced around third base and scored with a slide at home plate as Culberson cruised into second with the game-winning double.
Nuts reliever Isaiah Froneburger (2-1) suffered his first loss of the year after surrendering one run over 1 1/3 innings.
With the score tied at 2-2, the Giants loaded the bases in the 9th and 11th innings, but failed to bring home the winning run in each frame. In the bottom of the ninth, a pair of walks issued by Modesto's Rex Brothers put runners on first and second. New pitcher Michael Marbry then entered the contest and walked Ehire Adrianza to load the bases, however Jose Flores grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch to force extra innings.
In the 11th, San Jose put the winning run at third base with none out, but Marbry again pitched out of trouble. Jose Medina started the inning by reaching on a throwing error committed by the shortstop Field. James Simmons then grounded a single into right field to move Medina over to third before Juan Perez was intentionally walked loading the bases. Marbry recovered to strikeout Adrianza and then punched out Flores on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Belt followed and he also worked the count full, before popping out to shallow center field.
Facing Giants reliever Jason Stoffel (2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO), the Nuts then pushed across a single run in the top of the 12th. Jordan Pacheco led off with a sharp single into center field before advancing to second on a one-out wild pitch. Then with Field at the plate, pinch-runner David Christensen took third base on Stoffel's second wild pitch of the inning. Field followed with a sacrifice fly to left plating the go-ahead run.
Eric Stolp started on the mound for San Jose and tossed seven effective innings with two runs (both earned) and five hits allowed. Stolp walked one and struck out one during his 90-pitch performance.
The Giants initially took a 1-0 lead when Belt launched a home run to deep left center field leading off the second inning. In the fourth, Belt singled to begin the frame, stole second and then came home when Johnny Monell reached on a one-out fielding error committed by the second baseman Erik Wetzel.
Stolp began his evening with five scoreless innings and just two baserunners allowed - a leadoff double in the top of the second from Paulsen and a one-out walk to Scott Robinson in the third. Modesto finally broke through in the top of the sixth as Wetzel led off with an infield single before scoring on Mitchell's one-out double into the right field corner. After Wheeler grounded out to advance Mitchell to third, Pacheco came through with an RBI bunt single to tie the game at 2-2.
Stolp recovered to hold Modesto scoreless in the seventh before David Quinowski (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO) fired three perfect innings of relief. Quinowski struck out six of the nine batters that he faced, including five in a row over the eighth and ninth innings.