A sleepy second half opener at Sam Lynn Ballpark saw the Blaze fall to 0-1 behind a handful of mental mistakes and the Modesto Nuts clubbed a late grand slam to blow open the first game of a four-game series, 8-2 on Thursday night.
The Nuts wasted little time in getting into the offense. Modesto, generally a light-hitting team, woke up quickly, and pounded out two hits each in the first four innings, scoring four time off Anthony Misiewicz (L, 3-6).
To his credit, Misiewicz settled down after a 4th-inning homer, and faced the minimum over his final 2.2 innings. Anthony ultimately went 6.0 innings yet again, and continues to rank among the league-leaders in innings pitched.
Tonight, however, four runs for the opposition would be two too many. Modesto starter Yency Almonte (W, 5-5) was stellar, surrendering a run on just five Blaze singles over 6.0 quality innings. In fact, only two of the Blaze hits left the infield on a quiet offensive night for the home team.
A pair of Nuts relievers finished the contest, with Troy Neiman (S, 1) getting his first save of the year.
The game was mostly a one or three-run contest throughout, though the Nuts broke it open in the 9th when Wes Rogers slugged a grand slam to put the finishing touches on Modesto’s 9th road win all season.
An angry Blaze team that had a handful of mental lapses in the loss will look to refocus on Friday night in another 7:45pm contest. Osmer Morales moves into the starting rotation and makes his starting debut for the Blaze.
Can’t make it out to see it in person and enjoy Player Autograph Sessions at 6:45pm? Never fear. Dan Besbris has the call at BakersfieldBlaze.com and TuneIn Radio. Listen to it – you might enjoy it.