Cal League Division Playoffs: Game 2

This time, it was the Giants who fell behind in the first inning, but San Jose's offense once again came through big, and the pitching was just enough to help the little Giants gain a 2-0 lead in the Best of 5 series.

Once again, the big inning was king for the Giants, as San Jose scored 5 runs in the 2nd inning to power a 6-5 victory in Game 2 over the Modesto Nuts.

The big inning was started by consecutive singles by Brian Buscher, Todd Jennings, followed by Travis Ishikawa’s RBI single to right. Then Nuts pitcher Larry Robles made his biggest mistake, hitting catcher Guillermo Rodriguez with a pitch to load the bases for Jake Wald. Wald was the biggest San Jose threat with the bases loaded this year, hitting 3 of the team’s 5 grand slams.

A few minutes later, he’d hit the first San Jose grand slam of the playoffs, not to mention his 2nd in two games.

"You've got nothing to lose with the bases loaded and less than two outs," said Wald. "I got a good fastball to hit and I was just looking to lift something in the air and maybe get a sacrifice fly.”

The big inning overcame an early deficit. Garrett Broshuis, who’d rejoined the team after a brief stint in Fresno, gave up a single to Troy Tulowitzki to lead off the game. Joe Gaetti followed that up with a home run to left field and before there was even an out in the game, Modesto was up 2-0.

The Giants allowed several baserunners throughout the game, but helped themselves out and got a little help from Modesto in the first. Broshuis got out of a first inning jam thanks to Matthew Miller interfering with catcher Rodriguez’s attempt to throw out a runner at 2nd. Through the next 8 innings, the Giants turned 4 double plays, including a game-ending one in a troubling 9th inning.

Broshuis 3 walks matched a season high in San Jose. It was only the third time in 27 outings that he walked more than 2.

Down 6-2, the Nuts attempted a comeback against closer Joe Bateman. Randy Blood reached on a throwing error by Jake Wald to start the inning. Bateman walked the next batter, and then Rick Guarno doubled to score 1 run, and Troy Tulowitzki singled in 2 more runs to close the lead to 1 run. But Bateman got a strikeout to get one out. Seth Smith then hit an infield single that Kevin Frandsen stretched out to keep from getting to the outfield, keeping the lead runner on 2nd with 1 out. With runners on first and second, the Rockies top prospect Ian Stewart grounded straight to Frandsen, who started a double play to get the Giants out with a win.

The Giants score what would be their deciding run in the 6th. Jake Wald walked, and Clay Timpner grounded to the shortstop Tulowitzki, who airmailed the throw to second into right field. Wald rounded the bases and scored on the error.

Game 3 of the best of 5 series will be Monday night in Modesto. Jonathan Sanchez, the South Atlantic League leader in strikeouts, will make his San Jose debut by making the start. Modesto’s expected pitcher is Marc Kaiser. Player Of The Game: Jake Wald. 2 home runs in 2 days and a grand slam that scored 2/3rds of your team’s runs in a 1 run game will get you that honor. Wald, the number 9 hitter in the Giants lineup for both playoff games, has had a career year, and the Giants hope to keep riding it to a championship.

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