A day after the Rawhide had captured some late-innings magic to orchestrate an eighth inning comeback against Modesto, Visalia couldn’t manage to get their offensive rhythm going and had a quiet afternoon at the plate. Modesto took advantage of Jose Almonte’s wildness in the third inning and then never looked back, winning the final game of the three-game series 6-1.
Almonte (L, 1-2) looked strong through his first two frames, but then lost command of the strike zone in the third when he hit Daniel Torres with the second pitch of the inning. He would go on to walk the next four batters in a row before he was lifted for Keegan Long. Long would only allow one of the inherited runners to score on a softly hit grounder, but Modesto (14-10) had already taken the 3-0 lead. Almonte pitched two innings and was tagged for three runs on five walks with two strikeouts and a hit batsman. He did not allow a hit.
The Nuts would add a pair of runs in the fifth off of Long, one of which was earned, on a Donnie Walton RBI single and a throwing error by Sergio Alcantara. Visalia (13-11) would tack on their only run of the game in the sixth when Matt Jones singled home Alcantara, but the Nuts answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth on a bloop single into shallow right field.
Reggie McClain tossed a good outing for Modesto, never overpowering the Rawhide hitters but also limited their chances. He left with an out in the sixth inning after allowing the Jones RBI single, but had already struck out six hitters and had allowed only four hits. Between the end of the third and the top of the sixth, McClain (W, 4-1) set down eight consecutive Rawhide hitters.
Alcantara and Henry Castillo finished with multi-hit games for the Rawhide, both going two for four on the afternoon.
The Rawhide will return home tomorrow night to being a seven-game homestand, kicking off with a three-game homestand against the Stockton Ports. Visalia and Stockton are tied for second place in the Cal League North standings, both one game behind Modesto. First pitch will be at 6:00 PM with RHP Nick Baker getting the start for Visalia against Stockton’s RHP Boomer Biegalski. It will be a Make a Difference Monday at the ballpark, where fans who bring a donation of socks for the Visalia Rescue Mission receiving a free Pasture ticket. Tickets are available at rawhidebaseball.com.