The San Jose Giants gladly accepted two runs courtesy of Inland Empire errors on Sunday en route to a 6-2 victory over the 66ers. The win was the 14th in the past 16 games for the Giants, whose 83-56 record is a full game ahead of the Lancaster Jethawks for tops in the California League. Adalberto Mejia (7-4, 3.31) earned his third consecutive win while setting season highs in strikeouts (9) and innings pitched (7.0). Aside from surrendering back-to-back home runs in the seventh, Mejia was nearly flawless.
Offensively, San Jose was led by the bats of Elliot Blair, Bobby Haney and Trevor Brown. Elliot launched a two-run home run in the second, his third of the year. Haney's pair of base hits increased his hit streak to four straight games. In his last 10 games, Haney has 12 hits and has at least one hit in eight of those 10.
Brown added two doubles and a run scored. The latest addition to the Giants, Brown was promoted on August 15 from Low-A Augusta. After a slow 1-for-26 (.038) start in his first six games in a San Jose uniform, Brown has found his stride. He is 9-for-32 (.281) in his last eight games with four multi-hit games in that span.
"I've just been working with the coaches a lot," Brown said. "We've been trying to establish a better plan. What I was doing earlier wasn't working."
The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead through two innings. Myles Schroder led off the first with a double. Back-to-back sacrifices, Chris Lofton's bunt and Mac Williamson's fly ball, advanced Schroder to third and eventually home for the game's first run. Blair's two-run home run to left increased the lead to 3-0.
San Jose's lead became 5-0 in the fifth, with one run coming off of an Inland Empire error. With Haney and Schroder on first and second, respectively, Lofton's infield single became more on a throwing error by 66ers second baseman Alex Yarbrough. The miscue allowed Haney to score, Schroder to take third and Lofton to take second. In the Giants' next at-bat, Williamson's base hit plated Schroder.
San Jose's sixth and final run was aided by another 66ers error, and eventually led to Jeff Arnold scoring on Haney's second single of the afternoon. Zach Borenstein and Brian Hernandez opened the seventh with solo home runs to give Inland Empire its lone pair of runs. Borenstein's blast was his 27th of the season, tying him for the most in the California League this year.
San Jose wraps up the 2013 regular season against Inland Empire Monday at 2:00 p.m. Champions of the North Division first half, the Giants begin the playoffs at home on Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. San Jose will face the winner of the best-of-three Mini Series between the Visalia Rawhide and North Division second half champion Modesto Nuts. San Jose will begin pursuit of its first California League championship since 2010, a title that was the second of back-to-back championships for the club and fifth in a 10-season span.
"We just want to win," Brown said. "Going to the playoffs is an awesome opportunity for the Giants organization. Not just for the big leagues, but for the minor leagues as well."
Tickets for the North Division Finals can be obtained by visiting www.sjgiants.com or by calling (408) 297-1435.
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