SAN JOSE — Two California League teams continued to move in opposite directions Wednesday night when the San Jose Bees defeated the Ventura County Gulls, 5-2.
The victory was the sixth straight for the Bees, who are moving forward almost as quickly as the Gulls are stumbling in reverse. Wednesday's defeat was the ninth straight for the Gulls, who bear faint resemblance to the team that placed second in the Southern Division in the first half of the season.
Ventura started fast against the Bees, striking first with a single run in the third inning. Darryl Landrum singled and stole second, but after Omar Malave walked, Landrum was picked off second by San Jose starting pitcher Tim Hamm.
Kevin Batiste then singled Malave to second, and Santiago Garcia followed with a double that scored Malave. But Hamm helped himself again, picking off Garcia at second before inducing Eric Yelding to ground-out to end the inning.
The Gulls took a 2-0 lead an inning later on doubles by Geronimo Berroa and Domingo Martinez. But that was Ventura County's last hit of the game as the Gulls managed only one baserunner over the last five innings.
Trailing, 2-0, in the bottom of the fourth, San Jose cut the lead in the half on Ron Harrison's two-out double and a single by Pedro Okubo. San Jose scored twice in the fifth to take the lead for good, thanks to a botched rundown play by the Gulls.
After Lorenzo Gray and Mickey Yamano singled and Jerry White advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, the fun began. Shawn Barton grounded to Yelding at shortstop with Gray scoring to tie the game. Yelding threw the ball to third baseman Malave, who had Yamano caught in a rundown, but he threw the ball into center field, leaving runners on second and third.
Nori Tanabe bunted home Yamano with the go-ahead run.