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Bullpen Betrays Santana

Baseball: JetHawk relievers give up four runs in seventh in 6-2 loss.

June 22, 1996|JEFF FLETCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Marino Santana turned his gem over to the JetHawk bullpen and they turned it into a lump of coal.

A crisply played pitcher's duel--rare in the California League--became just another loss for the JetHawks when relief pitchers Tom Szimanski and Clint Gould gave up four runs in the seventh inning and the JetHawks lost, 6-2, to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Friday night at the Epicenter.

Santana (5-8), who gave up just one run through six innings, deserved better than a loss. He nearly matched Quake right-hander Ryan Van De Weg zero for zero, but came out trailing, 1-0.

"Marino threw a nice game and we didn't get him any runs," JetHawk Manager Dave Brundage said. "Sooner or later we are going to have to score early on and get a lead."

In the bottom of the seventh, the Quakes took a 5-0 lead with four two-out runs. Two scored on Sean Watkins' double against Szimanski and two more on Darryl Brinkley's single against Gould. All four runs were charged to Szimanski.

"I didn't throw a good pitch all night," Szimanski said. "I just didn't have it. I knew as soon as I went out there and was throwing balls in the dirt."

It was similar to Thursday night's 6-4 loss, when the JetHawks gave up two critical runs on a two-out Quake rally in the seventh. And just like Thursday night, those late Quake runs rendered the JetHawks' subsequent rally too little, too late.

Scott Smith, in his first game with the JetHawks (1-2), smashed a two-run home run to center field in the top of the eighth off of reliever Chris Logan.

"It felt great," Smith said. "I was a little anxious the first couple at-bats, but I guess that's why there's four at-bats in a game."

The pitcher's duel was no surprise, considering the records of Santana and Van De Weg.

Santana came into the game with a 3.26 earned-run average against the Quakes and Van De Weg had a 2.57 ERA against the JetHawks. Both numbers were significantly better than the pitchers' overall ERAs.

"He's got our number right now," Brundage said of Van De Weg. "I guess I'm just glad we don't play them again until August."

The Quakes had runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings. In the third, Jamie Keefe tried to score from second on a two-out single to right field, but Smith's perfect throw nailed him.

*

Rancho Cucamonga 6, JetHawks 2

JetHawks 000 000 020 -- 2 10 1

Visalia 000 010 41x -- 6 10 0

Santana, Szimanski (7), Gould (7) and Sealy; Van De Weg, Logan (8), Clayton (9) and McKinnis.

W--Van De Weg (6-3). L--Santana (5-8).

2B: J--Marquez; RC--Watkins. 3B: RC--McKinnis, Curtis. HR:J--Smith (1).

Records: JetHawks 1-2; Rancho Cucamonga 2-1.

* JETHAWKS REPORT: C11

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