LANCASTER — Relief pitcher Allan Westfall failed to record an out in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday night, allowing five runs as a three-run lead for the Lancaster JetHawks turned into a 14-12 loss to Rancho Cucamonga before 3,011 fans at the Hangar.
Westfall (0-1), who inherited a 10-7 lead, gave up four hits and a walk to the five batters he faced in the ninth. All of them scored.
The crushing blow a two-run double by catcher Ben Davis.
Westfall came into the game with an earned-run average 0.87.
Davis scored after Chris Prieto's single--his fourth hit of the game--against reliever Jason Bond.
Rick Gama doubled off the left-field fence, driving in another run on a wild play.
Because the ball was nearly caught by left fielder Miguel Correa, runners Ben Reynoso and Prieto were only a step apart when they came home. Reynoso beat catcher Dusty Wathan's tag and Prieto did not.
The bullpen meltdown spoiled another solid game by first baseman Shawn Buhner, who went three for four with a home run and three runs batted in.
Buhner, trying to wipe out the memories of an injury-plagued .208 season in Lancaster in 1996, has 17 hits in his last 43 at-bats (.395) with four home runs, equaling his career high, in that 12-game stretch.
Buhner's two-run single in the third started the comeback from a 4-0 deficit. The JetHawks scored two more in the fourth to pull to within 5-4 before scoring five more runs in the fifth.
Tarrik Brock drove in two runs with a triple and scored when second baseman Rick Gama dropped the relay throw.
After a walk, Mike Martin hit a two-run home run to right field, giving the JetHawks a 9-5 lead.
Martin also doubled, showing his former teammates in the San Diego Padre system that he was no longer the player who hit .180 in two seasons with Class-A Clinton, Iowa.
Buhner hit a solo home run in the sixth.
Joe Mathis had four hits for the JetHawks, including a triple.
Touted left-hander Damaso Marte made his second start, but was not nearly as effective as he was in the three scoreless innings he pitched the last time out.
Marte walked six batters in two-plus innings and was charged with three runs, two earned.