Road woes continue for Yuba-Sutter
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 - SALINAS - Mark Di Bernardo needed four innings to warm up but when he did, the Salinas Valley Packers' starting pitcher was dominant on a chilly Tuesday night at Salinas Municipal Stadium.
Di Bernardo allowed two runs and six hits through four innings, but settled in the fifth, allowing just one hit and retiring 12 straight as the Packers used a three-run seventh inning for a 4-2 victory over the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox.
It was the first of a two-game Horizon Air Summer Series set. The finale is today at 1 p.m.
The Gold Sox (30-12, 26-8) entered the game leading the Aloha Knights by a half game in the McCullough Division of the Summer Series.
The loss spoiled a solid starting effort for Wes Porter, who lasted five innings, allowing one run and scattering four hits. He fanned three and walked five.
“Porter was outstanding and did everything we can ask for today,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said.
However, Jake McKinley (2-2) allowed Salinas to take the lead with a shaky seventh inning of relief work. McKinley pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning before struggling in the seventh.
McKinley struck out the first batter he faced but then allowed a walk, a single, a walk and another single. Bryan Schmidgall put the Packers ahead, 3-1, with a two-RBI single into left. A Jay Russell groundout gave the Packers a two-run advantage.
“He's fine, and I thought he pitched well,” Peek said of McKinley. “He's been pretty much a strike thrower all year.”
Di Bernardo, however, had the Gold Sox hitters baffled after five innings.
He pitched eight, allowing two runs seven hits - none after the fifth - while fanning one and walking no one.
“He's a good pitcher and has pitched well against us two year straight,” Peek said. “He's not overpowering, but he moves the ball around and has a good breaking pitch. I felt in the beginning of the game, we could get to him. Then, he just got us out on our front foot.”
Matt Burgard pitched to one batter in the ninth, and Pagie Dumont picked up the save after recording two outs. It was Dumont's third save of the season against the Gold Sox.
The Gold Sox took a 2-0 lead off Di Bernardo in the top of the third inning after Jesse Rodgers' 19th RBI of the season, a sacrifice fly that brought home Cole Koester, who led off the inning with a flair to right.
Rodgers' eighth double of the year gave the Gold Sox an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Rodgers hit a full-count pitch into left-center field and came home after A.J. Valentine hit a ground ball between shortstop and third base.
“(Rodgers) is a great situational hitter, and he got the sac fly for us,” Peek said.
Salinas cut the Gold Sox lead to one, 2-1, with a run in the third inning. Porter walked two, allowed an RBI single to Carl Bacon and the Packers put a runner on after Koester's ninth error of the season. Porter left the bases loaded, getting out of the jam with a pop out and line out to end the inning.