SAN JOSE -- Angel Villalona's two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Christian Arroyo with the winning run to lift the San Jose Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Visalia Rawhide on Thursday afternoon at Municipal Stadium.
San Jose rallied from a late 3-2 deficit as Andrew Susac tied the game with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh before Villalona's hit in the ninth gave the Giants the walk-off win.
With the victory, San Jose (27-19) avoids the sweep and moves back to within one game of the Rawhide (28-18) in the second half North Division race.
Villalona (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Arroyo (2-for-4, 2B) had two hits apiece to lead the Giants offensively. Susac finished 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the third game of his rehabilitation assignment.
Tyler Rogers (5-1), who entered the contest to begin the top of the eighth, earned the win out of the San Jose bullpen after tossing two scoreless innings with one hit allowed, one walk and three strikeouts.
Trailing 3-2, the Giants' seventh-inning rally began with a one-out walk to Jeff Kobernus. Kobernus then stole second before Arroyo walked on four pitches. Susac was up next and he ripped the first pitch of his at-bat into the left field corner for a double plating Kobernus with the tying run while Arroyo advanced to third. Villalona followed with a slow grounder to second that saw Visalia's Jamie Westbrook throw out Arroyo at the plate for the second out. Aramis Garcia then flied out to left to end the inning.
The Rawhide threatened to reclaim the lead in the top of the eighth against Rogers as Mitch Haniger led off with a single before Domingo Leyba dropped down a sacrifice bunt. Westbrook then hit a grounder to third that was fielded by a sliding Kobernus behind the bag. Haniger was caught in-between second and third on the play and was eventually tagged out after a long rundown. Westbrook moved to second during the rundown, but was stranded there when the next batter, Daniel Palka, struck out swinging.
In the top of the ninth, Rogers quickly set down the first two batters before issuing a walk to Gerson Montilla. The San Jose reliever though recovered with a three-pitch strikeout of Tyler Baker to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Visalia closer Nick Sarianides retired John Polonius on a fly out and struck out Kobernus to bring the game to within one out of going into extra-innings. Arroyo though stepped to the plate and belted a double off the wall in center to put the potential winning run into scoring position. Susac was then hit by a pitch before a wild pitch moved Arroyo to third. Then on a 2-1 offering, Villalona hit a soft line drive into shallow left for the game-winning single as Arroyo came home to spark a wild walk-off celebration.
Sarianides (1-4) suffered the loss for the Rawhide.
The game went back-and-forth early with the Giants taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Consecutive one-out singles from Garcia and Daniel Carbonell put runners on first and second. Then with two down, Seth Harrison singled sharply up the middle to score Garcia with the first run of the afternoon.
Jason Forjet started on the mound for San Jose and began his day with two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the top of the third. Singles from Baker and Glenn preceded an Arroyo fielding error on a Haniger grounder to load the bases with none out. Leyba and Westbrook then delivered back-to-back sacrifice flies to right for a 2-1 Visalia advantage.
The Giants immediately answered in the bottom of the third as Arroyo singled with one out before Susac drew a walk. Villalona then lined an RBI single into right tying the game 2-2.
Forjet had retired seven straight Rawhide hitters until Glenn tripled to deep right center with one out in the top of the fifth. Haniger followed with a sacrifice fly to left as Glenn scored giving Visalia a 3-2 lead.
Forjet settled down after the go-ahead run came home as the right-hander pitched around a leadoff walk in the sixth before a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Forjet was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits over a career-high tying seven innings. He walked two and struck out four during his 102-pitch performance.
Rawhide starter Blake Perry pitched the first five innings and surrendered two runs (both earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. J.R. Bradley then struck out side in a perfect bottom of the sixth to maintain the one-run Visalia lead before the Giants rallied against reliever Bud Jeter in the seventh.
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