BAKERSFIELD, CA (MILB.com) - The Bakersfield Blaze put a bold exclamation point on a remarkable first half on Saturday night, twisting the Modesto Nuts for a 7-4 win and going a robust 45-25 in the season's initial 70 games.
The finale of the four-game series was a see-saw affair, with Daniel Wright (W, 3-0) getting out to a quick start. The Blaze hurler, working on a streak that had seen him allow just one run over his previous 15 innings, retired the first six Nuts batters of the game.
Meanwhile, the Blaze jumped out with three in the 1st. Juan Silva doubled - one of three hits on the night - to begin the frame, and Ryan Wright singled him home two batters later. After Marquez Smith walked and Seth Mejias-Brean singled to load the bases, David Vidal doubled in two.
Blaze pitching was solid on the night, as a whole, but Wright experienced a blip in the 3rd. Three straight Nuts reached base to begin the frame, loading the bases with nobody out. Two groundouts brought in two runs, and Jordan Ribera capped the rally with a two-run homer, giving Modesto a short-lived 4-3 lead.
The Blaze took the lead for good in the 4th. Beau Amaral singled to begin the frame, stole second, and scored on a Brent Peterson double to tie the game at 4. Silva walked and stole a bag, putting runners at second and third, and Zach Vincej played the hero, banging a base hit to center to score two.
The 6-4 advantage would prove to be more than enough, though the Blaze would ultimately add an unearned run in the 8th when Amaral walked, went to second on an error and later scored on a Silva base hit.