An impeccable pitching performance from Joe Ross propelled the Storm to their season-high fifth straight victory Tuesday night, winning a classic pitcher’s duel 1-0 over the Visalia Rawhide.
It was obvious from the outset that runs would come at a premium. Ross allowed just four hits over six innings of work while striking out a career-high nine hitters without walking a single batter. Visalia starter Brandon Sinnery was nearly as good, going seven innings and striking out seven, but it was the latter who was hung with the loss.
After five and a half scoreless stanzas, the Storm broke through in the sixth. Diego Goris led off the home half with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Two batters later, Corey Adamson chopped a ground ball up the middle to score Goris. Rawhide second baseman Kevin Medrano nearly made a diving play to prevent the ball from going into the outfield, but six inches made the difference and the run scored.
The Storm bullpen performed admirably after Ross’ removal. Chris Nunn escaped the seventh by stranding two men in scoring position and Cody Hebner pitched a scoreless eighth. Trevor Gott came on in the ninth and shut the door, earning his league-leading seventh save of the season and securing the seventh consecutive home victory for the Storm.
Storm pitchers have turned in four shutouts in the first month of the season and lead the California League in that category, accounting for nearly one-third of the shutouts pitched in the league this season. The goose egg is the second of the home stand after Lake Elsinore held Inland Empire scoreless last Friday.
With the win, the Storm have now won 12 of their last 16 after starting the season 3-7. That mark is good enough to move them into a three-way tie for first place in the Southern Division.
Zach Eflin (4-1, 3.14 ERA) gets the call for the Storm (15-11) in game three of the four-game series tomorrow night while Andrew Barbosa (2-1, 2.81) will start for the Rawhide (17-9). First pitch is slated for 6:05pm.