After coming from behind in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game Sunday, the Storm couldn’t respond after the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes put up two runs in the top of the tenth, losing 4-2 on Mother’s Day at The Diamond.
For the third straight game, the Quakes struck first. Rancho got to Storm starter Joe Ross for a run in the first to take an early 1-0 lead.
Despite the frustrating first, Ross settled down in the subsequent innings. The right went 5.1 frames, scattering four hits, walking three and striking out six.
The Storm would tie it in the fifth. Duanel Jones doubled with one out, and Alberth Martinez drove him in with an RBI single.
Trouble brewed in the sixth. Ross started the inning with a walk and allowed a double, putting two runners in scoring position with just one out. Manager Jamie Quirk called upon Cody Hebner in relief, and after a sacrifice fly scored Rancho’s go-ahead run, the hard throwing righty struck out the next hitter to end the inning and kept the visitors off the board through 2.2 innings.
The Quakes held the lead until the bottom of the ninth. John Nester and Martinez walked, and were advanced into scoring position after a ground out. Corey Adamson, who came in as a defensive replacement earlier in the game, singled to left to tie the game at two.
But the elation was short lived. Rancho Cucamonga stuck reliever Brandon Alger with a pair in the top of the tenth, and the Storm failed to answer in the home half to lose 4-2. A bright spot: the Storm remain the only team in the California League that has not been shut out.
Infielder Diego Goris continued his hitting streak, going one for five to notch a knock in the past five games.
After an off day today, the Storm (21-17) travel to San Bernardino to take on the Inland Empire 66ers (15-23) in the first of three at San Manuel Stadium. Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.66 ERA) will face Michael Clevinger (0-0, 5.40 ERA), with first pitch slated for 7:05pm.