SAN JOSE -- If the Modesto Nuts can get pitching performances in the playoffs like they did Friday night, there's no telling how far they can go.
Josh Mueller locked up San Jose through five innings, and a parade of relievers blanked the Giants from there as the Nuts defeated San Jose 3-1 to lock up the California League North Division second-half title.
The Nuts still have three games remaining in the second half, all in San Jose, and will open the playoffs Wednesday night at the same location.
Games two and three in the best-of-three mini-series will be at John Thurman Field beginning Thursday night.
Modesto scored all three runs in the second inning on two walks, an RBI double by Tim Smalling, a run-scoring ground ball by Jayson Langfels and Dallas Tarleton's two-out bloop single to left.
Mueller allowed one run on two hits over five innings, and gave way to a procession of Craig Bennigson, Adam Jorgenson, Kurt Yacko and Isaiah Froneberger, who each threw a scoreless inning.
Froneberger gave up a one-out walk in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but got Dan Burkhart on a called third strike before retiring Bobby Haney on a ground ball to second base to end the game.
Vouchers good for free general admission to all Nuts' playoff games can be picked up a Modesto-area Boyett Cruisers stores.