ADELANTO — The Modesto Nuts have discovered a winning formula: Dan Winkler supported by four home runs.
Winkler, the California League all-star pitcher, continued his brilliant season Saturday night by holding High Desert in check for 7ª innings en route to a 7-2 victory over High Desert.
The thermometer reached 105 degrees at game time in the Mojave when Winkler (11-2, 2.02 ERA) started his handiwork. The right-hander improved his June record to 4-0 while he struck out eight and allowed only two hits and two earned runs.
Winkler retired the first 11 batters and raised his scoreless-innings streak to 23 before Daniel Paolini's solo home run in the fourth.
Modesto, stung by losses the first two nights at High Desert, enjoyed a power surge ignited by Trevor Story's two-run homer in the fourth.
Solo shots by Tim Smalling and Will Swanner, an RBI triple by Tyler Massey and a two-run homer in the seventh by Taylor Featherston kept Modesto in charge. The Nuts outhit the Mavericks 14-4 and improved their second-half record to 8-2.
Reliever Kenneth Roberts blanked High Desert the final 1º innings. Winkler's 11-2 record and 113 strikeouts lead minor-league baseball.
Modesto seeks a split of its four-game series in a certain-to-be-blazing afternoon game today.