The Modesto Nuts and San Jose Giants introduced themselves Monday night for the first of 28 games, 11 of them this month.
Credit the Nuts for the most effective “hello.”
Modesto greeted San Jose starter Mark Reyes (0-4) for five runs in the first inning, more than enough to carry the Nuts to a 7-3 win in front of 1,081 at Municipal Stadium.
Two-run doubles by Joe DeCarlo and Gianfranco Wawoe ignited Modesto (15-10), the California League’s first team to reach 15 wins. Braden Bishop singled, Chris Mariscal walked and Jordan Cowan singled to precede the big hits. Cowan entered the game with the league’s third-best average (.343).
The early lead also encouraged starter Nathan Bannister (2-1), who allowed three runs and struck out four in six innings.
San Jose (11-14) closed to 5-2 in the third on Ryan Howard’s two-run homer, but Modesto answered in the fourth on Cowan’s RBI single.
5First-inning runs Monday night by the Nuts
The Nuts added an insurance run in the ninth when Austin Grebeck walked with two out, stole second and scored on Mariscal’s single.
The Nuts’ bullpen also excelled. Matt Festa gave up only one hit and retired six of seven batters, and 6-foot-6 Matt Walker – who’s been effective over the first month – retired the Giants in order in the ninth. He was helped by a sliding catch by Bishop in shallow center.
Modesto continues the San Jose series Tuesday night at 7 o’clock and Wednesday morning at 11:30. The Nuts return to Thurman Field for a four-game series starting Thursday night against Lake Elsinore.