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Giants' mighty bats give Nuts the blues

It was moments after the final out in the top of the ninth, and the San Jose Giants had sucked the energy out of John Thurman Field and blown open a close game with back-to-back three-run innings.

At that moment, B.B. King's classic "The Thrill is Gone," began playing over the public address system. Blues music was the chosen theme of the night, but a more fitting song could not have been found to match the mood of the Modesto Nuts and their fans.

Adam Witter had two homers and a double among his four hits and drove in six runs as the Giants pulled away for a 12-5 victory to claim the final game of the three-game series.

The end, before a fireworks night crowd of 2,639, was cruel and drawn-out punishment for the home folks, but for seven innings the Nuts appeared poised to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games. Despite the lopsided final score, the Nuts out-hit the Giants 11-10.

"It's a positive sign that we've been hitting the ball well his month," said first baseman Jeff Kindel, who had two hits and drove in three runs. "We played very well for six or seven innings and they scored a lot of runs right at the end, so it was a lot closer game than the final score."

Modesto starter Chaz Roe was hit hard three times in his three innings of work. The first was by a line drive off the bat of Ben Copeland, the third batter Roe faced. The ball struck Roe in his right forearm, and it appeared the lanky right hander immediately would leave the game.

But he stayed on the mound, walking the next batter he faced before Witter blasted a home run to center field for a 3-0 San Jose lead. Witter would strike again in the third, following an RBI single by Travis Ishikawa with another home run — this one to right.

Modesto began its game-long series of threats in the first inning, parlaying hits by Eric Young Jr. and Chris Nelson into two runs, with Neil Wilson and Jeff Kindel driving home the runs with ground balls.

The Nuts added a run in the third on Nelson's double and Kindel's single, another in the fifth when Nelson scored again on a Kindel double, and made it 6-5 in the sixth when Lino Garcia led off with a double and scored in Nelson's sacrifice fly.

With all the success the Nuts were having on offense, they always were one hit away from the big inning. They left at least one runner in scoring position in each of the first six innings.

Roe (3-9) was warming up to start the fourth inning when manager Jerry Weinstein came out, assessed Roe's injury, and brought Edgar Huerta into the game. Huerta responded with 3ª innings of one-hit relief, and Andrew Johnston came on to get the final two outs in the seventh.

Modesto's bullpen fortune ended in the eighth when David Patton allowed two runs on two singles and a double within the first four pitches he threw. The Giants had another run on two errors to open a 9-5 lead. Witter added an RBI single in San Jose's three-run ninth against Rob Zimmermann to complete the six-RBI game.

"It was a good game for seven, then we threw too many center-cut fastballs in the eighth," Weinstein said.

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