Almonte and relievers deliver Modesto Nuts win

The Modesto Nuts trotted out first-rate pitching Tuesday night at Visalia, and the result was a satisfying 2-1 California League win.

Yency Almonte (7-8), the league leader in strikeouts, burnished his reputation with nine strikeouts and allowed only four hits in seven innings. Troy Neiman and Luis Niebla each contributed a perfect inning of relief. Niebla’s save was his seventh. Almonte has won his last two starts.

Modesto, which dropped its previous two games, drew even 1-1 in the fourth. Josh Fuentes reached base on an infield error and eventually scored on Shane Hoelscher’s ground-ball double play.

The Nuts pushed across the decisive run an inning later, thanks to a two-out double by Forrest Wall and an RBI single to right by Wes Rogers.

121 Cal League-leading strikeouts by Yency Almonte

Visalia took an early lead in the second, but the rally was cut short when Galli Cribbs lined into an unassisted double play. Fuentes, the Modesto first baseman, snared the liner and touched the bag to double off Robelys Reyes.

The Rawhide and the Nuts finish the three-game series Wednesday night. Modesto returns to Thurman Field to start a four-game series against the San Jose Giants on Thursday night.