The Modesto Nuts used raw power, in the form of a season-high four home runs, to end their frustration in Lancaster on Sunday night.
The Nuts defeated the JetHawks 12-10 and avoided a four-game sweep, thanks to home runs by Dom Nunez, Forrest Wall, Troy Stein and Josh Fuentes. Modesto lost its previous seven games this season at The Hangar before breaking through in its final appearance.
Right fielder Ryan Stephens, promoted in a series of moves that included the relocation of ex-Nuts shortstop Pat Valaika to Triple-A Albuquerque, made his Modesto debut with a single ahead of Nunez’s two-run homer. That ignited a five-run rally in the second inning, which also featured a two-run shot by Wall.
Stein’s solo homer and Fuentes’ two-run blast accented a four-run fourth. Modesto’s lead reached 10-1 before Lancaster countered with a six-run sixth, anchored by Yulieski Gurriel’s grand slam off the left-field foul pole.
Max White’s two-run single in the seventh eventually was the difference.
4Season-high home runs by the Modesto Nuts on Sunday night
Helmis Rodriguez (3-8) contained the JetHawks by allowing only one run and three hits in five innings. Luis Niebla retired Lancaster in the ninth for his ninth save. Wes Rogers also starred for the Nuts by going 3 for 4 and scoring twice.
Modesto had lost five of its last six before surviving the seven-homer slugfest.
The Nuts are off Monday before they begin a three-game series against the Stockton Ports on Tuesday night at Thurman Field.