Crick overpowers Ports, strikes out 10
All eyes were supposed to be on Pablo Sandoval Friday night in Stockton.
Well, for the most part, that remained the case. The stands were practically filled to capacity at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton for Friday night’s Single-A matchup between the Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants as Sandoval began his rehab assignment.
And although Sandoval homered in his second at-bat, the Giants No.1 prospect Kyle Crick took the mound for the first time since April 18 and completely stole the show.
The right-hander from Sherman, Texas threw four innings of shutout ball while striking out 10 Ports in his first start in two months since straining an oblique at Inland Empire — his third start of the season.
VIDEO | Kyle Crick strikes out 10 in 4 innings
Crick’s fastball was live, reaching 96 mph at its peak and sitting anywhere from 92-95. He countered the heat with two breaking pitches — a curveball and a slider — and occasionally threw a changeup (which is rumored to still be in the works). But it was the fastball that was far too much to handle for almost every Stockton batter. Seven of Stockton’s nine batters struck out at least once, with three striking out twice.
The fourth frame was Crick’s only high-stress inning as he loaded the bases with his third walk of the game. Having already sent Stockton third baseman B.A. Vollmuth packing for the second time in the game, Crick struck out the next two hitters following the walk for his sixth consecutive strikeout to get out of a one-out, based loaded jam.
Seven of Crick’s 10 strikeouts came on 95 mph gas, including all three in the fourth.
FINAL LINE | 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K
SANDOVAL HOMERS IN FIRST REHAB START
For the majority of Friday night’s fans, Sandoval was the main attraction, and he didn’t disappoint — at the plate, that is.
Batting from the right side against Stockton lefty Schaffer Hall, the Kung-Fu Panda golfed one out over the left-center field fence to give San Jose a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.
VIDEO | Pablo Sandoval homers to left-center
Sandoval grounded out to third in his other two at-bats — and looked healthy running down the line — before exiting after the top of the fifth as planned.
It was Sandoval’s fielding error on a sharp ground ball in the second inning that put one of Crick’s seven baserunners aboard, though Crick used one of those 10 punchouts and a nice pickoff play to get out of the second unscathed.
Closer Josh Osich picked up his 11th save of the season as San Jose defeated Stockton 3-2.
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