SAN JOSE - Ricky Oropesa and Alex Burg hit back-to-back homers as part of a seven-run bottom of the fifth inning to lead the San Jose Giants to a 9-6 victory over the Lake Elsinore Storm on Thursday evening at Municipal Stadium. San Jose enjoyed an 8-1 advantage after five innings before holding off the Storm late to earn the series-opening win. The Giants improved their second half record to 4-4.
Oropesa (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) and Burg (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) hit their 10th and seventh home runs of the season respectively in the victory. Luke Anders (3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI) added three hits, including a pair of doubles.
With the score tied 1-1, Ryan Lollis began the bottom of the fifth with a triple down the left field line. Lollis then immediately scored when the next batter, Joe Panik, bounced a single up the middle. Adam Duvall followed with a single of his own before Oropesa stepped to the plate and crushed a 3-0 pitch over the fence in deep right center field a three-run home run. Burg was up next and he drove the first pitch of his at-bat over the wall in left for another home run. The back-to-back round-trippers extended the Giants lead to 6-1.
The fifth-inning rally continued when Anders singled with one out before Dan Burkhart hit an RBI triple to the fence in right. Ydwin Villegas then delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Burkhart with the seventh and final run of the inning. The bottom of the fifth saw San Jose score seven runs on seven hits, including two triples and two home runs.
Lake Elsinore's comeback effort began in the top of the sixth against reliever Danny Sandbrink (2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) as Casey McElroy singled with one out before Tommy Medica reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Justin Miller followed by grounding into a fielder's choice as McElroy scored to make it 8-2.
The Storm then scored four runs against Sandbrink in the top of the seventh - all with two outs - to cut the Giants lead to 8-6. Connor Powers started the rally with a one-out double before Chris Bisson walked. After Rico Noel struck out, Donovan Tate drew a walk to load the bases. Three consecutive run-scoring singles then produced four runs for Lake Elsinore. McElroy lined a single to right plating Powers and Bisson. Medica followed with a grounder through the hole on the left side of the infield to score Tate. Miller then lined a single to center as McElroy came home to trim the lead to 8-6. Everett Williams was up next, but Phil McCormick entered the game and induced a fly out to left to end the inning.
San Jose got one run back in the bottom of the seventh to make it 9-6 as Jarrett Parker was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second and then scored on Anders' double into the right field corner.
McCormick returned to the mound in the top of the eighth and struck out two in a 1-2-3 inning. Jose Valdez (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO) then pitched the ninth and worked around a leadoff single from Noel and a one-out walk to McElroy as Medica, who represented the potential tying run, bounced into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
McCormick (1-0) was credited with his first win of the season after tossing 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief. Valdez earned his fourth save.
Seth Rosin made his first start of the year for the Giants and tossed four effective innings with just one run and two hits allowed. Rosin walked one and struck out a season-high seven.
The Storm took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Medica's two-out, RBI single, but Lake Elsinore wouldn't score again versus Rosin. The San Jose starter pitched around a two-out error in the second and worked through a leadoff double in the third. Rosin retired the last six batters that he faced.
The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the third as three consecutive two-out singles from Duvall, Oropesa and Burg produced a run.
San Jose out-hit the Storm by a 12-9 margin.
Lake Elsinore reliever Yefri Carvajal (1-2) took the loss after yielding the first five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Notes: Thursday was the first meeting of the season between San Jose and Lake Elsinore ... Burg is 8-for-15 (.533) with three home runs and six RBI's over the first four games of the homestand ... Oropesa is second in the California League with 60 RBI's ... He becomes the second Giants player to reach double-digits in home runs this season (Duvall - 13) ... Rosin was making his first start after 29 relief appearances ... Over his last five outings, Rosin has tossed 12 1/3 innings with just two runs allowed and 19 strikeouts ... Duvall (2-for-4) also had a multi-hit game for San Jose ... The Giants' season-high for runs in an inning is eight (accomplished twice).
On Deck: The Giants and Storm continue their three-game series on Friday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Ryan Bradley (3-3, 4.02 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Lake Elsinore is expected to counter with Matt Jackson (4-4, 4.92 ERA). It's a KRTY Family Friday at the ballpark and tickets can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.