RANCHO CUCAMONGA -- Alex Guerrero was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and a walk in his fourth rehab game with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night, but it was a different Guerrero who led his team to victory. Gabriel Guerrero homered twice, doubled and scored four times in the High Desert Mavericks' 10-8 win over the Quakes in the opener of a four-game series.
Even with the loss, the Quakes (20-13) remain a game up on Lake Elsinore (19-14) in the second half in the South Division of the California League.
Dodgers 17-year-old prospect extraordinaire Julio Urias was scratched from his scheduled Thursday start earlier in the week in an attempt to limit his innings this season. Gustavo Gomez, who made 22 starts for Rancho Cucamonga in 2013 but was limited to 15 relief appearances so far in 2014, made his first start of the year and it did not go well out of the gate.
After getting two outs on fly balls to center field, Gomez allowed a home run to center to Jabari Henry, followed by Guerrero, who hit one just to the right of the scoreboard, over the wall in left field. Those were the first of five straight two-out hits off Gomez, including a double off the wall by Jordy Lara, who later scored giving the Mavericks a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.
Gabriel Guerrero, the Mariners' fourth-ranked prospect at midseason by Baseball America, doubled off Gomez to lead off the third inning and scored to give the Mavs a 4-0 lead. He added a solo shot in the seventh against Luis Meza. Guerrero has the same gait and has similar plate coverage and discipline as his uncle, Vladimir.
Alex Guerrero's double came in the fifth inning, a two-out drive into the right field corner, though he was late out of the batters box likely thinking the ball was foul. He ended up stranded at second base just as easily as he would have been stranded at third. Guerrero has a double in all four games with the Quakes, and a double in five straight rehab games dating back to Saturday with the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers.
The triple for Guerrero came with two outs in the ninth inning, a drive to the wall in left center field. The ball appeared to be caught by center fielder Travis Witherspoon, but it was hard to tell. Neither umpire signaled out, and Guerrero made it to third base with an RBI triple. The play took a few minutes to sort out, as both umpires conferred while the Mavericks began to walk off the field, believing they had secured the final out of a 10-5 win.
But after some discussion the call stood and Guerrero remained at third base, now in a 10-6 game. Chris Jacobs then doubled to cut the deficit to 10-7, and Aaron Miller followed with another double to make it 10-8.
Guerrero saw a couple of chances at third base in the third inning. The first was a bunt grounder that took a funny bounce that Guerrero was unable to field for a base hit, though a play that probably should have been made. After the Semi-Tough play, Guerrero was given an immediate chance at redemption with a ground ball by designated hitter Burt Reynolds, which Guerrero turned into a 5-4-3 double play.
Guerrero later made a nice diving stop of a ground ball by Reynolds in the sixth inning, then threw to first to rob him of a base hit.
The bottom of the third was painful for Guerrero, first at the plate. He fouled a ball off his left foot, but stayed in and waved off the trainer to remain in the game, and walked. But while on first, Guerrero strayed too far off the bag and was picked off by Mavericks catcher Tyler Marlette.
Jeremy Rathjen, who hit .370/.367/.778 with three home runs, two doubles and nine RBI on the recent seven-game road trip, was 3-for-4 with two home runs for the Quakes, his ninth and 10th of the season. Rathjen came about five feet short of a third home run, hitting a ball to the warning track in center field, that would have tied the game had it gone out, for the final out in the ninth inning.
The Quakes and Mavericks are at it again on Friday night in the second of a four-game series in Rancho Cucamonga. Tom Windle starts for the Quakes on Zack Greinke bobblehead night, with Lars Huijer starting for High Desert.
Home runs: Jeremy Rathjen 2 (10); Jabari Henry (22), Gabriel Guerrero 2 (12), Tyler Marlette (11), Jordy Lara (21)
WP - Brett Shankin (4-4): 5 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts
LP - Gustavo Gomez (1-2): 4 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts