LAKE ELSINORE -- The Quakes had won five straight against the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) to start this season. On Friday night, the Storm came out on top, beating the Quakes 7-2.
Quakes starter Jose De Leon had not pitched in 10 days and that layoff may have affected this start. With two outs in the first inning, De Leon committed a throwing error when he tried to pick off the runner at first. Nick Schulz walked to put runners on first and second. Gabriel Quintana then laced a double to right center to score two runs.
De Leon struck out the side in the second inning and was able to work out of a jam in the third. However, De Leon made 71 pitches so his night was done relatively early. Along with the two runs, De Leon gave up two hits, three walks and struck out six in his three innings.
Relievers Luis De Paula and Victor Araujo gave up five more runs and the Quakes were down 7-0 going to the ninth inning.
The offense that had produced so many runs against the Storm was shut down by Ryan Butler, who pitched seven shutout innings. Matthew Shepard pitched a scoreless eighth for Lake Elsinore.
In the ninth, the Quakes showed some life. Cody Bellinger led off with a double and scored on a Jarek Cunningham single. Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch and Yadir Drake walked to load the bases.
Devan Ahart hit a sacrifice fly to score the second run but the rally died quickly when Tyler Ogle struck out. Dillon Moyer popped up to end the game.
One highlight for the Quakes was the play of Bellinger in center field. He made a wonderful catch to take away an extra-base hit and also a nice running catch to his right in the eighth inning. Bellinger shows good speed and takes good routes to the ball.
Joey Curletta went 2-for-4 and hit his ninth double of the season.