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Rancho Cucamonga hits 4 homers but drops Game 4 at High Desert

Alex Verdugo hit one of four home runs for Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough for the Quakes in Game 4.
Alex Verdugo hit one of four home runs for Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough for the Quakes in Game 4.
Photo: Craig Minami | True Blue LA

Dodgers Class-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga hit four home runs in their chance to close out the California League South Division Finals, but it wasn't enough, as the High Desert Mavericks (Rangers) pulled out a 13-6 home win in Game 4 on Tuesday night to force a decisive Game 5.

Down 4-0, the Quakes got home runs from Tim Locastro and Alex Verdugo in the fourth inning to pull within 4-3, but then High Desert answered with four more runs in the bottom of the inning.

Paul Hoenecke and Joey Curletta homered in the fifth, and Rancho Cucamonga added another run in the sixth to pull within 8-6, but the Mavericks pulled away with three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

The top of High Desert's lineup was productive all night, with Chris Garia, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Evan Van Hoosier combining to go 8-for-16 with five doubles, eight RBI, two walks and four runs scored.

Locastro was 3-for-5 as the leadoff man at shortstop for the Quakes, and is hitting .421 (8-for-19) in the series.

Rancho Cucamonga is back home for Game 5 of the series on Wednesday night, with AJ Vanegas starting for the Quakes against David Perez for High Desert. Vanegas, the Dodgers' 11th-round pick out of Stanford in 2014, made two starts for the Quakes in August after pitching almost the entire year in relief, with four innings his longest outing to date. Perez converted from the bullpen to starting earlier in August for the Mavs, and lasted six innings in three of his final four starts.

In this divisional series thus far the two teams have combined for 44 runs (27 by High Desert), with the team that scored first the winner in all four games.

The North Division Finals are also tied after four games, with Visalia (Diamondbacks) hosting San Jose (Giants) on Wednesday night. The Cal League Finals begin on Thursday, with the first two games at the South Division winner, followed by up to three games at the North Division winner in the best-of-five finals.

Tuesday box score

High Desert 13, Rancho Cucamonga 6

Wednesday schedule

7:05 p.m.: California League South Division Finals, Game 5 (series tied, 2-2)
High Desert (David Perez) at Rancho Cucamonga (AJ Vanegas)