Jensen is hit, then is a hit for Silver Sox
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Marcus Jensen got mad and then even. Then he had the last laugh.
Jensen, who was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, retaliated with an off-field homer in the sixth and added another off-field homer for good measure in the eighth to lead Reno to a 9-1 win over San Diego Thursday night at Peccole Park.
The Silver Sox, 11-11 in the second half play in the Golden Baseball League, were already ahead 5-0 when the incident occurred.
Ryan Fox, a right-handed pitcher, threw a fastball right at Jensen, hitting him high in the back. Jensen raised his bat and gestured toward Fox, and the benches quickly cleared. No punches were thrown, and there were no ejections.
“Of course it was (deliberate),” Jensen said in the dugout after the game. “There’s a certain way to play the game. I’m not going to hash it out in the newspaper. (San Diego’s Scott) Goodman felt like he was hit intentionally on Wednesday. They felt like they needed to retaliate. I understand it’s part of baseball, but don’t throw at my head. I’m just happy it didn’t get out of hand.”
After the first two hitters struck out against reliever Chris George in the sixth, Jensen slammed a line drive over the left-centerfield fence to make it 6-0. Masa Chikazawa followed with his second homer in as many nights for a 7-0 advantage.
Ben Thurmond (6-4), who retired 12 of 13 batters from the second through the fifth, lost his shutout in the seventh when Will Henderson walked, moved to third on Joey Huskins’ double off the left-field fence and scored on Nick Guerra’s infield out.
In the eighth, C.J. Lang singled with two outs and scored on Jensen’s liner over the left-centerfield fence, his 12th homer of the season.
“That’s the best way to squash something like that,” Jensen said. “I’ve been inconsistent at the plate (lately).”
Inconsistent maybe for Jensen, who was 11 for his last 38 with no homers and seven RBI. Pretty good for somebody else.
Judging by manager Les Lancaster’s post-game comments, he wasn’t surprised that San Diego threw at one of his players.
“It’s just baseball,” Lancaster said. “When you hit somebody you throw into the ribs or legs, not go head hunting. It’s not called for.
“They woke a sleeping giant today. He had been struggling a bit. Seeing him drive the ball (to the opposite field) like that was good.”
The near-melee overshadowed a strong pitching performance by Thurmond, who allowed only one run and three hits in his 96-pitch outing. Thurmond fanned nine and walked one.
“The last two outings I didn’t throw well,” Thurmond said. “I threw five innings and gave up eight runs and then I gave up seven in 3 2/3. I didn’t want to do that again.
“I tried to relax, make sure I hit my spots and mix my pitches up. I would say that this was my best outing. I had all three pitches working and I was getting groundballs. I was able to pitch in, and I felt good.”
Thurmond left after seven innings, and Lancaster went to his bullpen aces Nate Sevier and Scott Schneider, both of whom threw a scoreless inning.
“His pitch count was getting up there,” Lancaster said. “Nate and Scott hadn’t pitched in a while, and I had to get them some innings.”
After a lackluster effort on Wednesday, Reno bounced back nicely.
Reno scored twice in the second when James Shanks doubled to left and scored on Doug Gredvig’s roller up the middle. Bub Madrid forced Gredvig at second and later scored on Phil Grau’s single.
The Silver Sox upped their lead to 4-0 in the third when Brandon Carter and Lang singled. Jensen, who finished with five RBI, followed with a double just inside the bag at first to score both runners. Chikazawa walked, but Fox retired the next three hitters.
Notes: Nevada basketball coach Mark Fox threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and he did reach home plate without bouncing it … Reno opens a three-game series tonight against the Yuma Scorpions starting at 6:35 p.m. … Reno wore red hats for Thursday’s game. There was a silent auction for the game-worn hats to benefit the American Heart Association. The total money raised wasn’t available, but Jensen’s hat did raise $160.. Lancaster hopes to have three new players this weekend, and he’s trying to lure Mexican League batting champ Derrick White to Reno… Everett Stull (1-2) will be tonight’s starter for Reno.