Javier Martinez, toeing the left side of the rubber, served up a double and single in the first inning before a sac fly drove in the run.
The Storm tied the game at one and then some in the second inning when Fernando Valenzuela hit a one out infield single. Brett Bonvechio followed with another base knock and Steve Baker doubled into the right field corner to score one.
Drew Macias then grounded out to plate Bonvechio. Juan Ciriaco, robbed of a hit in his first at bat on a diving catch by the Inland Empire centerfielder, singled, stole second and came around to score on a Peeter Ramos single to right, putting Lake Elsinore up 4-1.
An error and a walk loaded the bases for Brian Burgamy. Burgamy, 2-for-6 with six RBI’s in such situations this year, doubled off the outfield wall in right to clear the bases and put the Storm up 7-1.
Valenzuela hit a fly ball to left field that was lost in the lights, enabling the designated hitter to lumber around the bases and record a triple and an RBI, capping an eight run inning.
Inland Empire’s Eric Blakeley hit a two run homer off Martinez in the fifth inning, the ninth homer he has allowed this year. He is second in the league in homers allowed with nine.
“He tends to elevate pitches a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said of Martinez. “He was pushing himself a little bit there. You know what, he has giving up one (in every game) but if it is followed by a walk, I am more concerned about the walk than the home run.”
In the fifth, Brett Bonvechio single-handedly put the Storm back up by seven with a two run shot over the right field wall, slightly to the left of the 342 sign.
Peeter Ramos drove in his second run of the game with a single to make the score 11-3, bringing in Drew Macias who tripled.
Martinez was pulled with one out in the sixth after allowing a single and a run scoring double. Dirk Hayhurst relieved Martinez with a man on second. An error by Ciriaco scored the run bringing Martinez’ game total to five runs allowed, four earned, on eight hits and a walk.
“We wanted to make sure it didn’t blow up on him, help him out a little bit,” Renteria added. “He was trying to fight through it. He didn’t have his best stuff in terms of command although he threw some great changeups.”
The Strom tacked on another run in the seventh when Macias singled, moved to second on a ground out, to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error.
One more run crossed the plate for Inland Empire in the ninth inning with Ryan Trytten allowing his first California League run.
Birdzerk – a Storm mascot – kicked the Inland Empire third baseman and goaded him into dancing after the top half of the first inning. While Matt Rogelstad was dancing, Birdzurk stole his mitt and tossed it over the outfield wall. Rogelstad had to get a mitt brought out to him from the dugout after chasing the mascot down the left field line.
The start of the seventh inning was delayed when a pig would not leave the on deck circle. He had to be helped off the field by his trainer.