VISALIA -- Daniel Renken pitched seven strong innings Monday to lead the Bakersfield Blaze to a 4-2 victory over the Visalia Rawhide.
Renken (2-0)struck out eight and walked just one. He allowed a double to Mark Freeman and a two-run homer to Chris Owings in the first inning, but had no trouble after that, retiring 14 in a row at one point.
Donald Lutz hit a solo homer, and newly added Juan Duran singled twice, including a game-tying hit in the fifth for the Blaze.
Bakersfield took the lead for good in the 6th when Yorman Rodriguez singled off Visalia starter Alex Carreras (1-1), and Tucker Barnhart and Bryson Smith followed with a double and single, respectively, off reliever Bradin Hagens, each scoring a run.
Eric Smith worked three scoreless innings for Visalia in relief to keep the game close, but the Blaze's Jamie Walczak and Wilkin de la Rosa finished off the daytime victory.
The Blaze's Billy Hamilton stole his league-leading 10th bag of the season.
The series continues at 7 p.m. today, with Bakersfield's John Holdskom opposing Visalia's Andrew Chafin, the reigning California League Pitcher of the Week.