The Visalia Oaks, the up-and-coming Montgomery Biscuits, lost Monday in Game 5 of the California League championship series. The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino scored a run in the eighth inning to grab the lead and turned to a former Tampa Bay farmhand to secure a 2-1 win.
Jose de la Cruz was traded from the Rays to the Seattle Mariners at the beginning of the season for Marcos Carvajal, who pitched for the Biscuits this year. De la Cruz got into trouble in the ninth -- Visalia had two runners on and one out -- but a flyout and strikeout ended it.
For the Oaks, Fernando Perez walked and scored on a John Jaso sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, while starting pitcher Derek Feldkamp gave up six hits and one run over 5 2/3 innings.
Feldkamp allowed an inside-the-park homer to Josh Womack in the fifth. In the eighth, Johan Limonta doubled home Reed Eastley off Oaks reliever Richard de los Santos.
Because Visalia's earlier two playoff series went to a final game, the Oaks were playing a playoff game for a 13th straight day.
The Biscuits did pilfer three of the Oaks' best players in early August: shortstop Reid Brignac, third baseman Evan Longoria and left fielder Patrick Breen. Those three helped fuel Montgomery's run to the Southern League championship.