Lewis, Rizzo lead Nuts on California League championship sweep

Mariners' No. 12 prospect named series MVP

Lewis, Rizzo lead Nuts on California League championship sweep

Kyle Lewis and Joe Rizzo combined for three of Class A Advanced Modesto's 14 hits on Friday night as the Nuts locked up a California League championship by defeating Lancaster, 8-1.

The title was Modesto's ninth in franchise history and its first since 2004, when the club was still affiliated with the A's. On top of that, the Nuts, a Mariners affiliate, became the California League's first champion in 20 years to go undefeated in the postseason.

It didn't take Modesto long to push across the game's first run, as Jordon Cowan opened the bottom of the first with a double and then scored on a Lancaster throwing error on his attempted steal of third base. Joey Curletta would tack on another run before the end of the frame, hitting a sacrifice fly to center field after Modesto loaded the bases with one out.

Mariners No. 13 prospect Luis Liberato extended the Nuts' lead with an RBI single in the fourth inning, and Arturo Nieto put the game out of reach for Lancaster with a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh. Modesto would add one more run for good measure in the following frame, with Cowan once again scoring on an infield throwing error.

Curletta and DeCarlo both tallied three hits including a double for the Nuts, who had all but one starter collect a hit in the contest. DeCarlo also scored a pair of runs, as did Cowan as part of his 2-for-5 showing.

After tallying multiple hits in four straight playoff games, Lewis, Seattle's top prospect and No. 44 on the Top 100, managed a 1-for-4 performance on Friday. He finished the series with a .429 average and batted .392 over six games in the postseason.

Rizzo, Seattle's No. 12 prospect, went 2-for-4 and scored a run in Friday's title game. The 19-year-old third baseman was named the series' Most Valuable Player after batting .538 with three multi-hit performances in as many games.

Box score

Modesto starter Robert Dugger tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits with two walks and six strikeouts, to record the win. Jack Anderson, Seth Frankoff and Art Warren combined to allow two hits while striking out eight over 3 1/3 scoreless innings to secure the California League title for the Nuts.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.