Ports Win On Windy, Cool Evening In Stockton
By Paul Muyskens
For the second night in a row it was the Single-A level Stockton Ports picking up the victory over the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats as they took advantage of walks and with a timely hit they were able to pick up the 3-1 victory in front of 1,282 fans on a windy Wednesday night.
After an impressive five innings by starter Travis Banwart, the River Cats, leading 1-0, went to the bullpen and brought in Joey Devine who struggled to throw strikes. Devine proceeded to walk the first three batters he faced before getting Anthony Aliotti to swing and miss on a full-count pitch in the dirt. After Devine walked his fourth batter in five at-bats, River Cats manager Darren Bush had seen enough and made a pitching change that would only happen in an exhibition game.
With the game tied and the bases-loaded with one out, the River Cats brought in Vermont pitching coach and former major leaguer John Wasdin to pitch and face Rashun Dixon. Dixon wouldn't take him "Way Back" but he did quickly single up the middle to score two runs and give the Ports the 3-1 lead that would turn out to be the final score.
On the first pitch of the game Wes Timmons hit a line drive single to left and despite looking to be picked off he was able to make it to second base with a stolen base. After tagging up on a fly ball to center by Adrian Cardenas to reach third, he then easily tagged and scored on a Chris Carter fly ball for the River Cats' lone run of the game.
Stockton starter Murphy Smith, after the leadoff single to Timmons, would retire the next 10 batters before allowing a double to Chris Carter. He would finish his five innings allowing just the two hits while striking out four and walking none. Ryan Doolittle pitched the final two innings to earn the win as he allowed just one hit while striking out two (the game was a scheduled seven-inning affair).
Stockton outhit Sacramento by a 5-3 margin with Dixon recording a wind-aided double before his game-winning single. Michael Choice hit a long double to center in the first inning while Max Stassi struck out in both of his at-bats. Timmons had two hits for Sacramento while Carter had an RBI sac-fly and a double in his two at-bats.
Stockton opens the California League season on Thursday in Modesto while Sacramento will host Tacoma to open up play in the Pacific Coast League.
Photos From the Two Games
All photos by James Venes