The Stockton Ports had a tough weekend series against the Bakersfield Blaze. The Ports dropped all three games to Bakersfield, including two games by two runs or less. Sunday's 5-3, extra-inning loss to the Blaze dropped the Ports one game under the .500 mark at 28-29. Daniel Ray details the action from Friday's loss.
The Stockton Ports hadn't had a problem scoring runs on the diamond in this homestand until Friday night when they squared off with Thomas Diamond and the Bakersfield Blaze. The top Texas Ranger prospect remained a perfect 5-0 on the season, striking out four and allowing two runs on three hits in five innings as the Blaze went on to win, 10-2.
The Ports ended their five-game win streak as a result, falling in front of a crowd of 2,495. The only source of offense the Ports had was early on in the first two innings. Danny Putnam put Stockton on the board in the first with a solo shot to the right field Jackson Rancheria Porch. The Ports scored their other run of the night in the second when Luke Appert hit a double to centerfield scoring Kurt Suzuki from first.
After the first two innings, Diamond and the Bakersfield bullpen seemed to settle down and cool off the hot Ports bats, keeping them scoreless in the final seven innings.
"We could have laid off a lot of (Diamond's) pitches that were out of the zone," Manager Todd Steverson said. "Maybe then the game could have been closer early on."
Stockton's starter Trent Peterson (3-5, 5.93), who recorded the loss, started off a shaky night by giving up solo home run to Blaze centerfielder Kevin Mahar in the top of the first. Peterson continued to struggle in the top of the third with a HBP, a single, and a walk to load the bases.
First basemen Nate Gold then hit a two run single to right field. Petersons ineffectiveness continued when Blaze second basemen Abigail Sandoval hit an RBI double top of the forth, scoring Catcher Craig Hurba from first.
Two errors and a RBI triple for Bakersfield third baseman Travis Metcalf sent Peterson out of the game with no outs in the top of the sixth. RHP Brigmer Leon extended the runs by giving up an RBI Single to Abigail Sandoval.
The score remained 6-2 until the top of the ninth when pitcher Tomas Cabaniel gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. The next batter, Kevin Mahar hit a grand slam, his second shot of the game.
"We left the ball up in the zone and that's what happens," Steverson stated about the grand slam. "You fall behind in the count, got to come with a fastball. You know it. He knows it."
The Ports had been red-hot at the plate until Friday night, when they collected just three hits in the final seven scoreless innings. Also coming to an end on Friday was Ports hitters Richie Robnett and Vasili Spanos 11-game hitting streaks. Both went a combined 0-8 with four strikeouts.
Stockton Ports Notebook: Ports Blaze Out
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