Stockton Ports Notebook: Ports Win

A drizzle of rain and runs filled the Stockton Ballpark early on, but as the rain held up, so did the Ports Bullpen, striking out three and allowing no runs on one hit in four innings as the Ports beat the 66ers 9-3. (FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)

The Stockton Ports (30-29), who beat Inland Empire 6-3 on Tuesday evening, took game two on Wednesday afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,742.

Ports Pitcher Brad Knox (2-2, 5.03) started the game off with a first pitch lead off double to Nomar's brother, 66er second baseman Michael Garciaparra. The next batter third baseman Matt Rogelstad hit a single to right field and shortstop Adam Jones then hit a sac fly to right field scoring Garciaparra for the first run of the game. After giving up two singles, including one by right fielder Carlos Arroyo that scored Rogelstad, Inland Empire took a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Ports responded right off the bat with red hot third baseman Vasili Spanos hitting a two run double in the first off Jason Mackintosh (3-4, 3.84) scoring Luke Appert and Kurt Suzuki to tie the ballgame. In the top of the second, with the rain still falling,

Knox gave up a walk to left fielder Chris Colton, a double by Garciaparra, and a sac fly by Rogelstad that scored Colton from third and tied the ballgame 3-3.

The see-saw match kept going back and forth, as the Ports responded again in the second when Spanos hit a single up the middle, giving him his third RBI of the day, scoring Center Fielder Dustin Majewski from second. A HBP, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Danny Putnam who extended the lead with an RBI walk to give the ports a 5-3 advantage.

The rain came to a sudden stop after the second and so did the scoring. The Ports held onto a 5-3 lead for six innings until the bottom of the eighth when the Ports sealed the deal when Daric Barton hit a two run single and Danny Putnam hit a two run triple off RHP 66er Greg Wear.

Brad Knox recorded the victory for the Ports, striking out two and allowing six hits on three runs in five innings pitched. Jason Mackintosh recorded the loss as the 66er struck out three and allowed five hits on four earned runs in five and two-thirds innings.

Danny Putnam and Vasili Spanos seem to be the catalyst in the Ports line up, both went a combined 4-7with 7RBI on Wednesday. The two are also tied for a team high 42 RBI.

Putnam, who has been juggled around in the lineup for the past week, is batting .291 with five homeruns and a .354 on base percentage.

"I enjoy batting in the sixth spot," Putnam responded to his new spot in the line-up. "You have a lot of guys in scoring position and I love hitting in that situation and today it showed"

Spanos, who went 3-3 with a grand slam in the Ports victory on Tuesday night, is batting a team high .307 with seven homeruns and a .518 slugging percentage.

"Spanos did well today. He is probably the most consistent hitter for our team" Manager Todd Steverson said about his third baseman. "He gets into some good counts, lays off the tough pitch, and he's hitting the mistake pitch"

The Ports look to pull a series sweep against the 66ers (27-32) on Thursday night at 7:05 pm.

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