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Fantastic Fifth Sends Ports To 10-3 Win Over Mavs05/15/2009 11:00 PM ET
ADELANTO, Calif. - In a game that saw seven total errors, the Stockton Ports got enough offense to negate their poor defense. The Boys from Banner Island scored six runs in a wild fifth inning, a frame that helped them secure a 10-3 win over the High Desert Mavericks in the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
It was High Desert, however, that drew first blood. Mavs leadoff hitter Tyson Gillies started the bottom of the first with a walk. Three batters later with two down, Joe Dunigan, the league's leading home run hitter and RBI man, launched a two-run homer to straight-away center off Ports starter Mathieu Leblanc Poirier to give High Desert a 2-0 lead.
The Ports would get one of the runs back in the bottom of the second-taking advantage of one of many Mavericks errors. Todd Johnson started the inning with a pop-up between home plate and the pitcher's mound. Mavs catcher Travis Scott waited for the high pop-up, but missed the ball as it came down. Johnson wound up at second on the play, and scored two batters later on an RBI groundout from Frank Martinez, cutting Stockton's deficit to 2-1.
Stockton would take the lead for good in the third. After back-to-back singles to start the frame from David Thomas and Michael Richard, Jermaine Mitchell singled to right, scoring Thomas and knotting the game. Mitchell's single was booted by right fielder Jamie McOwen, allowing Richard to take third and Mitchell to move to second. Two batters later, Richard scored on an RBI groundout from Matt Smith, giving the Ports the lead for good at 3-1.
The Ports would get another break in the fourth. With two out, Raul Padron worked a walk off Mavs starter Alfredo Venegas (1-2). Thomas followed with a pop-fly to shallow right. Mavs second baseman Edilio Colina had the ball in his glove, but McOwen, the right fielder, ran into Colina's glove, jarring the ball loose and allowing Thomas to reach and Padron to score from first.
Venegas ran into some bad luck for High Desert. He would take the loss on the night, going four innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out three.
Stockton's biggest inning came in the top of the fifth, when they sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on six hits. With Mavs reliever Travis Mortimore on the hill, the Ports loaded the bases with nobody out. Johnson stepped up and knocked an RBI single to right, giving the Ports a 5-2 edge. Alex Valdez followed with an RBI knock to left, making it 6-2 and knocking Mortimore from the game. Edward Paredes followed Mortimore into the game and also had some early struggles. Paredes got Martinez to ground out, which brought in another run to make it 7-2. Thomas followed with an RBI triple to left, scoring two more runs and giving Stockton a commanding 10-2 lead.
Five of the six runs scored in the inning were charged to Mortimore, while one was charged to Paredes.
From that point on, the Ports pitching staff held up its end of the bargain. Poirier reached his pitch count at 4.2 innings and did not qualify for the win. Poirier last faced Dunigan, who knocked an RBI double down the right field line to make it 10-3. Derrick Gordon (1-0) would come on to get the final out of the fifth.
Gordon would have to pitch out of a big jam in the sixth. High Desert loaded the bases with one out with Gilles at the plate. Gordon got Gilles to hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to end the threat. In the seventh, the Mavs put runners at first and second with one out, but Gordon got back-to-back strikeouts of Scott and Alex Liddi to end the frame.
In the eighth inning, High Desert would take advantage of Stockton's fourth error of the night to load the bases with two down. Lefty reliever Lance Sewell was brought in to face Colina, and Sewell got Colina to fly to left to end another Mavericks threat.
Gordon would be credited with the win, going three scoreless frames and allowing five hits while striking out four and walking three.
Sewell would finish off the Mavs by tossing a perfect ninth.
Valdez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his RBI single in the fifth. For the Mavs, Gillies' league-best 14-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-3 night.
Stockton has now won three of their last four games and five of their last seven. The Ports and Mavericks will continue their four-game set on Saturday at Maverick's stadium. Tyson Ross (0-2, 4.91 ERA) will get the nod for Stockton, opposed by right-hander Jake Wild (2-0, 3.47 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.