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Stockton's Skid Hits Seven After 8-2 Loss To Nuts06/10/2009 10:30 PM ET
MODESTO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports have not been able to figure out the Modesto Nuts this season, let alone their home ballpark-John Thurman Field. With an 8-2 loss on Wednesday, the Ports are now 1-7 against the Nuts this season and 0-5 in games at Modesto. The loss also marked Stockton's seventh straight defeat, leaving the Boys of Banner Island with a 1-8 record in the month of June.
Modesto took hold of the game in the early going and never looked back. For the second straight night, Charlie Blackmon led off the bottom of the first with a single and stole second. Two batters later he scored on an RBI knock from Jeff Cunningham to put the Nuts on top 1-0. Matt Repec followed with a single to left, setting the table for Lars Davis who knocked a two-run double off the batters eye in straight away center, giving the Nuts an early 3-0 lead.
Nuts starter Christian Friedrich (1-0) was dominant early on. Friedrich, last season's first-round pick for the Rockies, retired the first 14 batters he faced on the night. Stockton's first baserunner came on a two-out single from Frank Martinez in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Modesto's offense was building up the run support for Friedrich. Ports starter Scott Hodsdon (2-5) was hit hard in his 5.1 innings of work. In the third, Hodsdon hit Cunningham and gave up a double to Repec. It was Davis that came up next and again delivered-this time a three-run blast to straight-away center to give the Nuts a commanding 6-0 lead.
Stockton's first run came in the sixth. After a leadoff single from Matt Smith, David Thomas knocked an RBI double to the gap in left-center, scoring Smith and putting the Ports on the board at 6-1. Stockton would load the bases in that inning with two outs but fail to score additional runs.
The Nuts got the run right back in the bottom of the inning. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Blackmon drove in Radames Nazario with a sac-fly to center, putting the Nuts back up by six runs at 7-1.
Blackmon was the last batter that Hodsdon faced on the night. He would take the loss after going 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits while striking out two.
The Ports would add another run in the seventh on a wild pitch thrown by Friedrich, scoring Martinez from third and making it 7-2. Friedrich would earn his first Cal-League win after going seven full frames and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six.
Modesto added a final insurance run in the eighth. With two down, Jason Van Kooten hit his second home run of the season-a solo blast off Ports reliever Kristian Bell to make it 8-2. It was the only run Bell allowed in 2.2 innings of relief.
Stockton's offense was kept at bay in the final two innings by Carlos Luna and Craig Baker, who each tossed a scoreless frame of relief.
Davis was the offensive standout for Modesto, going 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and falling a triple shy of the cycle. The Nuts are now 26-6 on the season when they score the game's first run.
The Ports and Nuts will wrap up their three game set on Thursday night at John Thurman Field. Mathieu Leblanc Poirier (0-1, 5.18 ERA) will head to the hill for Stockton, opposed by right-hander Cory Riordan (1-5, 5.55 ERA) for Modesto. 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.