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09/12/2008 2:20 AM ET
Gilbert burns former club with six RBIs
Oakland farmhand drives in six runs as Stockton takes Game 1
Archie Gilbert had his busiest day at the plate since hitting for the cycle on June 19. (George Steckler)

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Leading off Game 1 of the California League Championship Series, Archie Gilbert picked a perfect moment for a career day. It came, by coincidence, against an organization that gave up on him three years earlier.

Gilbert went 3-for-4 and drove in a career-high six runs to power the Stockton Ports past the visiting Lancaster JetHawks, 8-5, on Thursday.

Gilbert smacked a three-run double in the second inning, added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and lined RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings.

The win gave the Ports a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 Finals.

"It feels great winning the first game," Gilbert said. "You always want to come out in the first game and do well. I was doing the things a leadoff hitter should do, and I was lucky that there were guys on base."

Stockton took a 4-0 lead in the second behind Gilbert's bases-loaded hit and, after giving up the lead, later tied the game in the fourth on Gilbert's sacrifice fly that plated Frank Martinez.

Jermaine Mitchell stroked an RBI double in the sixth and Gilbert drove him in with a single to left. The Athletics farmhand plated Michael Massaro in the eighth for a three-run advantage.

It was the most productive day for the Cal State East Bay product since he hit for the cycle and drove in three runs on June 19 against High Desert.

Gilbert, an All-Star this summer, was once destined for Lancaster himself. The Hayward, Calif. native was signed by Boston in 2005 and played one year in the organization before being released.

"We feel confident pretty much every day," Gilbert said. "We know our one through nine hitters are all game-changers. We love that we won the first game so we don't have to be in Lancaster too long if we win the next two."

The 25-year-old Gilbert batted .278 with seven homers and 49 RBIs this season for Stockton. His six RBIs on Thursday were more than his 24-game total for May (five) and matched his total for August.

"[Manager Darren Bush) and [hitting coach Timothy Garland] have been telling me to be patient and wait for a pitch that I can drive," Gilbert said. "They went over some things with me and it really helped."

California native Jason Glushon (1-0) picked up the win for Stockton, holding the JetHawks to a run on three hits and a walk in three innings of relief. Starter Scott Moore allowed four unearned runs on four hits over three frames.

Craig Molldrem (0-1) was charged with two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss after starter Terumasa Matsuo surrendered five runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings for Lancaster.

The JetHawks scored the majority of their runs in the third. Daniel Nava hit a sacrifice fly to plate Aaron Reza, Jon Still cranked a two-run double and Luis Exposito added an RBI double.

Lancaster tacked on a fourth run an inning later when Reza scored on a double play.

Danny Wild is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.