Oddly enough, it was Modesto that scored first despite not getting their first hit until the fifth inning. Ports starter Mathieu Leblanc Poirier (0-2) made few mistakes on the night, but the few he made in the third ended up costing him a run. He walked Jay Cox to open the frame and then hit Charlie Blackmon to put two on with nobody out. After a Radames Nazario sac-bunt and intentional walk to Jeff Cunningham to load the bases, Matt Repec brought Cox in with a sac-fly to right to put Modesto up 1-0.
Stockton's offense wasted a scoring chance right off the bat in the top of the first. Stockton had runners at the corners with one out. After Todd Johnson struck out, Jemile Weeks got caught in a rundown between first and second. On the play, Mitchell tried to score from third and was tagged out to end the inning as the throw came home.
The Ports put two aboard with two down in the second, but failed to score in that inning as well. Nuts starter Cory Riordan (2-5) yielded four hits through the first three innings, but did not allow a run.
Modesto came through with their biggest inning of the night in the sixth. Poirier started the frame and gave up a one-out single to Lars Davis. After retiring Maikol Gonzalez for the second out, Poirier was lifted for Derrick Gordon. Gordon, usually sure-handed out of the pen, had a rare outing in which he struggled. Gordon gave up an RBI double to Brian Rike that scored Davis, then an RBI single to Mike Mitchell that scored Rike and made it 3-0. Cox followed with an RBI triple to right-center, scoring Mitchell and putting Modesto up 4-0.
Poirier, despite turning in one of his best performances of the season, was tagged with the loss. The right-hander went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on just two hits while walking three and striking out three. Gordon was charged with two of the three runs that scored in the inning and recorded just the final out of the sixth.
Riordan would earn the win by night's end. For the first time this season, Riordan didn't allow a run in his outing, tossing six scoreless frames and allowing five hits while striking out a season-high seven.
The Ports pushed their first run of the night across in the seventh. Christian Vitters greeted reliever Ching -Lung Lo with a leadoff double. He scored three batters later on a sac-fly from David Thomas to make it 4-1. Lo would surrender another double in the inning to Mitchell, putting runners at second and third with two down. Edgmer Escalona was summoned from the bullpen, however, and got Michael Richard to fly to left to end the inning and the threat.
Stockton would have one last go of it in the ninth. With All-Star closer Craig Baker (SV, 19) on the hill, the Ports again got another leadoff double from Vitters. He scored two batters later on a sac-fly from Matt Smith, making it 4-2. Thomas followed with a single to center with two down to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the person of Mitchell. Baker, however, would get Mitchell to go down on strikes to end the ballgame. The save was Baker's league-leading 19th on the season, and makes him a perfect 19-for-19 in save chances.
Weeks had another big night on offense for Stockton, going 3-for-4 with three singles. He now owns a 13-game hitting streak, having hit safely in every game since joining the Ports from Extended Spring Training on May 27th.
The Ports continue on the road on Friday as they begin a three-game weekend series with the first-place Visalia Rawhide. Tyson Ross (0-4, 4.19 ERA) will get the nod for Stockton as he looks for his first twin of the year. He'll be opposed by Rawhide right-hander Josh Collmenter (6-3, 3.29 ERA). First pitch from Recreation Park is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.