SAN JOSE - The San Jose Giants saw their late rally fall short in an 8-7 loss to the Stockton Ports on Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium. Stockton jumped out to an early five-run lead and enjoyed an 8-4 advantage in the ninth inning before the Giants scored three times and had the potential tying run at second base. With the victory, Stockton takes two out of three games in the series.
Ryan Lollis (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Joe Panik (2-for-5, RBI) had two hits apiece and Adam Duvall (1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead San Jose offensively.
The Giants trailed by four runs entering the bottom of the ninth with Chris Lofton starting the frame by drawing a walk. With one out, Panik lined a single to left and then Duvall stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run homer to deep left center field bringing San Jose to within 8-7.
The rally continued as Ricky Oropesa reached on a fielding error committed by Ports second baseman Michael Gilmartin to put the potential tying run on base. Stockton reliever A.J. Huttenlocker then balked to advance pinch-runner Ydwin Villegas to second, however consecutive swinging strikeouts of the next two hitters, Andrew Susac and Jarrett Parker, ended the game.
Ports starter Sean Murphy (4-2) earned the win after tossing six innings with just one run and four hits allowed. He walked two and struck out five. Huttenlocker, who entered the game after Duvall's home run, picked-up his first save of the year.
Stockton never trailed in the contest as Dusty Robinson connected for a solo home run with one out in the top of the first inning to give the Ports an early 1-0 lead. Stockton then added three runs in the second against Giants starter Jack Snodgrass to make it 4-0. Back-to-back singles from B.A. Vollmuth and Tony Thompson started the inning before Cabrera singled to left with one out to load the bases. On the Cabrera hit, the left fielder Parker mishandled the ball for an error allowing Vollmuth to score the second Ports run of the night. Gilmartin followed with an RBI single extending the lead to 3-0 and then Chad Oberacker lifted a sacrifice fly to center plating the third run of the frame.
San Jose cut the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning as Oropesa led off with a single, advanced to second when Susac walked, moved to third on Parker's groundout and scored when Alex Burg hit a sacrifice fly.
Stockton though kept the pressure on with two runs in the top of the third to knock Snodgrass out of the game. Back-to-back singles from Josh Whitaker and Max Stassi began the rally before Vollmuth bounced into a double play. Thompson followed with an RBI single to make it 5-1. Beau Taylor then singled before Cabrera reached on an error allowing another run to score.
Murphy allowed just two hits over the third through the sixth innings as the Ports maintained their 6-1 lead. The Giants then rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Pedro Vidal. With one out, Burg singled before Bobby Haney doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third. After Lofton lined out to shortstop, Lollis stepped to the plate and singled to center plating both runners. On the play, Lollis took second on a wild throw to the plate before scoring when the next batter, Panik, singled to center.
Trailing 6-4, San Jose threatened in the bottom of the eighth as consecutive one-out walks to Susac and Parker brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate. However, reliever Zack Thornton struck out Burg on three pitches and induced Haney to groundout to end the inning.
Stockton then plated two key insurance runs in the top of the ninth against Drew Bowlin to extend their lead to 8-4. Oberacker led off with a triple off the fence in deep right center before scoring when the next batter, Robinson, lined a single to left. Robinson eventually scored the second run of the inning when Thompson reached base on a two-out throwing error committed by Panik at shortstop.
Snodgrass (7-3) suffered the loss for the Giants after he was tagged for six runs (all earned) on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out three.
Notes: The Giants have lost four out of their last five games ... San Jose has yet to win a game this season when trailing after eight innings (0-29) ... The Ports out-hit the Giants by a 13-10 margin ... Duvall's home run was his team-leading 13th of the season ... The homer broke his 0-for-27 slump ... Chris Wilson (3 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO), Mitchell Beacom (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) and Phil McCormick (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings of relief before Stockton rallied against Bowlin (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) in the top of the ninth ... The Ports own an 8-7 lead over San Jose in the season series.
On Deck: The Giants continue their homestand on Thursday evening with the opener of a three-game series against the Lake Elsinore Storm. First pitch at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Seth Rosin (1-0, 4.73 ERA) is slated to make the start on the mound for San Jose while Lake Elsinore is expected to counter with Mark Pope (4-6, 5.46 ERA). Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (408) 297-1435 or by visiting sjgiants.com.