There's a push and pull to the California League. Mostly, a push on hitters to generate runs and a pull on pitchers to allow them.
On Friday night, Class A Advanced Stockton received productive performances out of a hitter who responded to the push and a pitcher who overcame the pull.
Max Muncy homered twice and drove in three runs, while Drew Granier struck out 10 over five innings as the Ports coasted to a 9-1 win over the visiting Modesto Nuts.
Muncy's second two-homer game of the season gave him seven overall, tying him with Ernesto Mejia of the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves for the Minor League lead.
A fifth-round selection in last year's Draft, Muncy had a solid debut season with Class A Burlington. His strongest asset was his advanced plate approach as he registered more walks (41) than strikeouts (37) while hitting .275 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 64 Midwest League games.
The Baylor University product has clearly taken well to the friendly confines of the Cal League. Muncy ranks third in on-base percentage (.474) and slugging (.733) and fourth in average (.350) through 16 games.
Granier limited Modesto to a run on four hits and four walks. The 10 strikeouts were two shy of the career high he established in his final start of the season for Burlington last September. He's had more punchouts than innings pitched in all but one of four starts this season.
The 24-year-old right-hander out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe established himself as a big strikeout threat last year when he led the Midwest League with 167, 15 more than runner-up Archie Bradley.
Granier finished 11-10 with a 3.21 ERA. Like Muncy, he's been strong out of the gate for the Ports, going 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA and 26 strikeouts against 12 walks in 20 innings.
Reliever T.J. Walz (2-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while fanning one over two scoreless frames.
Second baseman Antonio Lamas also got into the act for Stockton with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Rehabbing A's shortstop Adam Rosales also homered and doubled and is 6-for-12 with three extra-base hits in three games with the Ports.