VISALIA, Calif. - For the second straight game, the Visalia Rawhide secured momentum in the first inning and never looked back. The Rawhide scored six runs in the first en route to handing the Stockton Ports their second straight loss, this time by a final of 10-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Recreation Ballpark.
Ports starter Andres Avila (0-3) failed to make it out of the first inning as Visalia scored six runs on five hits. With one out, Gerson Montilla drew a walk and Raywilly Gomez followed with a single that put runners at the corners with one out. Michael Perez came up next and delivered an RBI single to center to give the Rawhide a 1-0 lead. After a walk drawn by Tom Belza loaded the bases, Avila struck out Matt Helm for the second out of the inning. With the bases loaded and two out, Kerry Jenkins hit a two-strike pitch to center to score two more runs and make it 3-0. Raul Navarro followed with an RBI double to make it 4-0, and with runners at second and third, Sean Jamieson reached on an infield single deep to the middle of the infield on which two runs scored to make it a 6-0 ballgame.
Avila was lifted after allowing the infield hit to Jamieson and took the loss on the afternoon, allowing six runs on five hits while striking out two over two-thirds of an inning.
Stockton's first run came in the second on a solo home run hit by Josh Whitaker, his second of the season, to make it 6-1. Visalia got the run back in the bottom of the third when Belza scored from third on a potential double-play ball mishandled by Ports second baseman Wade Kirkland.
The Ports plated another run in the fourth as Ryan Delgado led off with a triple to the right field corner and scored on an ensuing sac-fly from Whitaker to make it 7-2. It was the last run allowed by Visalia starter Andre Barbosa (2-1), who earned the win after going five innings and allowing two runs on four hits while walking four and striking out four.
The Rawhide countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth as Montilla led off with a home run off Ports reliever Seth Frankoff. Two batters later, Perez tripled to knock Frankoff from the game. Jake Brown came on from the Ports bullpen and, after getting Belza to ground to short with the infield in, gave up a two-out RBI single to Matt Helm, making it a 9-2 game.
Frankoff was charged with three runs on three hits allowed over 2.2 innings. Brown allowed three hits but did not allow a run over 2.2 innings pitched.
The Ports plated a pair of runs in the seventh off Rawhide reliever Conrad Flynn. With one out, Addison Russell singled and Antonio Lamas drove him home with a double to the left field corner. Two batters later, Lamas scored on an RBI single from Dusty Robinson, making it a 9-4 ballgame.
Flylnn went three innings and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out two.
Visalia's final run of the afternoon came in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI groundout by Gomez with runners at the corners off Ports reliever Jose Macias. Macias allowed just the one run over two innings of relief.
Kaleb Fleck tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the game for Visalia.
Russell, who hit at the top of the order for Stockton, went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, a run scored and a stolen base. Russell reached base four times on the afternoon as he drew a pair of walks as well.
The Ports will attempt to salvage the final game of their three-game set with Visalia as the series wraps up on Thursday night. Drew Granier (2-1, 3.15 ERA) will take the mound for Stockton, opposed by Visalia southpaw Andrew Chafin (2-1, 5.85 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. PDT.