ADELANTO, Calif. - On Sunday afternoon, the Stockton Ports had a chance to end a rough road trip on a positive note. That chance fell by the wayside as the High Desert Mavericks scored the final six runs of the game, sending the Ports to an 11-6 defeat at Mavericks Stadium.
Stockton scored the first runs of the game in the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Antonio Lamas was hit by a pitch, Max Muncy lined an RBI double to right and Josh Whitaker provided an RBI single to left to give the Ports a 2-0 lead.
High Desert countered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and nobody on, Chris Taylor singled, Ji-Man Choi hit an RBI double to right-center and Dan Paolini homered to left to give the Mavericks a 3-2 advantage.
High Desert widened its lead in the fifth off Ports starter Tanner Peters. Anthony Phillips, Jamal Austin and Taylor each singled to open the inning with Taylor's single driving in Phillips to make it 4-2. Two batters later, Paolini drove in his third run of the game with a sac-fly to right to give the Mavericks a 5-2 cushion.
Peters received a no-decision, going five innings and allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out three.
Mavericks starter Stephen Landazauri also received a no-decision as he went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out four.
Trailing 5-2 going into the seventh, the Ports caught a break when Mavericks reliever George Mieses (1-1) hit Ryan Ortiz and Bobby Crocker back-to-back to open the frame. Addison Russell came up with two on and doubled down the left field line to score Ortiz and make it 5-3. Lamas came up next and hit a weak grounder to third that was booted by Phillips, allowing Crocker to score and Russell to reach third. Two batters later, Whitaker reached on a fielder's choice force out that tied the game at 5-5.
In the bottom half of the inning, High Desert would retake command of the game and put it well out of reach. Max Perlman (0-1), who set the side down in order in the sixth, issued back-to-back walks to start the seventh. Perlman was lifted for Jose Macias who walked Choi to load the bases. Paolini followed with a two-run double to left to put High Desert back in front 7-5. After recording two outs, Macias walked Mike McGee to reload the bases and then gave up a grand slam to Nathan Melendres that gave the Mavericks an 11-6 advantage.
Perlman, who was charged with the go-ahead runs, suffered the loss on the night. Macias went the full inning and allowed four runs on two hits.
Mieses allowed an additional run in the eighth inning but would be credited with the win for the Mavericks, going two innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits.
Jonathan Joseph set the side down in order in the eighth inning for Stockton, while Stephen Shackelford retired the side in order in the ninth for High Desert.
After going 1-5 on their six-game road trip, the Ports return home following an off-day on Monday to begin a three-game series with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Tuesday at Banner Island Ballpark. Andres Avila (0-3, 9.19 ERA) makes the start in the series opener for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga right-hander Ross Stripling (1-0, 2.49 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.