STOCKTON, Calif. - On a night where the Stockton Ports and Lancaster JetHawks matched a California League record by combining for 11 home runs, the Ports, behind three homers from Max Muncy, came away with a 13-7 victory at Banner Island Ballpark. Coupled with a San Jose Giants loss, the Ports are now two games back of the Giants with 11 games left to play in the first half of the season.
Lancaster plated the game's first run in the top of the first on an RBI double by Matt Duffy. The Ports returned fire in the first inning with the first of seven team home runs and the first of three home runs on the night for Muncy, who hit a three-run blast to right to give the Ports a 3-1 advantage.
The JetHawks regained the lead in the second. After Ports starter Tanner Peters (7-3) recorded back-to-back strikeouts to start the inning, M.P. Cokinos and Chris Epps hit back-to-back singles and Delino DeShields followed up with a three-run homer to give Lancaster a 4-3 lead.
Stockton sent 11 men to bat in the bottom of the third inning, this after the first two batters were retired by JetHawks starter Brady Rodgers (5-2). With two outs and the bases empty, Muncy hit his second home run of the night, this time to left field, to tie the game at 4-4. Tony Thompson homered to left on the very next pitch to put the Ports back in front. After Antonio Lamas doubled to right-center, Rashun Dixon homered to left to make it 7-4. After Myrio Richard doubled, Rodgers was lifted in favor of Thomas Shirley, who was greeted with an RBI single by B.A. Vollmuth. Phil Pohl came up next and hit a two-run homer to left, making it a 10-4 Ports advantage.
Rodgers suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings pitched. The third inning marked the second time this season that the Ports have homered four times in a single frame, the other occasion being the fifth inning of their game versus Bakersfield on April 7th.
Telvin Nash opened the fourth inning with a home run to left off Peters to make it 10-5. Stockton answered back in the bottom of the inning when Muncy led off with his third home run of the contest to increase the Ports lead to 11-5. It was the final run allowed by Shirley, who gave up three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Peters retired six in a row after the Nash home run before surrendering another leadoff home run to Matt Duffy in the sixth that cut the Ports lead to 11-6. Peters was lifted for Jake Brown after back-to-back two-out singles, and Brown got Epps to fly to right to end the inning.
Peters received the win, going 5.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits while striking out four.
Lancaster crept closer in the top of the seventh when Nolan Fontana hit a solo home run off Brown to cut the Ports lead to 11-7. It was the only run allowed by Brown in 2.1 innings of work.
The Ports plated a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh when Vollmuth came up with one on and one out and tied a league record with a two-run homer to left, bringing the Stockton lead to 13-7. The home run was allowed by Chris Devenski, who pitched three innings and allowed two runs on two hits for the JetHawks.
David Mota set the side down in order in the ninth to close out the ballgame and seal Stockton's sixth straight victory.
The Ports and JetHawks, with 11 combined home runs on the night, matched a record set on August 26, 1962 in a game that featured Bakersfield and Reno.
The last time a Ports player hit three home runs in a game was June 25, 2012 when Josh Whitaker accomplished the feat in San Jose. A.J. Kirby-Jones also had a three-homer game in Stockton on April 18, 2012.
After a three-game sweep of the JetHawks, the Ports welcome the Modesto Nuts to town for a four-game series beginning on Thursday night. Deyvi Jimenez (0-2, 6.21 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Tyler Gagnon (5-3, 5.34 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.