STOCKTON, Calif. - For a second straight night, it seemed the Stockton Ports' offense was firing on all cylinders at Banner Island Ballpark. After the Ports took a 6-0 lead after two innings, though, the Modesto Nuts scored 11 of the game's final 13 runs as they ended Stockton's six-game winning streak by a final of 11-8. After the loss, the Ports now sit three games back of first-place San Jose and a game back of Visalia in the North Division.
Stockton opened the scoring in the first inning with a pair of runs on RBI singles from Tony Thompson and Rashun Dixon. They extended their lead to 6-0 in the second as they plated four more runs off Nuts starter Tyler Gagnon on an RBI single from Max Muncy, an RBI groundout by Thompson and a two-run double hit by Antonio Lamas.
The Nuts scored their first runs in the third on an RBI triple from Tyler Massey and an RBI single from Brian Humphries, both with two outs. Modesto cut its deficit to 6-3 when Jared Simon led off the fourth with a home run to right off Ports starter Deyvi Jimenez. Jimenez went four innings and allowed three runs on four hits.
The Ports got two more runs off Gagnon in the fourth. Bobby Crocker led off with a single and Addison Russell doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Muncy drove in Crocker with an RBI groundout to first and Thompson brought in Russell with a single to right that gave the Ports an 8-3 advantage.
Gagnon was lifted after the Thompson single and would receive a no-decision, going 3.1 innings and allowing eight runs on a season-high 11 hits.
Geoff Parker (3-3) came on from the Modesto bullpen and induced an inning-ending double-play, beginning a stretch of 5.2 innings where the Nuts bullpen shut the Ports out on just three hits allowed. Parker went on to earn the win as he tossed 3.2 scoreless innings for Modesto.
Modesto climbed back into the game in the top of the fifth facing Ports reliever T.J. Walz. With two outs and the bases empty, Walz gave up back-to-back singles to Humphries and Taylor Featherston. Ryan Casteel came up next and reached on a fielding error committed by B.A. Vollmuth at third, allowing a run to score. Simon came up next and hit a two-run single to right that cut Stockton's lead to 8-6. Walz allowed three unearned runs on four hits over an inning of work.
After two scoreless innings of relief from Seth Frankoff, the Ports turned the ball over to Pedro Vidal (0-1) to start the eighth. With two on and two out, Vidal gave up a three-run homer to Massey that gave Modesto its first lead at 9-8. It was just the second home run allowed by Vidal on the season, but the second one in a week's time.
Modesto added two insurance runs in the ninth inning on a two-out, two-run double by Will Swanner that increased the Nuts lead to 11-8.
Vidal suffered the loss, allowing five runs on five hits while walking two and striking out three over two innings of work.
Nelson Gonzalez and Scott Oberg (SV, 14) each pitched a scoreless inning down the stretch to seal Modesto's victory. Oberg pitched around a one-out double by Russell in the ninth to record his 14th save of the season.
Stockton and Modesto play the second game of their four-game tilt on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. In a battle of two of the top three ERA leaders in the California League, Drew Granier (6-3, 2.50 ERA) heads to the mound for the Ports, opposed by Nuts right-hander Chris Jensen (2-4, 2.90 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.