SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports forgot to pack their offense on Monday as they began a seven-game road trip with a two-hit performance. Inland Empire 66ers starter Dan Reynolds (5-7) shut Stockton's offense down over eight shutout innings as the 66ers claimed a 3-0 win to open a three-game series at San Manuel Stadium.
Stockton failed to score in the second inning after Reynolds walked two batters. Inland Empire couldn't take advantage of walks issued in both the first and second innings by Ports starter Tanner Peters (7-4).
The 66ers caught the break that helped win them the ballgame in the third. With runners at second and third and one out, Peters induced a pop-out to second off the bat of Eric Stamets to keep the runners in place. With two outs, Alex Yarbrough hit a fly ball to right-center. Right fielder Dusty Robinson got in position to make the play but dropped the ball, an error that led to both runs scoring and giving the 66ers a 2-0 lead.
Peters pitched around a jam in the fourth with runners at the corners and nobody out, getting a strikeouts and inducing an inning-ending double-play to keep the score at 2-0.
The Ports got their first hit with two outs in the fourth, a double off the bat of B.A. Vollmuth. Reynolds, though, struck out Rashun Dixon to escape the inning.
Inland Empire added a run in the sixth. After a walk and a single put runners at the corners, Michael Snyder hit a sac-fly to right to widen the 66ers lead to 3-0.
Peters took the loss after going seven innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out six.
Reynolds retired 10 in a row going into the eighth inning and surrendered a leadoff single to Ryan Ortiz, but got Robinson to fly to center, struck out Wade Kirkland and induced a fielder's choice force out to end the inning.
Reynolds earned the win with his strongest performance of the season, going eight shutout innings and allowing two hits while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.
Eric Cendejas (SV, 1) came on to pitch the ninth inning and try for the save. Antonio Lamas led off and reached on a fielding error committed by Cendejas and Max Muncy walked to bring the possible-tying run to the plate. Cendejas, though, got Tony Thompson to pop out, Vollmuth to fly to right and Dixon to strike out to end the ballgame and earn his first save of the season.
The Ports and 66ers play the second game of their three-game series on Tuesday night at San Manuel Stadium. Deyvi Jimenez (0-2, 6.27 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Inland Empire right-hander Mark Sappington (5-3, 3.89 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.