SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports got much more offense on Tuesday night than they did on Monday, but it still wasn't enough to overcome the Inland Empire 66ers. The Ports couldn't overcome an early 6-1 deficit despite hitting three home runs as the 66ers earned a 6-4 victory at San Manuel Stadium.
Inland Empire took advantage of a pair of errors in the second inning to get their first run. Andy Workman reached on an error committed by Antoino Lamas and Brennan Gowens reached next on a catcher's interference, putting two on with one out. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Eric Stamets brought in the first run with an infield RBI single deep in the hole to short, giving the 66ers a 1-0 lead.
The Ports tied the game in the top of the third and snapped Inland Empire's 22.2 consecutive scoreless inning streak. Wade Kirkland doubled to open the inning and scored on a two-out RBI single by Max Muncy to knot the score.
The 66ers were quick to take the lead back in the third. Zach Borenstein hit a leadoff home run off Ports starter Deyvi Jimenez (0-3) to make it a 2-1 game. Jimenez walked Michael Snyder and, two batters later, gave up an RBI single to Abel Baker. Jimenez gave up an ensuing single to Andy Workman and was lifted from the game after recording the second out of the inning. Blake Hassebrock entered the game and surrendered an RBI single to Zach Wright that increased the 66ers lead to 4-1.
Jimenez suffered the loss, going 2.2 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out two.
Hassebrock struggled in the fourth as he gave up a leadoff single to Alex Yarbrough and an RBI triple to Borenstein that made it 5-1. With Borenstein at third and the infield in, Snyder hit a slow roller to second that was missed by Lamas, an error that allowed Borenstein to score and make it a 6-1 contest.
Hassebrock got a double-play to end the inning and went on to set th side down in order in the fifth. He allowed two runs on three hits over 2.1 innings.
Stockton began chipping away at its deficit in the fifth. With one out, Lamas homered to left to make it 6-2. It was the final run allowed by Mark Sappington (6-3), who went on to receive the win after going five innings and allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three.
Carmine Giardina came on to pitch the sixth in relief and got two quick outs before giving up back-to-back home runs to Dusty Robinson and Phil Pohl as the Ports cut their deficit to 6-4.
Eduard Santos was summoned to start the seventh for the 66ers and pitched around back-to-back two-out singles by Tony Thompson and B.A. Vollmuth, getting Rashun Dixon to strike out to end the threat.
After Santos tossed a scoreless eighth, Michael Morin (SV, 10) came on to pitch the ninth and set the side down in order to end the ballgame. Ports Manager Webster Garrison was ejected as he argued after Lamas took a called third strike to start the inning.
Seth Frankoff and Jonathan Joseph combined for three scoreless innings of relief down the stretch for the Ports.
The Ports will try and salvage the finale of their series with Inland Empire on Wednesday night at San Manuel Stadium. Drew Granier (6-3, 3.08 ERA) takes the mound for Stockton, opposed by Inland Empire right-hander Jake Boyd (0-1, 8.44 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.