RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. - After a rocky start to their Southern California road trip, the Stockton Ports finished strong on Sunday afternoon at Loan Mart Field. The Boys of Banner Island took a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning and ended up having to hang on for a 6-4 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Stockton took three of four in their series with Rancho Cucamonga and finished the first half with a record of 38-32.
The Ports opened the scoring in the third as Rashun Dixon led off with a single and scored on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Max Muncy to give Stockton a 1-0 lead.
Stockton increased its lead in the fifth. With two on and one out, Quakes starter Gustavo Gomez (1-3) gave up an RBI single to Antonio Lamas to make it a 2-0 advantage.
Gomez took the loss as he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out five.
Ports starter Josh Bowman (1-1) was activated from the disabled list to make the start on Sunday and looked sharp. Bowman pitched around a hit batsman and a single in the second, induced a double-play to end the third, and after setting the side down in order in the fourth, pitched around a leadoff single in the fifth to keep the Quakes off the board.
Bowman went on to receive the win, going five shutout innings and allowing three hits while striking out five.
Blake Hassebrock came on to start the sixth and gave up a double to Darnell Sweeney on the first pitch he threw. After recording a strikeout, Hassebrock yielded an RBI triple to Jonathan Garcia that put the Quakes on the board and cut the Ports lead to 2-1. Hassebrock, after allowing the triple, would finish strong as he retired the next five batters he faced, including four strikeouts.
Hassebrock went two innings and allowed one run on two hits while striking out five.
The Ports got the run back in the top of the seventh. With two on and one out, B.A. Vollmuth extended his hit streak to 15 games with a single up the middle to score Addison Russell and increase the lead to 3-1. It was the only run allowed by JonMichael Redding over two innings of relief.
Stockton added two runs in the eighth on a two-run single by Russell off Quakes reliever Matthew Shelton, who lasted a third of an inning. In the ninth, the Ports got to Pedro Baez for a run as Tony Thompson doubled to start the frame and scored on a sac-fly by Dixon, making it a 6-1 Ports advantage.
Pedro Vidal came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth and struggled out of the gate. Garcia led off with a single to left but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. Vidal then walked O'Koyea Dickson and gave up a two-run homer to Scott Schebler, his third home run of the series to make it a 6-3 game. Vidal then walked Chris Jacobs and gave up a bunt-single to Casio Grider to bring the possible-tying run to the plate. Vidal was lifted for Jake Brown (SV, 1) who got Bladimir Franco to hit into a fielder's choice force out. With two away, John Cannon hit a ground ball to shortstop and Russell's throw to first was off-line, an error that allowed another run to score and make it 6-4. With the tying runners aboard, Brown struck out Sweeney to end the ballgame and pick up his first save of the season.
Following the All-Star Break that runs through Wednesday, the Ports return home on Thursday to begin a seven-game homestand and a four-game series with the San Jose Giants. First pitch of Thursday's contest is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.