STOCKTON, Calif. - In a game that featured six total home runs, the Modesto Nuts outdid the Stockton Ports on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Trailing 3-2 with two outs in the eighth, the Nuts hit back-to-back home runs off Ports reliever Tucker Healy (0-1) as they went on to defeat the Ports 5-4 before a crowd of 5,291 at Banner Island Ballpark.
Modesto homered on the second pitch of the ballgame as David Kandilas took Ports starter Josh Bowman deep to left to put the Nuts in front 1-0. Stockton countered with a home run hit by B.A. Vollmuth to lead off the second, tying the score at 1-1.
Stockton claimed its first lead in the third as Dusty Robinson led off with a homer off Nuts starter Dan Winkler to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
The Nuts tied the score in the top of the fifth, aided by an error committed by Bowman. With one out, Jose Rivera hit a flair in front of home plate that Bowman barehanded and threw errant to first. Kandilas and Tyler Massey followed with back-to-back singles with Massey's driving in Rivera and knotting the game at 2-2. The run was unearned for Bowman, and one of two he allowed over seven strong innings as he received a no-decision, allowing five hits while matching a career-high with 11 strikeouts.
The Ports took the lead back with their third leadoff home run of the night in the bottom of the fifth, this time off the bat of Bruce Maxwell, his first of the season to give the Ports a 3-2 lead. It was the last run allowed by Winkler, who allowed three home runs in a game for the second time this season. Winkler received a no-decision, going 6.2 innings and allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven.
Healy took over for Bowman in the eighth inning and hit the first batter he faced. After getting Taylor Featherston to fly out and Ryan Casteel to strike out, Healy gave up a two-run homer to Jared Simon that put Modesto in front 4-3. Will Swanner followed with an opposite-field blast to the Jackson Rancheria Back Porch that made it a 5-3 ballgame.
Healy suffered his first loss, allowing three runs on two hits in his lone inning of work.
Kraig Sitton (4-2), who came on to record the final out of the seventh inning, started the eighth by allowing a double to Robinson, followed by an RBI single to Myrio Richard that made it a 5-4 game. Sitton was lifted from the game at that point for Scott Oberg, who recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Addison Russell and Max Muncy and saw Richard caught stealing to end the inning. Sitton would wind up being the winning pitcher in the contest.
Kenneth Roberts (SV, 4) came no to pitch the ninth for the Nuts and struck out the side all swinging in order to earn his fourth save of the season.
The Ports and Nuts play the second game of their three-game set on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Michael Ynoa (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his California League debut for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Ben Alsup (5-8, 4.66 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.