STOCKTON, Calif. - The second inning was the only inning in which runs were scored at Banner Island Ballpark on Saturday night, and the Stockton Ports did one run better than the Modesto Nuts. With two on and two out, Rashun Dixon hit a three-run homer to right that ultimately led to a 3-2 Ports victory.
Modesto got on the board in the second as they loaded the bases with one out on a double, a single and a walk allowed by Ports starter James Simmons (6-3). After Simmons struck out Harold Riggins for the second out, Tim Smalling reached on an infield single that gave the Nuts a 1-0 lead. Simmons then threw a wild pitch that allowed a second run to score before David Kandilas flied out to end the inning.
The Ports retaliated in the bottom half of the inning with a big swing of the bat. With two on and two out, Dixon came up and hit a line drive homer to right field off Nuts starter Eddie Butler (3-2) that gave Stockton a 3-2 lead.
Butler would suffer the loss despite striking out a season-high nine batters over five innings pitched. Butler allowed four hits and walked only one.
Simmons went six innings for Stockton and earned the victory, allowing two runs on seven hits while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.
Stockton's bullpen, which entered the game having thrown seven consecutive scoreless innings, continued to thrive as Blake Hassebrock took over for Simmons in the seventh and tossed two perfect innings while striking out four. Tucker Healy (SV, 2) struck out the side in order in the ninth to record the save.
Modesto's bullpen, a combination of Geoff Parker and Kenneth Roberts, combined to retire nine of the final 11 Ports batters of the game, with Parker tossing 2.2 perfect innings while Roberts pitched around two hits allowed to record the final out of the eighth.
After taking two of three games from the Nuts, the Ports welcome the Visalia Rawhide to Banner Island Ballpark on Sunday to begin a three-game series. Tanner Peters (7-4, 4.31 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Rob Coe (2-3, 6.75 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT.