MODESTO, Calif. - The Modesto Nuts racked up 12 hits on Wednesday night at John Thurman Field, and half of those hits were for extra bases. Michael Ynoa (0-1) gave up six runs on nine hits in his second California League start as the Stockton Ports dropped the first game of their three-game set to the Nuts by a final of 8-4.
Stockton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third as Bruce Maxwell singled and Antonio Lamas was hit by a pitch to open the frame. With two on and one out, Myrio Richard walked to load the bases and Addison Russell lined a double to left-center that scored a pair of runs and gave the Ports an early lead.
Ynoa, after keeping Modesto out of the run column through two innings, gave up his first run in the third. Niko Gallego opened the inning with a ground rule double and scored two batters later on an RBI double by Brian Humphries that made it 2-1.
Modesto knocked Ynoa from the game in the middle of the fourth. With one out, Tyler Massey reached on an infield single and David Kandilas came up next and doubled him home to left to tie the game. Drew Beurlein followed with an RBI single that gave Modesto its first lead. Two batters later with two outs, Trevor Story doubled to left and Humphries hit a two-run homer to right that knocked Ynoa from the ballgame
Ynoa suffered his first loss with Stockton, going 3.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits while striking out four.
Nuts starter Ben Alsup (6-8) settled in after allowing the two runs in the third and pitched into the sixth, where with two on and nobody out, he recorded a strikeout of Maxwell to finish his outing. Kraig Sitton came in from the bullpen and walked Lamas to load the bases, but got Dusty Robinson to foul out and Richard to strike out to end the threat.
Alsup earned the win, going 5.1 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while walking five and striking out four. Sitton tossed 1.2 scoreless innings in relief for Modesto.
The Ports shaved a run off their deficit in the eighth. Tony Thompson greeted Nuts reliever Ken Roberts with a leadoff double and scored on a two-out RBI single by Robinson to make it a 6-3 game.
Modesto scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to re-up their advantage. After Shaeffer Hall retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced out of the bullpen, Taylor Featherston doubled to open the eighth and Massey reached on a fielding error to put runners at the corners. Jonathan Joseph was summoned from the Ports bullpen and gave up an RBI single to Kandials, followed by a sac-fly to Beurlein that gave Modesto an 8-3 advantage. Hall allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over 3.1 innings in his first relief appearance. Joseph allowed no runs of his own in an inning of relief.
Nick Schnaitmann came on to pitch the ninth for the Nuts and yielded a leadoff triple to Russell, who went 3-for-5 on the night and came a home run shy of the cycle. Russell scored on an ensuing sac-fly by Max Muncy to make it 8-4, but Schnaitmann went on to retire the next two batters in succession to end the ballgame.
The Ports and Nuts play the second game of their three-game set on Thursday at John Thurman Field. James Simmons (6-3, 3.45 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Eddie Butler (3-2, 2.76 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.