MODESTO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports saw a four-game win streak come to a close on Friday night in abrupt fashion. The Ports were shut out by the Modesto Nuts on just three hits as Stockton fell 5-0 to begin a three-game series at John Thurman Field.
Nuts starter Jon Gray (1-0), this year's third overall pick who was making his California League debut, stole the show early. Gray struck out the side in order in the first inning and would continue on a similar path the remainder of his outing. Gray gave up a leadoff single to B.A. Vollmuth in the second and after a wild pitch advanced Vollmuth to second, Gray recorded back-to-back strikeouts and got Myrio Richard to fly to right to end the frame. It marked the only time the Ports had a runner reach second base on the night.
Gray earned the win after going five shutout innings and allowing two hits while striking out seven.
Ports starter James Simmons (7-6) retired the first 10 batters he faced in the ballgame. The first hit that Simmons allowed, however, was a home run to Brian Humphries with one out in the fourth that gave the Nuts a 1-0 lead.
With two outs and the bases empty in the fifth, Modesto widened its lead versus Simmons. Will Swanner walked, Harold Riggins singled, and Niko Gallego looped an RBI single to center that scored Swanner to make it a 3-0 lead.
After Simmons set the side down in order in the sixth, he came out for the seventh and allowed three straight hits; a double to Trevor Story, an RBI single to Swanner and a two-run homer to Riggins that made it a 5-0 game.
Simmons suffered his third consecutive loss, going six-plus innings and allowing five runs on six hits while striking out seven. Jonathan Joseph came on in relief of Simmons and retired all six batters he faced on the night.
Modesto's bullpen proved strong down the stretch. Ryan Arrowood came on in relief of Gray to start the sixth and tossed two scoreless innings in his California League debut, retiring six of the seven batters he faced. Will Rankin came on to start the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Dusty Robinson, but retired the final four batters he faced to close out the contest.
The loss marked the sixth time the Ports have been shut out on the season.
The Ports and Nuts play the middle game of their three-game series on Saturday at John Thurman Field. Tanner Peters (10-5, 3.99 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Tyler Gagnon (9-9, 5.28 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.