LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - The Stockton Ports got their six-game road trip off on the right foot at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore on Tuesday night. Stockton matched their season-high road hit total as they plated 10 runs on 18 hits, highlighted by a second-inning grand slam by Addison Russell, en route a 10-6 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Stockton broke through for the game's first run in the top of the first. With runners at the corners and one out, Tony Thompson hit a sac-fly to center to score Myrio Richard who'd singled to start the game, giving the Ports an early 1-0 lead.
The Ports increased their lead to 5-0 in the second. With the bases loaded and two outs, Russell hit a grand slam to right-center off Storm starter Frank Garces (7-7) to increase the Ports lead to 5-0. For Russell, it was his second home run in as many games as he hit an inside-the-park homer on Sunday versus Modesto. Bobby Crocker followed with an infield single and Tony Thompson reached on an error, at which point Garces was lifted in favor of right-hander Trevor Holder.
Garces suffered the loss, going 1.2 innings and allowing five runs on five hits while striking out two.
Lake Elsinore got into the run column in the second inning as they loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a fielder's choice on which no out was recorded. With the bases full, Duanel Jones hit a double down the left field line off Ports starter Shaeffer Hall (4-4) that scored all three runners, cutting the Ports lead to 5-3.
The three runs in the second were the only runs allowed by Hall, who earned the win after going five innings and allowing three runs on five hits.
Stockton widened its lead over the next two innings. Holder gave up a one-out triple to Rashun Dixon in the third, who scored on an ensuing sac-fly by Wade Kirkland to make it 6-3. In the fourth, Thompson reached on a one single and scored when B.A. Vollmuth came up next and doubled off the left field wall to make it a 7-3 Ports advantage.
Holder began the fifth inning by surrendering a double to Kirkland, followed by an RBI single to Phil Pohl that widened the Ports lead to 8-3. Holder was lifted after giving up a single to Richard, and Ryan Quigley came on and set down three straight batters to escape further trouble in the inning.
Holder went 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits.
Lake Elsinore scored a run in the seventh off Ports reliever Darren Byrd. Kyle Gadele led off the inning with a double and scored to batters later on an RBI groundout by Bridger Hunt to make it an 8-4 game. It was the only run allowed by Byrd in two innings of work.
The Ports used a pair of home runs to increase their lead over the final two frames. With one out in the eighth, Vollmuth hit his 21st of the year off Storm reliever Dan Cortes to make it 9-4. In the ninth, Phil Pohl homered off John Hussey to increase the lead to 10-4.
David Mota came in to pitch the ninth after Seth Frankoff struck out the side in the eighth. Mota got in a bases-loaded jam in the ninth after allowing two walks and a double. Jace Peterson came up and reached on a fielder's choice that scored Gadele from third, and a wild pitch allowed a second run to score to make it a 10-6 game. Mota, though, would strike out A.J. Kirby-Jones and got Jeremy Baltz to fly out to center to end the ballgame.
The Ports and Storm play the second game of their three-game set on Wednesday night at The Diamond. James Simmons (7-6, 5.48 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lake Elsinore right-hander Bryce Morrow (2-1, 5.29 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT.