STOCKTON, Calif. - For the seventh time this season, the Stockton Ports suffered a shutout loss. The Visalia Rawhide pushed across a pair of runs and the Ports mustered just three hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position en route to a 2-0 loss at Banner Island Ballpark.
Visalia's first run came in the second when Tom Belza led off with a home run off Ports starter Ryan Doolittle (0-1). It was the only run allowed by Doolittle in his season debut with Stockton as he suffered the loss, going 3.1 innings and allowing just two hits while striking out three.
Rawhide starter Brad Allen (1-0) found himself in a bases-loaded, no out jam in the third after two walks and an error. Allen would prove resilient, getting back-to-back strikeouts of Antonio Lamas and Bobby Crocker and then getting Tony Thompson to fly to deep center to end the inning.
The third inning would be the only rough spot for Allen, who tossed six shutout innings in his California League debut and picked up the win, allowing just two hits while striking out six.
Jonathan Joseph took over for Doolittle in the fourth and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. Omar Duran took over for Joseph to start the seventh and worked into the ninth, giving up a one-out single to Sean Jamieson. After Duran struck out Joash Brodin for the second out of the inning, T.J. Walz was summoned from the Ports bullpen. Walz surrendered a two-out double to Ronnie Freeman that scored Jamieson and increased the Rawhide lead to 2-0.
The run was charged to Duran, who went 2.2 innings in relief of Joseph.
Seth Simmons pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth for the Rawhide and Kaleb Fleck (SV, 9) set the side down in order in the ninth to record his ninth save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide play the third game of their four-game set on Sunday at Banner Island Ballpark. James Simmons (7-7, 5.65 ERA) will take the mound for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Brandon Sinnery (3-2, 4.54 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT.