BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Blaze salvaged the finale of a three-game set with the Stockton Ports on Thursday night, and their pitching staff looked good doing it. Bakersfield allowed the Ports just one hit en route to a 4-1 win at Sam Lynn Ballpark, avoiding a three-game sweep and denying the Ports a three-game win streak.
Stockton's only hit came with one out in the top of the second. Bruce Maxwell homered to right field to give the Ports a 1-0 lead. It was Maxwell's fifth home run of the season and second home run of the series as he homered in the opener.
The Blaze tied the game in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Danny Vicioso doubled to right-center and Juan Perez followed with an RBI single off Ports starter Ryan Doolittle (0-2) to tie the score at 1-1.
Bakersfield took its first lead in the third. With one out, Juan Silva singled to right to knock Doolittle from the game. Trey Barham took over and gave up a single to Juan Silverio that put runners at the corners with one out. After Barham struck out Juan Duran, Kyle Waldrop bounced an infield single past the mound to score Silva and put the Blaze in front 2-1.
The first two Blaze runs were charged to Doolittle, who suffered the loss after going 2.1 innings and allowing three hits while striking out one.
Meanwhile, Blaze starter James Allen (9-11) did not allow another hit after Maxwell's home run and picked up the win, going six innings while striking out five and walking three.
After Barham went 1.2 scoreless innings, Omar Duran took over in the fifth and gave up back-to-back home runs to Silverio and Juan Duran that stretched the Blaze lead to 4-1. Duran pitched two innings on the night for Stockton. Jonathan Joseph came on to pitch the seventh and tossed two scoreless innings for the Ports, setting down six of the seven batters he faced while striking out four and walking one.
Ben Klimesh pitched a scoreless seventh for the Blaze, while Carlos Gonzalez and Pat Doyle (SV, 11) tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, to close out the ballgame. Doyle picked up his 11th save as he pitched around a one-out error in the ninth, inducing a game-ending 3-6-3 double-play off the bat of Maxwell.
After taking two of three from the Blaze, the Ports head to Modesto to begin a four-game series with the Nuts that will close out the regular season schedule. In the opener, James Simmons (8-7, 5.62 ERA) will make the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander T.J. Oakes (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.