MODESTO, CA (August 30th, 2013) -- With a 6-3 win in front of 4,088 fans at John Thurman Field, the Nuts have clinched a spot in the California League playoffs and will have a chance to defend their 2012 North Division title.
The victory knocked Stockton out of postseason contention, while guaranteeing a spot in the Mini-Series next week against the Visalia Rawhide. Modesto needs one more win over the next three games, or a Giants loss, to get home-field advantage in that series.
After trailing 3-0 early in the game, the Nuts rallied for six unanswered runs to down the Ports. Harold Riggins got Modesto on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth against James Simmons. It was his 22nd of the year. The Nuts went on to take the lead in the sixth, rallying for three singles along with three Ports errors.
Brian Humphries lead off the sixth with a single, and quickly scored as a base hit by Ryan Casteel was misplayed in center, allowing Humphries to score from first. With Casteel at second, Jared Simon single to tie it at three. A sacrifice-fly from Jordan Ribera gave the Nuts a 4-3 lead.
Tyler Massey gave Modesto some breathing room with a 2-out 2-run double in the 8th to make it 6-3.
Scott Oberg came on for the ninth and worked around a lead off walk to nail down his 33rd save of the year. He is now tied for the franchise lead in saves, pulling even with Craig Baker who tallied 33 in 2009.
Nuts starter T.J. Oakes went five innings in his Cal League debut, allowing three earned runs on four hits. He exited the game in the sixth with two on and no out, giving way to Nelson Gonzalez. Gonzalez (5-6) worked out of the inning with no damage, and went on to work three hitless innings in relief for the win. Simmons (8-8), who allowed four runs (two earned), took the loss.
The Nuts will continue with game two of a four-game series against the Ports on Saturday night. RHP Chris Jensen (4-8, 4.61) will take the hill against Stockton RHP Raul Alcantara (5-4, 3.45). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Tonight's win was also a win for the fans too. All Papa John's online orders on Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m. will be 30% off with the promo code 'nuts30' at papajohns.com.