VISALIA, Calif. - The Stockton Ports offense was shut out for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon at Recreation Ballpark. The Visalia Rawhide plated a run in the first and three in the fifth as the Ports stranded seven baserunners in a 4-0 loss that earned Visalia a split of the four-game set.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Brandon Drury hit a home run to left off Ports starter Shawn Haviland (0-1). It was Drury's second home run of the series at it gave the Rawhide a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Ports posed threats but did not score against Rawhide starter Hector Hernandez (1-0). With runners at first and second and one out in the second, Aaron Shipman hit a line drive toward the gap in right-center field. Rawhide center fielder Evan Marzilli made a diving catch racing to his left to save a pair of runs, and Chad Pinder hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Stockton failed to take advantage of a Daniel Robertson double and a Visalia throwing error in the third, and Hernandez went on to retire 11 of the final 12 batters he faced en route to earning a win in his Visalia debut. The left-hander tossed six shutout innings and allowed four hits while walking one and striking out one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Ronnie Freeman reached base to start the frame on a throwing error committed by third baseman Renato Nunez. Kevin Medrano followed with a single. Haviland went on to strike out Marzilli and get Fidel Pena to hit into a fielder's choice that put runners at the corners with two outs. Haviland was then lifted for Jonathan Joseph, who gave up an RBI double to Drury upon entering the game and then a two-run single to Rudy Flores to make it a 4-0 Visalia lead.
Haviland suffered the loss, going 4.2 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five. Joseph pitched an inning-and-a-third, allowing one run on two hits.
Ryan Doolittle pitched the final two frames for Stockton and set down all six batters he faced as he also struck out the side in the eighth.
Keith Hessler tossed two scoreless innings of relief for the Rawhide beginning in the seventh and Enrique Burgos pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth to keep the Ports out of the run column.
After splitting the four-game set with Visalia, the Ports continue their seven-game road trip with a three-game series in Bakersfield beginning on Monday night. Seth Streich (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first start of the year for Stockton, opposed by Bakersfield left-hander Wandy Peralta (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PDT.