BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Leading by four runs with three outs left to get, the Stockton Ports blew their first ninth-inning lead of the season on Tuesday night in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Blaze scored four runs in the ninth off Michael Ynoa and plated the winning run in the 12th on a sac-fly as Bakersfield rallied for a 10-9 win over the Ports at Sam Lynn Ballpark.
The Ports and Blaze exchanged big blows early as Daniel Robertson hit a two-run homer in the top of the first and the Blaze returned fire with a Junior Arias two-run blast in the bottom half of the inning. Stockton, though, would score the next four runs as Billy McKinney hit a two-run homer in the second to make it 4-2. In the third, Chad Pinder hit an RBI double to left-center to make it 5-2 and Pinder eventually scored on a two-out fielding error committed by Blaze shortstop Juan Perez to make it a 6-2 Ports advantage.
Blaze starter James Allen would be on the hook for the loss until the ninth inning comeback but ended up with a no-decision, going 4.2 innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits while striking out five.
Josh Bowman gave up his third and final run in the bottom of the third. With Jesse Winker at second base and two outs, Kyle Waldrop hit an RBI single to right to cut the Ports lead to 6-3.
Bowman went on to receive a no-decision, going five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out one.
Kris Hall came on to pitch the sixth inning and with one on and one out, gave up a two-run homer to Marquez Smith that cut the Stockton lead to 6-5. Hall allowed two runs on two hits over 1.2 innings of relief.
The Ports widened their lead in the eighth. With two on and two out, Matt Olson hit his first home run of the season, a three-run blast off Blaze reliever Ben Klimesh that extended the Ports lead to 9-5.
After Jeremy Barfield came on and retired all three batters he faced, Ynoa entered the game and hit Smith with his first pitch, but struck out John Tolisano to end the eighth inning.
Ynoa came out to pitch the ninth and gave up a single to Yovan Gonzalez, followed by back-to-back walks to Juan Perez and Ryan Wright. With the bases loaded, Arias singled to left to score Gonzalez and make it 9-7. After a sac-fly from Winker made it 9-8, Seth Mejias-Brean singled to center to drive in the tying run knot the score at 9-9. Ynoa went on to record strikeouts of Waldrop and Tolisano to end the inning, but allowed four runs on three hits over an inning-and-a-third of relief.
Jonathan Joseph (0-1) came on to start the 10th inning and retired the first seven batters he faced, taking him one out deep into the 12th. After recording the first out of the 12th, Joseph yielded three straight walks that loaded the bases with one out. Perez came to the plate and won the game with a sac-fly to right that gave the Blaze a 10-9 victory.
After three scoreless innings of relief from Kyle McMyne beginning in the ninth, Brooks Pinckard (1-0) pitched a scoreless 12th and would be credited with the win.
The Ports and Blaze play the rubber match of their three-game set on Wednesday afternoon at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Tim Atherton (0-0, 4.50 ERA) makes the start for the Ports, opposed by Blaze right-hander Drew Cisco (1-0, 3.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 12 p.m. PDT.