STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports hit three home runs in Sunday's contest with the Visalia Rawhide, but it wasn't enough to earn them a victory at Banner Island Ballpark. Visalia scored seven runs on 11 hits as they earned a series split in sending Stockton to a 7-4 loss.
It was Stockton that opened the scoring in the first with a solo home run hit by Billy McKinney, his fifth of the season.
Visalia struck for a pair of runs in the second. Rudy Flores, Ryan Court and Alex Glenn started the inning with three straight singles, with Glenn's scoring Flores to tie the game at 1-1. Two batters later, Ronnie Freeman grounded out to second to drive in Court and make it a 2-1 Visalia lead.
The Rawhide extended their lead in the fourth. Court and Glenn started the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, Freeman singled to right to score Court and make it 3-1. After Evan Marzilli walked, Kevin Medrano hit a sac-fly to left to score Glenn and make it 4-1. Raul Navarro came up next and lined an RBI double to left to extend the Rawhide lead to 5-1.
Stockton got its second run of the game in the fourth inning as Bruce Maxwell homered to right off Rawhide starter Andrew Barbosa (2-1) to cut the deficit to 5-2. It was the final run allowed by Barbosa who picked up the win, going five innings and allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five.
Visalia plated a run in the fifth with two outs as Glenn singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single by Brandon Jacobs to make it a 6-3 game. The run would be unearned for Ports starter Josh Bowman.
Bowman, however, would be tagged for another run in the sixth. Evan Marzilli led off with a triple to right and scored on an ensuing sac-fly by Medrano to make it 7-2.
Bowman suffered the loss, going six innings and allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits while striking out two.
Henry Garcia came on to start the sixth for the Rawhide and did not allow a run in his first inning of work. In the seventh, however, Dusty Robinson led off with a home run to left to cut the Ports deficit to 7-3. Ryon Healy followed with a triple to right and scored on an ensuing RBI single by Bobby Crocker to make it a 7-4 game.
Garcia went two innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
Cody Wheeler came on to pitch the eighth and did not allow a run despite allowing two hits in the frame. Enrique Burgos (SV, 1) pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth to record his first save of the season.
Kris Hall came on in relief of Bowman to begin the seventh inning and went on to retire all nine batters he faced as he and Bowman combined to set down the final 12 Rawhide batters of the game.
After splitting a four-game set with the Rawhide, the Ports being a three-game series with the Bakersfield Blaze on Monday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Tim Atherton (0-0, 6.00 ERA) makes the start in the opener for Stockton, opposed by Bakersfield right-hander Mike Dennhardt (0-1, 5.14 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.