SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - It only took three runs, but the Stockton Ports put an end to their four-game losing streak on Saturday night in San Bernardino. Ports pitching struck out a season-high 16 batters and held the Inland Empire 66ers to a single run as Stockton prevailed by a final of 3-1.
The Ports opened the scoring in the second when Ryon Healy came up with two outs and the bases empty and hit his first home run of the season to put Stockton in front 1-0. The lead increased to 2-0 in the third when Daniel Robertson drew a two-out walk and scored on an RBI double by Bruce Maxwell. Those were the only two runs allowed by 66ers starter Kyle McGowin (1-1), who suffered the loss after going five innings and allowing four hits while striking out four.
Stockton starter Tim Atherton (2-0) opened his outing by striking out the first four batters he faced. Atherton pitched around a two-out triple in the second to keep the 66ers off the board. Inland Empire plated its only run in the third. Brennan Gowens singled to open the inning and then stole second. Gowens scored two batters later on an RBI double by Jose Rondon to make it a 2-1 game.
Atherton went on to pitch six strong innings and picked up the win after allowing five hits and striking out a season-high 10.
The Ports added a run to their lead in the sixth as they loaded the bases with nobody out against 66ers reliever Chris O'Grady. Dusty Robinson came up and hit a sac-fly to right that scored Maxwell to make it a 3-1 game. It was the only run allowed by O'Grady in two innings of work.
Ryan Doolittle came on in relief of Atherton to begin the seventh and tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four. Tucker Healy (SV, 1) was called into his first save situation of the year in the ninth inning and pitched around an error and a walk to notch is first save of the year.
After a day off on Sunday, the Ports resume play with a seven-game homestand as they welcome the Lake Elsinore Storm to Banner Island Ballpark for a four-game series. Manny Correa (1-1, 6.35 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lake Elsinore right-hander Colin Rea (1-0, 7.50 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.