BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Stockton Ports saw their six-game win streak come to an end on Monday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark. The Bakersfield Blaze, with the help of a pair of home runs from Marquez Smith, beat the Ports by a final of 6-2 in the opener of a four-game series.
The first of Smith's home runs came in the first inning. With two on and one out, Smith hit a three-run homer to left off Ports starter Josh Bowman (0-3) to give the Blaze a 3-0 lead.
Stockton cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fourth as they loaded the bases with two outs and Blaze starter Wandy Peralta (2-2) committed a balk that scored Matt Olson and made it 3-1. It was the only run allowed by Peralta who earned the win after going five innings and allowing one run on seven hits while striking out five.
The Blaze got the run right back in the last of the fourth. With runners at the corners and one out, Jon Matthews hit a sac-fly to left that scored Zach Vincej and made it 4-1.
Bakersfield added to its lead in the fifth as Kyle Waldrop led off the inning with homer to right to extend the lead to 5-1. It was the final run allowed by Bowman who suffered the loss after going 5.2 innings and allowing five runs on seven hits while walking a career-high six and striking out three.
Stockton picked up its final run in the seventh. Bobby Crocker singled to open the inning off Blaze reliever Sean Black, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout by Chad Pinder to make it 5-2. The run was unearned for Black who tossed 2.2 innings in relief for Bakersfield.
The Blaze got the run back in the seventh as Smith hit his second home run of the game, this time a solo blast off Ports reliever Nolan Sanburn that made it 6-2. It was the only run allowed by Sanburn in 2.1 innings of relief.
The Ports and Blaze play the second game of their three-game series on Tuesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Tim Atherton (3-0, 3.18 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Bakersfield right-hander James Allen (2-1, 4.55 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PDT.