BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Stockton Ports led by as many as four runs on Tuesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark, but it was the Bakersfield Blaze that wound up winning their fourth straight game. Tied 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Juan Silva led off the inning with a solo home run that sent the Ports to their second straight loss.
Stockton's offense got off to a fast start in the first as they scored three runs on five hits off Blaze starter James Allen. Daniel Robertson opened the game with a single and scored on an ensuing triple by Billy McKinney. McKinney scored on an infield single that followed from Bruce Maxwell to make it 2-0. Maxwell came around to score on a two-out RBI triple by Chad Pinder to make it a 3-0 advantage.
The Blaze punched back with two runs in the first. With two outs and the bases empty, Kyle Waldrop reached on an infield single, Marquez Smith walked and Seth Mejias-Brean hit a two-run double to right off Ports starter Jonathan Joseph that cut the Stockton lead to 3-2.
Joseph, who made a spot-start for Stockton, would go on to retire 10 of the final 11 batters he faced after allowing the two-run double to Mejias-Brean. Joseph received a no-decision, going four innings and allowing two runs on two hits while striking out six.
The Ports increased their lead in the fourth. Dusty Robinson led off with a home run and two batters later Aaron Shipman doubled to right. Two batters later with two outs, McKinney drew a walk and Allen was lifted from the game. Jacob Johnson came on in relief and gave up an RBI single to Maxwell and an RBI double to Ryon Healy that made it a 6-2 ballgame.
Allen received a no-decision, going 3.2 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out five.
Kris Hall took over for the Ports to start the fifth and Hall gave up three straight hits to open the frame, the third one an RBI single to Silva that cut the Stockton lead to 6-3. Two batters later Kyle Waldrop drove in another run with a sac-fly to left to make it 6-4.
Hall came back on for the sixth and gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. After a sac-bunt advance runners to second and third, Hall uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the first run of the inning to score and make it 6-5. Yovan Gonzalez then reached on an error committed by second baseman Chad Pinder that allowed the tying run to score.
Hall went two innings and allowed four runs on four hits.
The Blaze took their first lead in the seventh. Tyler Hollstegge made his Ports debut as he came on to start the inning and gave up back-to-back singles that put runners at the corners. Smith came up and hit a sac-fly to right that put the Blaze in front 7-6. It was the only run allowed by Hollstegge in his lone inning of work.
The Ports tied it in the eighth as Pinder led off with a home run off Blaze reliever Ben Klimesh to knot the score at 7-7. It was the only run allowed by Klimesh in two innings of work.
Tied 7-7 going into the bottom of the ninth, Tucker Healy (1-1) came back out for his second inning of relief after setting the side down in order in the eighth. Healy gave up a leadoff home run to Silva that won the game for Bakersfield 8-7. It was Silva's first home run of the season and Healy's first loss of the year.
Kyle McMyne (2-0), who worked around a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the top of the ninth, picked up the win for the Blaze.
The Ports and Blaze play the third game of their four-game set on Wednesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Hunter Adkins (0-0, 6.75 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Blaze right-hander Drew Cisco (1-1, 5.74 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PDT.