MODESTO, Calif. - After dueling to a scoreless tie into extra innings on Saturday night, the Stockton Ports and Modesto Nuts combined for 20 runs on Sunday afternoon at John Thurman Field. When the dust settled, it was the Ports who came away with their fifth straight victory and a three-game sweep as Stockton beat Modesto by a final of 12-8.
Stockton opened the scoring in the first as Matt Olson grounded out with runners at the corners to produce the first run of the ballgame. The Ports scored two more runs in the second on a sac-fly by Bobby Crocker and an RBI single from Daniel Robertson to extend their lead to 3-0.
Modesto pushed back with four runs in the bottom of the second as they took advantage of the first Ports error of the contest. Modesto loaded the bases with nobody out and Dean Espy lined a single to left to make it 3-1. Matt Wessinger followed and reached on a fielding error committed by third baseman Ryon Healy that allowed two runs to score. Modesto added a run on a sac-fly hit by Chris O'Dowd to take a 4-3 lead.
Ports starter Tim Atherton went two innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out two and walking two.
Stockton tied the game at 4-4 in the third as Olson doubled with one out and scored on an ensuing single by Healy. It was the final run allowed by Nuts starter Ryan Gibbard who received a no-decision after going 3.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out two.
The contest stayed tied at 4-4 until the Ports broke the tie in the sixth facing Nuts reliever Jacob Newberry. With one on and one out, Wade Kirkland reached on a fielding error committed by Wessinger, the Nuts second baseman, which put runners at the corners. Crocker came up next and dropped a bunt-single to the first base side of the infield to score the go-ahead run and make it 5-4. With two outs, Robertson came up and drove in his second run of the contest with a single to center to make it a 6-4 game. Newberry went 2.1 innings and allowed a pair of unearned runs on two hits while striking out three.
After three scoreless innings of relief from Omar Duran, Jeremy Barfield took over in the bottom of the sixth and gave up a leadoff double to Swanner and an ensuing RBI single to Jordan Ribera that cut the Ports lead to 6-5. After Barfield walked Francisco Sosa, Espy came up and advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt that brought the infield in. Wessinger came up and hit a ground ball to the shallow-playing shortstop Robertson and Robertson mishandled the ball, an error that loaded the bases. After inducing an unproductive second out, Barfield issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to O'Dowd and Trevor Story that gave Modesto a 7-6 lead. Barfield went one inning and allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits while walking three.
Stockton was quick to tie the game in the seventh. With Shane Broyles on the mound for the Nuts, Olson led off with a single to right and scored two batters later on a single to right by McKinney, who went 4-for-4 with two RBI on the afternoon. It was the only run allowed by Broyles in an inning-and-a-third of relief.
Rayan Gonzalez (3-2) took over on the mound for Modesto in the eighth and after striking out back-to-back hitters to start the inning, issued a walk to Olson. Healy came up next and singled to right and McKinney followed with an RBI single to left-center that scored Olson and gave the Ports the 8-7 lead.
Gonzalez went on to suffer the loss, allowing the go-ahead run in his lone inning of relief.
The Ports grew their lead in the ninth as they took advantage of more shaky Modesto defense. With Raul Fernandez on the mound, the Ports had runners at second and third with one out. Aaron Shipman hit a ground ball to the shallow-playing shortstop Story who booted it, allowing a run to score to make it 9-7. Robertson came up next and hit a sac-fly to left to score Crocker and make it a 10-7 lead. Renato Nunez followed with an RBI double to left-center that grew the lead to 11-7. Olson stepped up next and hit a deep fly ball to right-center that was dropped on the warning track by center fielder David Kandilas, allowing Nunez to score and make it a 12-7 ballgame.
Fernandez went two-thirds of an inning and allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits.
Austin House came on to close out the game in the ninth and gave up a run on a two-out RBI triple by Sosa, but House got Espy to ground to second to end the ballgame.
The 12 runs and 16 hits gotten by Stockton stand as season-high road totals. Every Ports batter reached base safely in the contest.
After sweeping Modesto, the Ports return home on Tuesday night to begin a three-game series with the San Jose Giants. Seth Streich (3-2, 3.00 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Martin Agosta (1-1, 7.13 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.