STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports used their best weapon to overcome the Lancaster JetHawks on Tuesday night: the home run. The Ports, who've hit more home runs than any other team in the California League, hit three more on Tuesday night, including another from Renato Nunez en route to a 7-5 victory over Lancaster at Banner Island Ballpark.
The JetHawks first two runs were unearned off Ports starter Chris Lamb as the Ports committed two errors over the first three innings and fell behind 2-0.
Stockton's first runs came on back-to-back homers in the fourth off Kent Emanuel. With one on and two out, Nunez came up and hit a two-run homer, his eighth since the All-Star break, to tie the game at 2-2. Ryon Healy followed with a solo blast to left to give the Ports a 3-2 advantage.
Lancaster tied the game facing Lamb in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Rio Ruiz hit a sac-fly to left to plate Chan-Jong Moon and knot the score at 3-3.
Lamb received a no-decision, going five innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out three.
Josh Bowman came on to pitch the sixth and gave up a home run to Dan Gulbransen on the first pitch he threw that gave the JetHawks the lead back at 4-3. Stockton returned fire in the bottom of the inning as Daniel Robertson led off with a home run to left to tie the game at 4-4. It was the final run allowed by Emanuel, who received a no-decision after going 4.1 innings and allowing four runs on five hits.
Bowman came back out for the seventh inning and gave up a leadoff double to Teoscar Hernandez, who advanced to third on a groundout by Conrad Gregor. Omar Duran was then summoned from the Ports bullpen and gave up an RBI single to Ruiz that gave Lancaster a 5-4 edge. The run was charged to Bowman, who pitched an inning-and-a-third for Stockton.
Matt Heidenreich (2-2) had pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Lancaster prior to coming out for the eighth inning. With the JetHawks leading 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth, Heidenreich issued a leadoff walk to Robertson. Two batters later, Nunez singled to put two aboard and Healy tied the game with a base hit to left. Bruce Maxwell followed with an RBI single to center to give Stockton a 6-5 lead. Two batters later, Bobby Crocker added an RBI single to center that gave the Ports a 7-5 cushion.
Heidenreich suffered the loss, going three innings and allowing three runs on five hits. Michael Ynoa (3-2) who pitched a perfect eighth and recorded a pair of strikeouts, got the win for Stockton.
Austin House (SV, 11) entered to pitch the ninth inning and pitched around a one-out infield single to pick up his 11th save of the season.
The Ports and JetHawks play the middle game of their three-game set on Wednesday at Banner Island Ballpark. Yeiper Castillo (0-0, 19.64 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lancaster right-hander Chris Devenski (4-5, 4.52 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.