Stockton, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino hit a season-best three homers but also allowed three in an 8-7 loss to the Stockton Ports at Banner Island Ballpark on Thursday and dropped the series two games to one. The Sixers concluded their seven-game road trip 5-2 with both losses being one-run games.
Inland Empire (21-20) took a 3-1 lead in the third when Matt Thaiss drilled a two-run homer to right against Stockton starter Angel Duno. The Sixers made it 4-1 in the fourth when Cody Ramer doubled to open the frame and eventually came home on Brendon Sanger's sac fly. The Ports answered with a two-out two-run single by Seth Brown versus Sixers starter Austin Robichaux in the fifth to cut the lead 4-3. The Ports took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Skye Bolt popped one over the left field porch for a 2-run homer off IE reliever Jon Fitzsimmons. The Sixers responded in the seventh when Sanger singled off Ports reliever Matt Sergey and Troy Montgomery belted a two-run homer, his first, out to right field giving the Sixers a 6-5 lead.
In the top of the seventh Tyler Ramirez delivered a carbon copy of Bolt's homer to left with a man aboard to give the Ports a 7-6 lead against Sixers reliever Jeremy Rhoades (3-3). Two batters later Chris Iriart tagged his eighth homer of the season to make it 8-6. That insurance run came in handy as in the top of the ninth Sanger drilled a solo shot to left center for his third homer of the year and the Sixers trailed by one with no outs. Carlos Navas regrouped however setting the next three men down in order. Navas (3-0) dominated allowing two hits in 2.2 IP but struck out seven batters with no walks.
The Sixers open a series versus Lancaster at home on Friday at 7:05 pm. The contest can be seen and heard at 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.