San Bernardino, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino celebrated Independence Day in style downing the Stockton Ports 7-1 in front of 6,392 fans at San Manuel Stadium. The crowd witnessed three scoreless innings from Angels righty Matt Shoemaker, two homers from Brendon Sanger and a four-hit night from Matt Thaiss as the Sixers (38-45, 8-5) took game one of a three-game set from the Ports.
The Sixers got a run in the first versus Stockton starter Evan Manarino (4-4) on a RBI ground out from Taylor Ward for a 1-0 lead. Shoemaker allowed a pair of infield singles in his outing but no runs or walks and fanned five batters on an MLB injury rehab assignment. He threw 38 pitches, 24 for strikes. Jonah Wesely tossed a perfect fourth for the 66ers with two K's in relief of Shoemaker. The Sixers extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Jose Rojas bunted for a base-hit to open the frame and extend his hitting-streak to 14-games. Sanger then launched his first homer of the night onto E Street over the right field wall making it 3-0. Ward's RBI singled later in the fourth made it 4-0. Inland Empire made it 6-0 in the fifth when Rojas singled, one of his three hits on evening and then came home when Sanger drilled his second homer of the night giving him a team-high ten this year. The Ports (42-41, 6-7) got a run against Jesus Castillo in the seventh inning on Argenis Raga's two-out infield hit making it 6-1. Castillo (4-2) pitched five innings out of the pen to earn the win allowing six hits, one walk and fanning four. Inland Empire capped it's scoring in the bottom of the seventh when Rojas' RBI single made it 7-1. Matt Thaiss had his second four-hit game of the season going 4-for-4 with a walk and stealing a base. He extended his hitting streak to ten games. Troy Montgomery and Jake Yacinich also had two hit games. Skye Bolt and Brett Siddall had two-hit games for the Ports.
The Sixers host the Ports on Wednesday at 7:05 pm. The contest can be seen and heard at 66ers.com. Two-time American League MVP Mike Trout is tentatively scheduled to appear on an injury rehab assignment.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.