Nuts Nab Ports Again in 3-2 Loss

Ports get 10 hits but strand nine runners

Todd Johnson hit his first home run of the season off the Nuts. (George Steckler)

April 20, 2009 9:56 PM ET

STOCKTON, Calif.-The Stockton Ports offense matched their season-high with 10 hits in a game, but scored just two runs in the series opener against the Modesto Nuts. The Ports stranded nine batters and went 1x11with runners in scoring position, leading to a disappointing 3-2 loss Monday night at Banner Island Ballpark.

Carlos Hernandez started for the Ports (1-11), and allowed three earned runs in five innings, and the Ports relievers kept the Nuts (8-4) scoreless, but the team's offense was unable to capitalize on several opportunities in the game. Hernandez took the loss for the team, while Modesto starter Connor Graham picked up his second win and Craig Baker posted his fifth save of the season.

The Ports were the first team to score, as Todd Johnson led off the inning with a solo home run. Johnson went 3x4 on the night, the second time this season he's collected three hits in a game. Frank Martinez then came up to bat and reached on an error by second baseman Jason Van Kooten. Martinez stole second base and took third on a single by Jermaine Mitchell. Alex Valdez collected his first RBI of the season on a fielder's choice, which put out Mitchell at second base. Mitchell slid hard into Van Kooten, and Van Kooten left the game and was replaced by Andrew Goff. Mike Affronti also reached base on a fielder's choice but was caught stealing while Dante Love was at bat to end the inning.

The Nuts responded in the third inning. Wilmin Rosario was walked to start the inning, and was followed on base by Warren Schaeffer, who also walked. Rosario came around to score on an RBI single by Charlie Blackmon and a sacrifice bunt by Michael Mitchell scored Schaeffer to tie the game.

The Nuts added the final run of the game in the fourth inning, as an RBI double by Rosario scored Maikol Gonzalez. From there, the Ports pitching staff did its job, allowing no hits and striking out six batters.

The Nuts relievers allowed five hits, but prevented any of the runners from scoring. The Ports had a hit in each inning from the fourth to the ninth, but left all nine base runners stranded.

The Ports will face Modesto in game two of the three game series at 7:05 p.m. at Banner Island Ballpark. RHP Craig Italiano (0-2, 7.36) will face LHP Kenneth Durst (0-0, 4.50) in the contest.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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