Stockton, CA. - After the Stockton Ports broke a tie in the fourth, the Modesto Nuts' comeback attempt fell one-run shy in a 5-4 loss on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
After Nate Mondou put the Ports (45-26; 1-0) on the board with a first-inning home run. Kevin Santa tied the game when he doubled home a run in the third inning for the Nuts (30-41; 0-1).
The Ports took the lead against Ljay Newsome (L, 4-4) and the Nuts in the fourth inning with four runs. Luis Barrera broke the tie when he roped a two-run triple into right field. With two outs in the inning, Brallan Perez plated a run when he beat out an RBI infield single. Dairon Blanco capped the inning with a two-out RBI single.
Newsome retired the fifth in order as he worked five innings allowing eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
The Nuts got to the Ports' starter Matt Milburn (W, 4-2) with three runs in the sixth inning. Evan White led the inning off with a single. After Kyle Lewis flew out, Nick Zammarelli and Joe Rizzo recorded back-to-back singles. Ryan Scott continued the rally with a RBI single to knock Milburn out of the game.
Milburn worked 5 1/3 innings allowing ten hits leading to four runs with no walks and three strikeouts.
Will Gilbert came into the game after that and immediately allowed a two-run single to Nick Thurman.
The Nuts would strand the tying run at third in the sixth. In the seventh, the Nuts stranded two in scoring position. In the eighth, they wasted a one-out double.
Angel Duno (6/9) shut the door for the Ports with a perfect ninth inning.
Danny Garcia shined out of the bullpen tossing three perfect innings with five strikeouts to keep the Nuts close.
Game two of the four-game series in Stockton with the Ports is set for Friday night at 7:10 p.m. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 7:00 p.m. Listen live online on your phone, tablet or PC by clicking HERE.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.