SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Stockton Ports offense showed early signs of life on Saturday night, but went dormant in the second half of their ballgame with the San Jose Giants at Municipal Stadium. Giants starter Clayton Blackburn (4-4) set down 16 of the final 20 batters he faced as San Jose surged to an 8-4 win over the Ports.
San Jose came out of the gate strong as Brock Bond led off the first with a double and scored on an ensuing single from Kelby Tomlinson that gave the Giants a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer to left to stretch the San Jose lead to 3-0. Ports starter Josh Bowman (2-2) set down nine in a row after the home run by Williamson.
Giants starter Clayton Blackburn (4-4) retired five in a row to start his outing before Antonio Lamas broke it up with a two-out single in the second. Bruce Maxwell came up next and doubled to left to score Lamas and cut the Giants lead to 3-1.
The Ports took the lead in the third as Dusty Robinson singled to open the frame. Bobby Crocker followed with a double and Addison Russell came up next and doubled to right-center to score Robinson and make it 3-2. With runners at second and third and nobody out, Max Muncy grounded out to second to score Crocker and tie the game at 3-3. With Russell at third, B.A. Vollmuth hit a sac-fly to center to give the Ports a 4-3 lead.
Blackburn, beginning with Muncy's groundout, retired 16 of the 20 batters he faced to finish his outing and would go a season-high 7.2 innings and allow four runs on five hits while matching a season-high with nine strikeouts.
The Giants took the lead back for good in the fourth. Williamson led off with a single and Devin Harris followed with a two-run homer to left that put the Giants back in front 5-4. After Jeff Arnold doubled and Myles Schroder laid down a bunt single to put runners at the corners, Bobby Haney drove in a run with a fielder's choice groundout to make it 6-4. After Chris Lofton drew a walk, Bowman was called for two straight balks that allowed Haney to score a fourth run in the inning. After the second balk was called, Ports manager Webster Garrison was ejected from the ballgame.
Bowman pitched into the sixth inning and with two outs in the sixth, gave up a single to Bond. Stockton dipped into its bullpen as T.J. Walz came on and walked Tomlinson and then allowed an RBI single to Angel Villalona that extended the Giants lead to 8-4.
Bowman suffered the loss, going 5.2 innings and allowing eight runs on nine hits while striking out three.
Walz pitched an inning and-a-third scoreless and Jonathan Joseph tossed a scoreless eighth for the Ports.
Blackburn pitched into the seventh and was lifted after he walked Vollmuth to put two on and two out, at which point Stephen Harrold (SV, 1) was summoned from the bullpen. After Harrold walked Myrio Richard to bring Lamas up with the bases loaded, Harrold got Lamas to pop out to shortstop to end the inning and the threat.
Harrold went on to set the side down in order in the ninth inning to record his first save of the season.
The Ports and Giants wrap up their four-game set on Sunday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. James Simmons (5-2, 2.93 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose southpaw Ty Blach (7-3, 2.67 ERA). First pitch is set for 1 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.