STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports rode into Saturday's game having outscored the opposition 35-1 in their last 19 innings. The San Jose Giants gave the Ports a reality check. San Jose hit four homers, two by Lodi native Gio Brusa, and scored eight runs over the final four innings in handing the Ports an 11-3 loss to even their series at a game apiece. Stockton's loss coupled with Visalia's loss at Modesto means that heading into Sunday's action, there will be a three-way tie atop the North Division standings for first place with two games left to play.
The first of Brusa's home runs opened the scoring in the top of the second as Brusa led off the frame with a home run to straight-away center to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Giants added to their lead over the next two innings. In the third, San Jose got three straight one-out singles from Cristian Paulino, Ryan Howard and Bryan Reynolds with Reynolds driving in Paulino to make it 2-0. In the fourth, Matt Winn added a solo homer to run the Giants lead to 3-0.
Brusa added to the San Jose lead in the sixth with his second home run of the night, a solo blast to left field that made it a 4-0 contest. It was the final run allowed by Ports starter Dalton Sawyer (5-5), who suffered the loss after going 5.2 innings and allowing four runs on eight hits, including a career-high three homers allowed for a second consecutive start.
Brandon Marsonek took over for Sawyer and allowed his first run in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Reynolds that ran the Giants lead to 5-0. San Jose really opened it up against Marsonek in the eighth. With one on and one out, Ronnie Jebavy hit a two-run homer to left that stretched the Giants lead to 7-0. Marsonek was lifted after a two-out walk and Armando Ruiz took over. Paulino would hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in left that was dropped by Brett Siddall, an error that allowed a third run in the inning to score and make it an 8-0 game.
Marsonek would allow four runs (three earned) on three hits in two innings worked.
Giants starter Conner Menez (7-7) was in command his entire outing. Menez would pick up the win, tossing six scoreless frames while allowing just two hits and, at one point, retiring 12 consecutive batters.
Stockton got on the board in the eighth as Chris Iriart, in his return from the DL, hit a two-run homer off Giants reliever Caleb Simpson. Dylan Rheault took over in the ninth and, after retiring his first two batters, gave up a solo blast to Seth Brown that cut the Giants lead to 11-3. It was the only run allowed by Rheault, who pitched around an ensuing single and a walk to end the contest.
Brown's home run was his league-leading 29th and gave him his 107th RBI of the season, two away from setting a new Stockton franchise record for a single-season.
The Ports and Giants play the third game of their four-game set on Sunday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Angel Duno (8-9, 5.32 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose southpaw Grant Watson (4-3, 3.71 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.