STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports suffered through one bad inning on Friday night, but it was bad enough to put them on the losing end of a 4-3 score at Banner Island Ballpark. The Inland Empire 66ers scored four runs off Ports reliever Evan Manarino (4-6) and kept Stockton's offense quiet down the stretch as they won the third game of a four-game series.
The Ports got off to a fast start as they scored two runs in the second on the first Cal-League home run hit by Luis Barrera, a two-run shot to right to give the Ports a 2-0 lead. In the third, Skye Bolt led off with a double and scored on an ensuing single by Nate Mondou to make it 3-0. After Brett Siddall singled to put runners at first and second, Sandber Pimentel hit into a double-play and Seth Brown struck out to end the inning. The Ports would not pose a serious threat the remainder of the game.
66ers starter Austin Robichaux (4-6) would settle down and not allow a run over his final two innings. He would go on to pick up the win, going five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five.
Ports starter Angel Duno escaped a jam unscathed with runners at the corners and nobody out in the second. Duno would go on to pitch five scoreless innings and be in line for the win, but ultimately would be rendered a no-decision. He scattered five hits while striking out four without issuing a walk.
Manarino took over in the sixth and gave up a leadoff double to Troy Montgomery followed by a triple to Jose Rojas that got Inland Empire on the board. Michael Barash followed with an RBI double to make it 3-2. Later in the inning with runners at second and third and two outs, Jordan Serena delivered the hit of the game; an opposite-field two-run single that gave Inland Empire a 4-3 advantage.
Manarino would not allow a run over his final three innings but go on to absorb the loss, going four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out one.
Greg Belton took over for Inland Empire in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings while striking out four in his California League debut. Mike Kaelin (SV, 1) pitched around a one-out single in the eighth and a leadoff single by Barrera in the ninth, stranding Barrera at third as he got Bolt to fly out to deep right-center to end the ballgame and earn his first Cal-League save.
The Ports and 66ers wrap up their four-game set on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Left-hander Dalton Sawyer (1-2, 4.79 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Inland Empire right-hander Jesus Castillo (5-2, 3.34 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.