SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Giants had just two swings of the bat that produced runs, but the Stockton Ports went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and did not have a run-producing hit on Friday night at Municipal Stadium. The Giants rode home runs from Aramis Garcia and Gio Brusa to a 3-2 win over the Ports and survived a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the ninth to escape with a victory.
Two of San Jose's runs came right out of the gate in the first inning. With one on and one out, Garcia delivered a towering two-run homer to left to give the Giants the initial 2-0 lead. Those were the only runs scored off Ports starter Dustin Hurlbutt (1-1), who pitched around two baserunners in the second and third and had a runner stranded in the fourth. He went 3.1 innings and allowed four hits while walking three and striking out five in a losing effort.
Giants starter Conner Menez (1-0) pitched around singles in the first and second to keep Stockton out of the run column. The Ports would get on the board in the third as Branden Cogswell singled to open the frame and was sacrificed to second. After an Eli White infield single put runners at the corners, Seth Brown hit a slow ground ball to second that was booted by Jose Vizcaino, Jr. as Cogswell scored to make it 2-1. Menez would avoid further damage, however, with a strikeout of Sean Murphy and a flyout by Skye Bolt.
Menez picked up his first win of the season, going six innings and allowing one run on six hits while striking out six.
A.J. Puk entered the game to begin the fifth for Stockton and retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, with the only batter reaching coming on a strikeout-wild pitch, part of six consecutive strikeouts for the left-hander. With one out in the eighth, Brusa came up and hit a solo home run to left to pad the Giants lead at 3-1. It was the only hit allowed by Puk in four innings of work as he struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
Dylan Rheault (SV, 1) came on to pitch the ninth for San Jose and immediately found himself in a tight spot. Stockton loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of singles and a walk. Rheault then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Chris Iriart to score from third and the tying and go-ahead runs to move to third and second, respectively. Rheault would then record back-to-back strikeouts of Cogswell and Josh Vidales before getting Eli White to ground out to second and end the ballgame. Rheault, in escaping the massive jam, picked up his first save of the season.
The Ports and Giants wrap up their three-game series on Saturday at Municipal Stadium. Brett Graves (0-0, 1.23 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Mike Connolly (1-0, 1.69 ERA). First pitch is set for 5 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.