LANCASTER, Calif. - Playing in 40 mph winds on Friday night at The Hangar, the Stockton Ports committed key miscues that led to their fifth straight loss in the opener of a four-game set with the Lancaster JetHawks. Stockton stranded 12 baserunners and went 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position in a 7-2 loss to the JetHawks to remain winless on their Southern California road trip.
Stockton scored the first run of the contest in the third inning as Santiago Chavez led off with a double to extend his hit streak to nine games. Two batters later, Eli White tripled to right field to plate Chavez and give the Ports a 1-0 lead. It would be Stockton's lone hit with a runner in scoring position. It was also the only run allowed by JetHawks starter Craig Schlitter (5-0), who earned the win after going six innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out two.
Ports starter A.J. Puk would work around a two-out single in the first, a leadoff double in the second, a two-out double in the third and a one-out double in the fourth to keep Lancaster out of the run column. In the fifth, however, Puk issued his lone walk of the night to Chris Rabago with one out. Two batters later with two outs, Garrett Hampson doubled to right to score Rabago and tie the game. Brendan Rodgers followed with a double to left to score Hampson and give the JetHawks a 2-1 lead.
The two-run fifth would cost Puk the loss despite pitching well for most of the game. Puk went five innings for a second straight outing and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out seven.
Jared Lyons came on to pitch in the sixth and seemed primed for a 1-2-3 inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Mylz Jones reached on a throwing error committed by shortstop Eli White. On a passed ball, Jones took off for second and Chavez' throw down went into center field. Jones would make it all the way home to score and give Lancaster a 3-1 cushion.
The Ports got the run back in the top of the seventh as Chris Iriart greeted JetHawks reliever Marc Magliaro with a leadoff homer to right to make it a 3-2 game. Magliaro would gave up a double and a walk with one out in the inning and then be lifted for Max Schuh, who got a groundout and a pop fly to escape further damage.
Lyons began the bottom of the seventh by walking Rabago. Two batters later, Hampson drove in Rabago with a double to left to make it 4-2. Rodgers followed with an RBI single to left and Sam Hilliard walk to signal the end of the outing for Lyons. Andrew Tomasovich came on in relief and got Brian Mundell to hit a potential inning-ending double-play ball to Mikey White, but the ball went through White's legs, an error that allowed Rodgers to score and runners to get to second and third with one out. Yonathan Daza came up next and hit a sac-fly to right to increase the JetHawks lead to 7-2.
Lyons would go an inning-and-a-third and allow five runs (two earned) on two hits while walking two. Tomasovich went an inning-and-two-thirds and did not allow a batter to reach outside of the error.
Alexander Guillen came on to pitch the eighth for Lancaster and hit Mikey White and walked Branden Cogswell to start the inning. He'd go on to get back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to end the frame. Guillen pitched the ninth and gave up a leadoff triple to Skye Bolt. Eli White followed and struck out, but reached on a wild pitch to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Guillen would get back-to-back strikeouts of Tyler Ramirez and Seth Brown, then get Mikey White to ground out to short to end the ballgame.
Stockton will try and snap its five-game skid to Saturday night when they play the second game of their four-game set with the JetHawks at The Hangar. Angel Duno (3-0, 6.83 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lancaster right-hander Trey Killian (4-0, 4.23 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.