STOCKTON, Calif. - The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes had one big burst of offense on Thursday night, and it was enough to help them salvage the finale of a three-game set with the Stockton Ports. The Quakes scored five runs in the first inning and one in the second as they held off a Ports comeback to avoid a three-game sweep at Banner Island Ballpark.
Ports starter Jake Brown (1-1), making his first start of the season, retired the first two batters of the first inning. Brown, though, would then surrender five straight hits. Jonathan Garcia and O'Koyea Dickson both singled and Angelo Songco put the Quakes on the board with an RBI double to right-center to make it 1-0. Noel Cuevas came up next and hit a two-run single to center and Scott Schebler followed with a two-run homer to right to give the Quakes a 5-0 lead.
Rancho Cucamonga added to their lead in the second as Darnell Sweeney led off with a triple and scored on an ensuing sac-fly to center from Scott Wingo, making it a 6-0 advantage.
Brown retired five of the last six batters he faced to finish his outing but took the loss, going three innings and allowing six runs on seven hits while recording a strikeout.
Stockton's bullpen kept the Quakes off the board for the remainder of the ballgame. T.J. Walz was the first reliever out of the 'pen and tossed three scoreless innings, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced while striking out five and not allowing a hit. Jose Macias pitched two scoreless innings, escaping a first-and-third with one out jam in the seventh. Pedro Vidal tossed a scoreless ninth for the Ports.
Stockton's offense came close to erasing the deficit as they began their comeback in the second. Josh Whitaker led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored on a sac-fly from Dusty Robinson to make it 6-1. The Ports plated a pair of runs in the third as Antonio Lamas singled with two outs and Max Muncy followed with a two-run homer to right, his ninth of the season.
Quakes starter Duke von Schamann (3-1) allowed one more run in the fourth inning as B.A. Vollmuth led off with a double and scored on a two-out triple from Bobby Crocker to cut the deficit to 6-4.
Von Schamann took the win on the night, going five innings and allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out four.
Juan Noriega and Owen Jones combined for two perfect innings of middle relief in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively. The two combined to strike out five of the six batters they faced.
The Quakes elected to go to their closer to start the eighth inning as Michael Thomas was summoned in a two-run ballgame. With one out in the eighth, Thomas allowed an opposite-field home run to Whitaker that cut the Quakes lead to 6-5. Thomas would then walk Robinson and, two batters later, walk Ryan Delgado. With two on and two out, though, Wade Kirkland popped out to second to end the threat.
Pedro Baez (SV, 1) came on to pitch the ninth and gave up a single to Addison Russell with one out. Two batters later with two away, Muncy singled to right to put the possible tying run in scoring position. Baez then hit Whitaker to load the bases with two outs. Robinson came up next and hit a deep fly ball to right that was tracked down on the warning track by the right fielder Garcia, putting an end to the ballgame and netting Baez his first career save.
After taking two of three from the Quakes, the Ports welcome the Visalia Rawhide to Banner Island Ballpark to begin a four-game series on Friday. Deyvi Jimenez (0-0, 5.63 ERA) heads to the mound for the Ports in the series opener, opposed by Rawhide righty Kyle Winkler (1-3, 9.61 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.