STOCKTON, Calif. - A critical series got off on the wrong foot for the Stockton Ports on Tuesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. The Visalia Rawhide scored eight runs in the first third of the ballgame and at one point led 10-0 on their way to a 10-5 win over Stockton to open a three-game set. With the loss, the Ports fall two games back of Visalia for first place in the North Division and for the second-best overall record in the North Division.
Ports starter Angel Duno (8-9) gave up a pair of three-run homers that set the tone for the Rawhide in the contest. With two on and one out in the second, Henry Castillo hit the first three-run homer to right field to give the Rawhide a 3-0 lead. Duno would not see the end of the third inning as he gave up an infield single and a walk to start the frame. Grant Heyman would single to right to score Ben Deluzio and make it 4-0. Austin Byler followed with a three-run homer to right to make it a 7-0 contest. Later in the inning with two on and two out, Jorge Flores drove in an eighth run with a single to left-center.
Duno would suffer the loss as he went two-and-two-thirds innings and allowed eight runs on eight hits while striking out five.
Joey Wagman took over in relief for Duno and would pitch two-and-a-third innings. Wagman worked into the sixth where he allowed a leadoff walk followed by a double to Seth Spivey. He was then lifted for Andrew Tomasovich, who gave up a two-run single to Deluzio that stretched the Visalia lead to 10-0. Both runs were charged to Wagman. Tomasovich would go on to retire the next six batters he faced over two scoreless innings worked.
Rawhide starter Jose Almonte (11-8) would toss five scoreless innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam with one out in the third. Almonte would pick up the win, allowing three hits while walking two and striking out four.
Austin Mason took over to start the sixth and gave up a leadoff double to Brett Siddall. Two batters later, Mikey White drove in Siddall on an infield single to the left side to put the Ports in the run column. Mason worked into the seventh where with two on and one out, he surrendered a three-run homer to Skye Bolt that cut the Visalia lead to 10-4. Mason would allow four runs on four hits over an inning-and-two-thirds.
Keegan Long came on to start the ninth for Visalia and issued a leadoff walk to Branden Cogswell. Two batters later, Skye Bolt reached on a fielding error made by second baseman Fernery Ozuna that put runners at second and third. Siddall came up next and reached on an error committed by shortstop Raymel Flores on which Cogswell scored to make it 10-5. After Seth Brown walked to load the bases, Colin Poche (SV, 1) came on and got White to hit into an inning-ending 5-3 double-play. Poche would pick up his first save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide play the middle game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Logan Shore (2-5, 4.11 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Jon Duplantier (6-2, 1.69 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.