STOCKTON CA - Arizona Diamondbacks second-ranked prospect Jon Duplantier delivered one of his best outings of the season, allowing only an unearned run on two hits with nine strikeouts over five innings. But Visalia was unable to muster a run against Dalton Sawyer and the Ports pitching staff tonight and fell 4-0.
Stockton (58-61/22-27) scored their only run on Duplantier (L, 4-2) after the right-hander had walked Nate Mondou and hit Oakland A's rehabber Jake Smolinski. With two outs, Sheldon Neuse hit a grounder to the right side that Fernery Ozuna booted, which allowed Mondou to score from second and put the Ports on top for good.
Duplantier was dominant: he struck out the side in the first and third innings and ended his night by striking out Neuse on a fastball. He matched his career-best by striking out nine Stockton hitters, and did so while allowing only two hits: a first inning grounder up the middle by Neuse and a fourth inning grounder up the middle by Argenis Raga.
Visalia (59-60/23-25) was unable to provide Duplantier any support against Dalton Sawyer (W, 3-4) and the Ports pitching staff. Visalia mustered five hits, one hit in each frame between the third and seventh innings, but advanced a runner past first only twice: when they loaded the bases with two outs in the third and when they put two on with one out in the seventh. Sawyer also pitched well, but left in the sixth after taking a line drive off of his leg of the bat of Jason Morozowski. Joey Wagman, Miguel Romero, and Kyle Friedrichs combined to throw four innings of one-hit, shutout relief.
Wei-Chei Huang pitched a perfect seventh inning but then surrendered a bases-loaded double to Mikey White in the eighth inning to give Stockton a 4-0 lead.
Visalia has now lost five consecutive games and ten of their past 14 contests. However, with Modesto's win over San Jose, the Rawhide remain just one game out of first place in the Cal League North second half standings.
Visalia will conclude the series in Stockton tomorrow evening and will turn to RHP Bo Takahashi (6-8, 4.32) against Stockton RHP Logan Shore (1-5, 4.23). First pitch is at 6:10 PM and the live radio broadcast will be available on Rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.