STOCKTON, CA - The Stockton Ports clubbed five home runs, including two each from Sheldon Neuse and Seth Brown, in a series-opening 9-5 victory over the San Jose Giants on Tuesday evening at Banner Island Ballpark. The loss snapped San Jose's (52-63 overall, 22-23 second half) three-game win streak and was only their second defeat in the last nine contests overall.
Matt Winn (2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Dillon Dobson (1-for-4, HR, RBI) and Steven Duggar (1-for-3, HR, RBI, SB) each homered for the Giants in the loss as the two teams combined for eight round-trippers.
San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless bottom of the first in his third rehab appearance with San Jose. Melancon allowed one single and struck out two during his outing.
The Giants initially enjoyed the lead as Dobson led off the top of the second with a towering home run to right center to put San Jose in front. Heath Quinn then singled before Winn laced an RBI double to the fence in deep right center for a 2-0 advantage.
Stockton though immediately tied the score with a pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the second. Facing Grant Watson, who relieved Melancon to begin the inning, Neuse led off with a mammoth home run over the fence in straightaway center. Two batters later, Argenis Raga connected for a solo home run to right center tying the game 2-2.
The Giants briefly reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth as Duggar launched an opposite field solo homer to left center for a 3-2 San Jose advantage. However, the Ports again responded in the bottom of the frame. Neuse led off with a bloop single into shallow right before Brown stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run home run to right center. The homer gave Stockton their first lead of the night at 4-3.
The Ports then connected for two more home runs against Watson in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead. The inning began with a walk to Skye Bolt before Richie Martin singled. Watson recovered to set down the next two batters on a fly out and a strikeout, but Neuse followed with a line drive three-run homer to right. Brown then came up and hammered the first pitch of his at-bat over the wall in right center for another home run. The back-to-back blasts stretched the Stockton advantage to 8-3.
The Ports scored their final run of the night in the bottom of the sixth with Matt Krook on the mound. Consecutive walks to Luis Barrera and Nate Mondou started the frame. A wild pitch then advanced the runners to second and third before a Martin RBI groundout pushed the lead to 9-3.
Meanwhile, the Giants were held without a hit over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings by the Stockton bullpen before adding to their home run total in the top of the eighth. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Quinn struck out, but reached first safely when the pitch bounced away from the catcher Raga. Winn then belted a pitch over the fence in left center for a two-run home run. The homer, Winn's fifth of the season, brought San Jose to within 9-5. The rally continued as Ronnie Jebavy singled before Jalen Miller walked. However with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle, new pitcher Armando Ruiz retired Duggar on a line out to left ending the inning.
Ruiz then worked around a Jonah Arenado two-out single in the top of the ninth to seal the Stockton victory.
Miguel Romero (1-1) was credited with the win out of the Ports bullpen after holding the Giants hitless in the fifth and sixth innings. Ruiz worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings to finish the game for his second save of the year.
Watson (4-2) surrendered a career-high tying eight runs (all earned) on nine hits over four innings to take the loss. The left-hander walked one, struck out four and gave up all five Stockton home runs.
* Tuesday was the opener of a six-game road trip for San Jose.
* Neuse (3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Brown (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) combined for four home runs and seven RBI's out of the 5-6 spots in the Stockton lineup.
* The five home runs allowed by the Giants matched a season-high (July 5 at Rancho Cucamonga).
* The Ports out-hit San Jose 10-8. The Giants were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
* Arenado (2-for-5) also produced a multi-hit game for San Jose. It was his fifth consecutive multi-hit game (13-for-21, .619 AVG).
* Watson had allowed only three home runs in his professional career over 165 innings before giving up five homers on Tuesday.
* Krook (2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) and Rodolfo Martinez (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) combined for three hitless innings of relief for the Giants.
* San Jose (22-23) remained one game behind Visalia (23-22) for first place in the second half North Division standings.
The Giants and Ports continue their three-game series on Wednesday evening with first pitch at Banner Island Ballpark scheduled for 7:10 PM. Garrett Williams (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Brendan Butler (4-3, 4.86 ERA). The game can be heard live on sjgiants.com with coverage beginning at 6:50 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.