STOCKTON, CA - The San Jose Giants were eliminated from playoff contention following a 12-1 loss to the Stockton Ports on Friday evening at Banner Island Ballpark. In the opener of a four-game series that will conclude the regular season, Stockton erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to break the contest open before cruising to the victory. The Giants (61-76 overall, 31-36 second half) will miss the postseason for just the second time in the last 14 years.
Cristian Paulino (2-for-4, HR, RBI) had two hits, including a solo home run, to lead San Jose offensively in the lopsided defeat. The Giants were held to just six hits and also committed four errors in the field.
Stockton starter Evan Manarino (7-8) earned the win after tossing six strong innings with just one run and five hits allowed. Manarino walked two and struck out three during his outing.
San Jose initially enjoyed a 1-0 lead when Paulino hit the first pitch of the game over the fence in deep left center for a leadoff home run. The homer was Paulino's first since joining the Giants.
The Ports though immediately answered with a three-run bottom of the first against San Jose starter Matt Solter to move in front. Eli White started the inning with a single before advancing to second on a Skye Bolt groundout. Brett Siddall then hit a sharp grounder to second that deflected off the glove of Jalen Miller and bounced into the outfield. The error allowed White to score from second base to tie the game. Following a Seth Brown single, Mikey White hit an RBI double down the left field line giving Stockton a 2-1 lead. Branden Cogswell then brought home the third run of the inning with an RBI groundout. Only one of the three runs charged to Solter in the inning were earned.
The score remained at 3-1 all the way until the bottom of the fifth, but the Giants had multiple opportunities to score against Manarino. In the top of the third, Miller led off with a double before Ryan Howard drew a one-out walk, however Bryan Reynolds followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play. In the fourth, a one-out walk to Dillon Dobson and a two-out double from Ronnie Jebavy put runners on second and third, but Manarino came back to set down Matt Winn on a groundout to retire the side.
Meanwhile, Solter fired three straight hitless innings from the second through the fourth before running into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back singles from Eli White and Bolt started the frame before a walk to Siddall loaded the bases with none out. Solter induced Brown to pop out, but Mikey White then stepped to the plate and laced a two-run double off the left field wall to extend the Ports lead to 5-1. The hit knocked Solter out of the game, but Cogswell then greeted new pitcher Michael Cederoth with a two-run single for a 7-1 Stockton advantage. The rally then continued as Argenis Raga reached on a fielding error committed by Jonah Arenado at third to put runners on second and third. Luis Barrera followed with an RBI single to make it 8-1 and then with two down, Eli White hit a grounder to third that was thrown away by Arenado for another error. The second miscue in the inning allowed both Raga and Barrera to score for a 10-1 margin.
The Ports sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth scoring seven runs on five hits.
Stockton completed the scoring for the night when Brown belted a two-run home run to right center off of Rodolfo Martinez in the bottom of the eighth. The homer, Brown's league-leading 28th of the season, stretched the Ports lead to 12-1.
Solter (5-2) suffered the loss after yielding seven runs (five earned) on six hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
The Giants were held to just two hits by Stockton pitching over the final five innings - a leadoff single from Reynolds in the top of the sixth and a Paulino leadoff single in the eighth.
* Since 2003, San Jose has missed the playoffs in only two seasons: 2014 and 2017.
* The Giants fell to 1-3 on their current road trip and have lost four out of their last five games overall.
* The seven runs allowed by San Jose in the bottom of the fifth was just one off their high for most runs given up in an inning this season (eight runs on July 5 versus Rancho Cucamonga in a 14-1 loss).
* The Ports out-hit the Giants 11-6.
* San Jose was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
* Paulino is batting .406 in eight games with the Giants this season (13-for-32).
* Arenado (0-for-4) saw his hitting streak snapped at seven games.
* Stockton (33-34) is in a two-way tie for first with Visalia (33-34) in the second half North Division standings with three games remaining in the regular season. Modesto (32-35) is one game back. San Jose (31-36) is just two games out, but has been eliminated due to three Visalia-Modesto head-to-head match ups over the final three days. The Giants also do not hold the tiebreaker in the event Modesto, Visalia and San Jose finish in a three-way tie for first after Monday's regular season finale.
The Giants and Ports continue their four-game series on Saturday evening with first pitch at Banner Island Ballpark scheduled for 7:10 PM. Conner Menez (6-7, 4.65 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Dalton Sawyer (5-4, 3.43 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.