SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants were victorious in their home opener on Thursday night at Municipal Stadium with an 8-2 win over the Stockton Ports. San Jose (5-3) knocked out 12 hits in the contest and broke open a close game late with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Dillon Dobson (3-for-4) produced three hits while Ryan Howard (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Gio Brusa (2-for-4, 2B) added two hits apiece to lead the Giants offensive attack. Jose Vizcaino Jr. (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and Jonah Arenado (1-for-3, 2 RBI) drove home two runs each. All 12 San Jose hits in the game were singles while the Giants also took advantage of five Stockton errors.
San Jose never trailed on Thursday scoring once in the bottom of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Johneshwy Fargas led off the frame with a single before stealing second base. After the next two hitters were retired, Bryan Reynolds' grounder to shortstop was thrown away by Eli White for an error. The miscue allowed Fargas to score the first run of the night.
Jake McCasland started on the mound for the Giants and began his outing with three scoreless innings. McCasland struck out one hitter in the first, fanned two batters in the top of the second before registering another punchout in the top of the third. The Ports though would breakthrough in the top of the fourth as Seth Brown led off with a single, advanced to second on Skye Bolt's one-out walk and scored when Mikey White grounded a two-out single into right field. Stockton would load the bases later in the inning, but McCasland induced Brett Siddall to groundout preventing further damage.
San Jose immediately reclaimed the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Aramis Garcia led off with a single before Dobson's one-out single put runners on first and second. Vizcaino Jr. then singled into right center bringing home Garcia for a 2-1 Giants advantage.
Down by one run, Stockton threatened in both the fifth and sixth innings, but were unable to score in each frame. McCasland was removed from the game after issuing a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth. Reliever Carlos Diaz then surrendered a single to Eli White putting runners on first and second. Diaz though escaped trouble as Brown fouled out to third and Sean Murphy grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Ports then loaded the bases with none out against Diaz in the top of the sixth, but again failed to score. Two singles and a walk put three runners on base for Stockton before Diaz struck out Trent Gilbert on a 3-2 pitch. Siddell followed with a slow grounder back to Diaz, who threw home to record the force out at the plate. Diaz then struck out leadoff batter Josh Vidales to end the inning and keep the Giants ahead by a 2-1 margin.
San Jose extended their lead to 3-1 the bottom of the sixth as Dobson singled with one out, moved to second on Vizcaino's groundout and scored when Arenado lined a clutch two-out single into left center.
Caleb Simpson relieved Diaz to begin the top of the seventh and promptly issued a leadoff walk to Eli White. A strikeout of Brown followed before Murphy grounded into a force out. However, Bolt then hammered a double into the left center field gap to score a run trimming the Giants lead to 3-2. Bolt, the potential tying run, advanced to third on the throw home, but was stranded there when Simpson struck out Tyler Ramirez to end the inning.
Simpson (2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) returned to the mound for the eighth and struck out three straight hitters in dominant fashion to maintain the 3-2 San Jose advantage. The Giants then erupted for five runs in the bottom of the inning to break the game open. Garcia started the frame by reaching safely on another error committed by Eli White at shortstop. A single from Brusa followed before a Dobson infield single loaded the bases with none out. Vizcaino Jr. then worked a full-count walk to force home Garcia with the first run of the inning. Arenado was up next and he delivered a sacrifice fly to left as Brusa came home to make it 5-2. Fargas then reached safely on Stockton's fifth error of the game allowing another run to come home before a Howard two-out single through the left side plated the fourth and fifth runs of the innings for an 8-2 cushion. All nine San Jose hitters came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth.
Ryan Halstead (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) closed out the game with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
Diaz (2-0) was credited with the win after tossing two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The left-hander worked around three hits and one walk. He struck out two.
Ports starter Evan Manarino (0-1) was saddled with the loss after yielding two runs (one earned) on five hits over four innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
* Thursday was the opener of a three-game series and the first of 27 meetings between San Jose and Stockton this season.
* Howard (seven games) and Garcia (six games) extended hitting streaks.
* The Giants out-hit the Ports 12-8.
* Stockton was 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.
* McCasland pitched four-plus innings for San Jose and allowed just one run. He struck out five, walked two and surrendered four hits over his 83-pitch outing.
* Giants pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts.
* Simpson has 10 strikeouts in five innings pitched out of the bullpen this season.
* The Ports had committed a total of only four errors in their first seven games this year before Thursday's five-error output.
The Giants and Ports continue their three-game series on Friday evening with first pitch at Municipal Stadium scheduled for 7:00 PM. Conner Menez (0-0, 3.18 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Stockton is expected to counter with Dustin Hurlbutt (1-0, 6.00 ERA). It's High School Baseball Night at the ballpark and a spectacular postgame fireworks show will follow the game. For tickets, call (408) 297-1435 or visit sjgiants.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.