SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Giants' bid for a series sweep of North Division rival Stockton fell short on Saturday night as the Ports earned a 6-3 victory at Municipal Stadium. Stockton built a 6-0 lead in the contest and then held on late to salvage the final game of the series. Despite the loss, the Giants (6-4) still won two out of three in their first home series of the year.
Bryan Reynolds (3-for-5, 2 2B, 3B) knocked out three extra-base hits - two doubles and a triple - to lead the San Jose offensive attack in defeat. Ryan Howard (3-for-5) added three singles while Jonah Arenado (2-for-4, 2 RBI) drove home a pair of runs.
The game was scoreless through four innings as Giants starter Mike Connolly and Ports starting pitcher Brett Graves matched zeros. Stockton though would breakthrough in the top of the fifth scoring once against Connolly to take a 1-0 lead. Iolana Akau started the rally with a one-out double to deep left before Josh Vidales worked a walk. Eli White was up next and he lined a single into right on the 10th pitch of his at-bat to load the bases. Seth Brown followed with a fielder's choice grounder to first as White was forced out at second on the play, however Akau scored to give the Ports the lead.
Yordy Cabrera (1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) relieved Connolly to begin the top of the sixth and quickly ran into trouble as one-out singles from Tyler Ramirez and Mikey White put runners on first and second. Brett Siddall's groundout then advanced the runners with two down. Akau was up next and he hit a slow roller to deep short that Jalen Miller fielded, but threw wildly to first as two runs came home to make it 3-0. Akau was credited with an infield single and one RBI on the play with Miller's error plating the second run.
Cabrera continued to struggle in the top of the seventh as Eli White led off with a single before Brown stepped to the plate and launched a towering two-run homer to right center. The home run, Brown's second of the season, extended the Stockton lead to 5-0. The rally then continued as Sean Murphy singled and Sandber Pimentel walked. Two batters later, Mikey White delivered an RBI single stretching the Ports advantage to 6-0.
Casey Meisner worked in long relief for Stockton and began his outing with three scoreless innings over the fifth, sixth and seventh frames. Meisner retired nine out of the 11 batters he faced during the three innings while registering four strikeouts.
Still trailing by a 6-0 margin, the Giants would rally though against Meisner in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Howard singled before Reynolds smacked a double down the right field line to put runners on second and third. Aramis Garcia was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Meisner recovered to strikeout Dillon Dobson, but Arenado followed with a line drive single into shallow center. The hit brought home Howard and Reynolds with the first two San Jose runs of the contest. Matt Sergey was then summoned from the bullpen, but he promptly allowed a bloop double down the left field line to Daniel Carbonell plating Garcia to bring the Giants to within 6-3. With runners at second and third, Michael Bernal was up next as the potential tying run, but he struck out swinging to end the inning.
Nolan Blackwood then slammed the door on San Jose pitching around a Howard two-out single in a scoreless bottom of the ninth.
Meisner (1-2) was credited with the win after tossing 3 2/3 innings with three runs (all earned) and five hits allowed. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Blackwood notched his second save of the year. Graves worked four scoreless innings to begin the game for Stockton yielding three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Connolly (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Giants. The right-hander surrendered just one run on five hits over five innings pitched. Connolly walked one and struck out four during his 82-pitch outing.
* Stockton out-hit San Jose 13-10.
* The Giants were bidding for their first series sweep of the season.
* Garcia's (0-for-3, HBP) hitting streak was snapped at seven games.
* Carbonell (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) also had a multi-hit game for San Jose.
* Connolly has pitched 10 1/3 innings this season with only two runs allowed (1.74 ERA).
* Dusten Knight (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) and Carlos Diaz (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO) also pitched out of the Giants bullpen on Saturday.
Following an off day, the Giants continue their homestand on Monday evening with the opener of a four-game series against the Visalia Rawhide. First pitch at Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Matt Krook (0-1, 37.80 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for San Jose while Visalia is expected to counter with Justin Donatella (0-2, 13.50 ERA). 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.