STOCKTON, Calif. - The only run in Friday night's game that wasn't the product of a home run turned out to be the winning run at Banner Island Ballpark. Jonah Bride delivered a game-winning single with one out in the bottom of the ninth and secured a 4-3 win for the Stockton Ports over the Inland Empire 66ers to open a three-game series and snap a three-game losing skid.
Oakland A's right-hander Jharel Cotton made the start for Stockton on a Major League rehab appearance. In his first outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery last March, Cotton allowed two runs on two hits. The hits came back-to-back with one out in the first as Devin Davis doubled to center field and Kevin Williams, Jr. followed with a two-run homer to left on a 3-0 pitch that gave Inland Empire a 2-0 lead. Cotton walked one and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings of work while throwing 47 pitches, 30 for strikes.
Stockton got the runs back in the bottom of the first. With one on and one out, Lazaro Armenteros homered to right field to tie the game at 2-2. The Ports took the lead in the second on a leadoff homer by Jeremy Eierman to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Inland Empire starter Oliver Ortega would escape a jam in the third with runners at second and third and nobody out and go on to pitch four innings, allowing three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six.
Mitchell Jordan (4-3) took over for Cotton with two outs in the third and went on to work the final 6 1/3 innings in the game. Jordan escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning to preserve the one-run lead, but in the eighth, Jordan allowed a solo homer to Davis that tied the game at 3-3.
Inland Empire reliever Denny Brady (1-4) took over for Ortega in the fifth and set down the first 11 batters he faced and 11 of the first 12 to take him into the ninth inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Brady walked Trace Loehr to open the frame and then gave up a single to Hunter Hargrove that put runners at first and second. After Eierman flied out to left, Bride stepped to the plate and delivered the game-winning single to right that scored Loehr and gave the Ports a 4-3 victory.
Brady would suffer the loss for the 66ers while Jordan, who pitched a season-high 6 1/3 innings, earned the win for the Ports.
The Ports and 66ers play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Right-hander James Kaprielian (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his debut as an A's farmhand as he gets the start for Stockton, opposed by Inland Empire right-hander Jake Lee (1-1, 3.60 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.