STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports defeated the San Jose Giants 8-3 to open a five-game series on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. With the victory, the Ports have won seven of their last eight games and improve to 5-1 in the month of June.
Stockton got off to a fast start in the bottom of the first. With two on and one out, Lazaro Armenteros hit a three-run homer to right-center off Giants starter Jose Marte (0-1) to give the Ports an early 3-0 lead. Marte would suffer the loss, going 2 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits while walking three and striking out six in his return to the injured list.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano worked four scoreless innings in the contest, allowing two hits while walking two and striking out four. Will Gilbert (2-0) took over for Altamirano in the fifth and would work 1 2/3 innings and allow just a solo homer to Courtney Hawkins, one of two homers hit by Hawkins in the contest, which cut the Ports lead to 3-1. Gilbert would pick up the victory in the contest.
The Ports got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth facing John Gavin, who took over in the fifth for San Jose. With two on and two out, Nick Allen doubled to the left field corner to make it a 5-1 game. The Giants would load the bases in the top of the seventh inning facing Sam Sheehan, but Jake Bray was summoned from the bullpen and got Heliot Ramos to ground into a double-play and Joey Bart to strike out to escape the jam with only one run scoring.
Sheehan allowed one run in a third of an inning. Bray would allow a solo homer to Hawkins in the eighth, the only run he allowed in two innings of work.
Stockton broke the game open in the seventh facing Gavin. With two on and two out, Hunter Hargrove hit a three-run homer to right field to put an eight-spot in the run column for the Ports. Gavin worked three innings and allowed five runs on three hits while walking three and striking out six.
Peter Bayer came on to work the ninth for Stockton and worked around two walks and a single, getting Hawkins to ground out with the bases loaded to end the ballgame.
The Ports and Giants play the second game of their five-game series on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Rafael Kelly (0-1, 4.96 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Jake Wong (2-1, 3.94 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.