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Dropped Fly Ball Sends Ports To 3-2 Loss

April 28, 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants became locked in a battle of pitching and defense on Thursday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. In a low-scoring affair, an error in the bottom of the 11th inning proved to be fatal for the Ports as right fielder Seth Brown dropped a fly ball with runners on that would've sent the game to the 12th. Instead, San Jose completed a series sweep and sent Stockton to a fifth straight loss as the Ports fell 3-2 in 11 innings.

Both starting pitchers had sensational efforts on Thursday. Ports starter Zack Erwin, from the final out of the second to the final out of the fifth, set down 10 straight batters. Giants hurler Andrew Suarez retired his first 11 batters before the stretch was broken up by Tyler Marincov, who launched his sixth home run of the season and second home run of the series out to center field to give the Ports a 1-0 lead on their first hit of the game.

The fourth-inning homer was the lone run allowed by Suarez who was otherwise sensational. The left-hander received a no-decision, going 6.2 innings and allowing five hits while striking out a career-best 10.

Meanwhile, Erwin kept San Jose out of the run column through his first six innings. In the seventh, C.J Hinojosa finally broke through for the Giants with a solo homer that just cleared the left-center field fence to tie the game at 1-1. It was the lone tally yielded by Erwin who would also receive a no-decision, going 6.2 innings and allowing just two hits while walking three and striking out five.

The game remained tied through the ninth as Ports reliever Carlos Navas pitched two-and-a-third scoreless frames and allowed two hits. Giants reliever Jose Reyes pitched around a leadoff single in the eighth and set the side down in order in the ninth.

Stockton was the first team to break through in the 10th as Reyes issued a leadoff walk to Jose Brizuela. Two batters later, James Harris singled to put runners at first and second and, after a fielder's choice play, runners were at the corners with two outs. Marincov came up and hit a slow tapper toward the third baseman Jose Vizcaino, Jr. who fielded with a bare hand and made an errant throw in the dirt to first. Marincov was awarded an infield single that scored Brizuela and gave the Ports a 2-1 lead.

San Jose tied the score in the bottom of the 10th facing left-hander Cody Stull (0-1), who made his California League debut for Stockton. Jonah Arenado led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. A one-out wild pitch allowed Arenado to take third and he scored on an ensuing sac-fly by Brandon Bednar to tie the game at 2-2.

After Stockton came up empty in the top of the 11th, Stull returned for the bottom of the 11th and gave up a leadoff single to Hinojosa. After a strikeout of Chris Shaw, Vizcaino walked to put runners at first and second. After Steven Duggar struck out swinging, Arenado came up and hit a fly ball to right that was slicing towards the corner. Brown, the right fielder, sprinted to get himself in position to make the catch. Brown arrived in time but could not squeeze the ball cleanly as he slipped and fell on the outfield grass and dropped the ball, allowing Hinojosa to score the game-winning run.

Stull suffered the tough-luck loss in his debut while Rodolfo Martinez (1-1) picked up the win for the Giants after working a scoreless 11th.

The Ports will try and snap their five-game skid on Friday night as they begin a series with the Nuts in Modesto. Joey Wagman (0-1, 7.71 ERA) makes the start for Stockton in place of Daniel Gossett, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 25th. Modesto will counter with right-hander Ryan Castellani (0-0, 3.52 ERA). First pitch at John Thurman Field is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.