VISALIA, Calif. - The Visalia Rawhide scored the final eight runs of Wednesday night's contest at Recreation Ballpark. In doing so, they took the rubber game of the series with the Stockton Ports by a final of 12-4 and earned an outright win in the season series, taking 14 of the 26 games the teams played head-to-head in the 2019 regular season.
Visalia scored early as Geraldo Perdomo drew a leadoff walk in the first and Alek Thomas followed with a single to center. Two batters later with runners at the corners, Eduardo Diaz drove in a run with a groundout to second to give Visalia a 1-0 lead. The Rawhide added to their lead in the second as Jose Herrera led off with a home run to left and, later in the inning with the bases loaded and nobody out, Perdomo added a sac-fly to center to make it a 3-0 contest.
Ports starter Bryce Conley did not factor into the decision, going two inning sand allowing three runs on four hits while walking two.
After Visalia starter Ryan Weiss (1-0) worked a perfect first three innings, the Ports opened the fourth with three straight hits. Ryan Gridley and Alfonso Rivas got back-to-back singles and Jonah Bride drove in the first Stockton run with a double to right to cut the Rawhide lead to 3-1. After Weiss recorded back-to-back unproductive outs with runners at second and third, Robert Mullen came up and hit a ball to the warning track in right field that was dropped by Visalia right fielder Jorge Perez, a three-base error that scored two runs and tied the game at 3-3.
Visalia would snatch the lead back in the bottom of the fifth as Jake Bray (2-3) came on to work and was greeted by a home run off the bat of Diaz, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI's.
The Ports tied it in the ensuing half-inning on a leadoff home run by Rivas, knotting the score at 4-4. Following the home run, Visalia pitching went on to retire the final 12 Stockton hitters of the game. The first three of those 12 were set down by Weiss, who earned his first California League victory after going six innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out six.
Luis Castillo and Cameron Gann combined for three perfect innings to close out the game for the Rawhide.
Visalia took the lead back for good in the bottom of the sixth. With Bray on the mound, Alex King led off with a double and went to third on a fielding error committed by left fielder Lazaro Armenteros. Jorge Perez followed with a sac-fly to right that gave the Rawhide a 5-4 lead. Bray would leave later in the frame with two on and two out as he gave way to Eric Marinez, who gave up a two-run single to Diaz followed by an RBI triple to Yoel Yanqui that made it an 8-4 Visalia lead.
Bray would suffer the loss, going 1 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on five hits. Marinez, after working a perfect seventh, came out for the eighth and gave up a leadoff walk to Perdomo and, with one out, a single to Luis Alejandro Basabe and a walk to Diaz that loaded the bases. Trey Cochran-Gill was then summoned from the Stockton bullpen and gave up a grand slam to Yanqui that ran the Visalia lead to 12-4. Marinez was charged with four runs over 1 2/3 innings while Cochran-Gill surrendered one run in two-thirds of an inning.
Ports pitching did not record a strikeout in the contest, the first time all season they've failed to do so.
Following a day off on Thursday, the Ports return home to Banner Island Ballpark on Friday to begin a four-game series with the San Jose Giants in their final regular season homestand of the year. Xavier Altamirano (5-10, 5.40 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose Giants right-hander Tristan Beck (0-2, 4.32 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.