STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports hit five home runs on Sunday night at Banner Island Ballpark. One of those homers was a grand slam off the bat of Lazaro Armenteros which proved to be the centerpiece of a 12-7 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm in the rubber game of a three-game series. The series victory snaps a stretch of four straight series losses for the Ports dating back to mid-July.
Stockton opened the scoring in the bottom of the first as Alfonso Rivas hit a two-run homer off Storm starter Reiss Knehr (3-4). Two batters later, Jonah Bride launched a solo blast to make it a 3-0 lead.
Lake Elsinore used the long ball to grab its first lead in the top of the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Jalen Washington hit a grand slam off Ports starter Marco Estrada, who started the game on a Major League rehab assignment. Those were the only runs allowed by Estrada who worked two innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits while striking out three without issuing a walk.
The Ports were quick to take the lead back for good in the second as they sent 11 men to the plate. Matt Cross led off with a solo homer to left, his first hit in a Ports uniform, to tie the game at 4-4. After Yhoelnys Gonzalez was hit by a pitch and Ryan Gridley singled, Austin Beck delivered an RBI single that gave Stockton a 5-4 lead. After Rivas walked, Knehr was lifted for Gabe Mosser, who gave up an RBI single to Bride to make it 6-4. Armenteros followed with a grand slam to left that ran the Stockton lead to 10-4.
Knehr suffered the loss, going an inning-plus and allowing eight runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.
Stockton added a run in the third on an RBI double by Jeremy Eierman and a run in the fourth on a solo homer by Robert Mullen, stretching the Stockton lead to 12-4. Those were the two runs allowed by Mosser, who allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out seven in four innings.
Seth Blair and Javy Guerra combined on three scoreless innings down the stretch to close out the game for Lake Elsinore.
After Will Gilbert (4-1) pitched a perfect inning in relief of Estrada, Mitchell Jordan took over to begin the fourth and allowed two runs at the tail end of his outing on a two-run double by Jeisson Roasrio in the seventh. Gilbert would pick up the win after his scoreless frame while Jordan went four innings and allowed two runs on nine this while striking out three.
Jake Bray worked a scoreless eighth for Stockton and Eric Marinez worked the ninth, allowing a run on a two-out single by Ruddy Giron, who went 4-for-5 in the contest.
Following a day off on Monday, the Ports open a three-game series on the road with the Visalia Rawhide beginning on Tuesday night at Recreation Ballpark. Starting pitchers have yet to be announced for the series opener. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.