SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports lost their fifth straight game on Saturday night and, for a third time in those five games, lost when leading in the eighth inning. The Ports went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and saw the Inland Empire 66ers rally for three runs in the bottom of the eighth as Stockton fell by a final of 4-2 to remain winless on their six-game road trip.
Inland Empire scratched the first run of the game across in the third on an RBI single by Leonardo Rivas to take a 1-0 lead. It was the lone run allowed by Ports starter Kyle Friedrichs, who went four innings and allowed two hits while walking two and striking out four.
After wasting a leadoff double by Nick Allen in the first, the Ports were able to get their first run home in the fourth. Lazaro Armenteros singled with one out and scored on an ensuing triple by Jeremy Eierman that tied the game at 1-1. Eierman, though, would be stranded at third as 66ers starter Denny Brady got Hunter Hargrove to pop out to the infield and Trace Loehr to ground out to second to end the inning.
Stockton used another triple to take the lead in the fifth. Mickey McDonald led off with a single to right and scored two batters later on a one-out triple by Allen to give the Ports a 2-1 lead. Allen, though, would be stranded at third as Brady got back-to-back strikeouts of Jameson Hannah and Austin Beck to end the inning.
Brady would not factor into the decision as he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out eight.
Eduardo Del Rosario and Brett Hanewich (1-0) would combine to shut the Ports out over the final four innings, including a seventh inning in which the Ports put two on with nobody out and had the bases loaded with two outs but came away empty-handed.
After Jesus Zambrano worked three scoreless frames in relief of Friedrichs, Seth Martinez (1-3) came on to pitch the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Zane Gurwitz followed by a game-tying double to Alvaro Rubalcaba. After Leonardo Rivas walked and Franklin Torres laid down a sacrifice bunt, Devin Davis came up and delivered a two-run double to left-center that gave Inland Empire a 4-2 lead.
Martinez would suffer the loss, allowing three runs on three hits in his lone inning of work.
Hanewich would pitch around a one-out walk in the ninth inning and pick up his first win of the season for the 66ers.
The Ports and 66ers wrap up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium. Mitchell Jordan (3-2, 4.89 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Inland Empire right-hander Oliver Ortega (1-2, 3.75 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.