BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For the first time this season, the Stockton Ports are on a three-game winning streak. With the help of Jarrod Parker (1-1), who earned the victory in his second Major League rehab assignment, the Ports defeated the Bakersfield Blaze by a final of 5-3 on Tuesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark, assuring a series victory heading into Wednesday's road trip finale.
For the second straight night, the Ports entered the run column in the first inning. J.P. Sportman opened the game with a single to right and scored on an RBI groundout by Michael Soto to give the Ports a 1-0 lead.
Stockton jumped on Blaze starter Tyler Pike and took advantage of a pair of Pike errors in the second. Justin Higley led off the inning with a double to left and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Jose Brizuela. An errant pick-off attempt by Pike allowed Brizuela to get to third base and he scored on another error on Pike, this time a throwing error on a ball put in play by B.J. Boyd to make it a 3-0 Stockton lead. Boyd scored on an ensuing single by Sportman to run the lead to 4-0.
Pike finished his outing strong, going on to retire the final nine batters he faced, but suffered the loss as he allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings.
Parker, after pitching a scoreless first, gave up back-to-back hits to open the second that put runners at second and third. Luis Caballero put the Blaze on the board with an RBI single to center and Aaron Barbosa followed with an RBI groundout to first to cut the Ports lead to 4-2.
Bakersfield plated an unearned run off Paker in the fourth. Taylor Zeutenhorst reached to start the inning on a throwing error committed by shortstop Franklin Barreto. After a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball advanced him to third, Barbosa hit a sac-fly to left to drive in the run and make it a 4-3 contest. Beginning with the sacrifice bunt, Ports pitching went on to retire 15 batters in a row, taking them through the eighth inning.
Parker retired the last six batters he faced and went on to earn the victory, going five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out seven without yielding a walk. He threw 72 pitches, 52 for strikes.
Joel Seddon came on in relief of Parker and was dominant over three perfect innings. Seddon struck out six in three innings worked.
The Ports added an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Rafael Pineda. John Nogowski singled to open the frame and scored on a two-out RBI double by Tyler Marincov to increase the lead to 5-3.
Andres Avila (SV, 2) pitched around a leadoff walk and a two-out single in the ninth to record his second save of the season.
The Ports and Blaze wrap up their three-game set with a matinee on Wednesday at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Left-hander Dillon Overton (0-0, 2.38 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Bakersfield right-hander Edwin Diaz (2-0, 1.89 ERA). First pitch is set for 11 a.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.