MODESTO, Calif. - For a second time in three games, the Stockton Ports blanked the Modesto Nuts at John Thurman Field. On Saturday night, Stockton pitching surrendered just one hit-an infield single-as the offense scored two runs in the seventh for a 2-0 victory, Stockton's third consecutive win.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano (1-1) retired the first four batters he faced, issued a one-out walk to Joe Rizzo in the second inning and then proceeded to retire the next 12 batters in succession. Altamirano held Modesto hitless through 5 1/3 innings before surrendering an infield single to Johnny Adams, Modesto's lone hit of the contest.
Altamirano enjoyed one of the best outings of his career, tossing six scoreless frames while walking one and striking out six.
Jesus Zambrano came on next and retired six of the seven batters he faced, working around a two-out walk to Rizzo in the seventh. Nick Highberger (SV, 1) set the side down in order in the ninth and recorded a strikeout to notch his first save of the season.
Stockton's offense amassed six hits innings three through six but were unable to plate any runs until the seventh inning. Nuts reliever Scott Boches (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Jordan Devencenzi who was moved to second base on a sac-bunt by Nick Allen. After Lazaro Armenteros struck out, Austin Beck came up with two outs and delivered an RBI double to right-center just out of the reach of Nuts center fielder Anthony Jimenez. The double, which extended Beck's hit streak to seven games, finally broke the ice and gave the Ports a 1-0 lead. Hunter Hargrove came up next and drove an RBI single to right field to make it a 2-0 advantage.
Boches suffered the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in his two innings. Nuts starter Ray Kerr pitched well, going 4 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out three. Kyle Wilcox preceded Boches and went 1 2/3 innings while working around two hits allowed.
The Ports will try for a series sweep and try to send Modesto to a seventh straight loss when the teams wrap up their four-game series on Sunday afternoon at John Thurman Field. Left-hander Jared Poche'' (0-1, 4.05 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Ljay Newsome (1-1, 1.80 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.