MODESTO, Calif. - The Stockton Ports scored the first run of Saturday's game at John Thurman Field, but it turned out to be their only run of the contest. The Modesto Nuts scored seven unanswered runs to close out the game, including three in the eighth to put the contest away as they handed the Ports a 7-1 loss. The loss ended a four-game win streak for the Ports and snapped a three-game losing skid for the Nuts.
Stockton's lone run was scored in the top of the first as Jameson Hannah doubled with one out and scored on an ensuing single by Alfonso Rivas to give the Ports a 1-0 lead. Nuts starter Logan Gilbert (3-2) took control after that as Gilbert pitched around a leadoff double in the second and did not face a serious scoring threat for the remainder of his outing. Gilbert earned the win, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing five hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Ports starter Gus Varland (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Joe Rizzo in the bottom of the first. After getting back-to-back strikeouts, Varland gave up a two-run homer to Keegan McGovern that gave the Nuts the lead for good. Modesto scored two more runs in the second on three straight two-out hits. Ariel Sandoval singled and scored on an ensuing double by Johnny Adams, who scored on an ensuing double by Rizzo to make it a 4-1 contest.
Varland would suffer the loss in the contest, going four innings and allowing four runs on six hits while walking one and striking out six.
After two scoreless innings worked by Wandisson Charles, Nick Highberger took over in the seventh and set the side down in order in his first frame. With one out in the eighth, Highberger walked Cal Raleigh and then hit McGovern to put two aboard. Jake Scheiner added to the Modesto lead as he came up next and singled to left to drive in Raleigh and make it 5-1. Two batters later with two outs, Eugene Helder singled to center to drive in two more runs and open up a 7-1 lead for Modesto.
Highberger went 1 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. Jake Bray came on to record the final out of the eighth for the Ports.
Collin Kober, Kyle Wilcox and Joey Gerber combined to work 2 2/3 scoreless innings down the stretch for the Nuts with Wilcox and Gerber combining to strike out the final five Stockton hitters to close out the contest.
Nick Allen went 0-for-4 for Stockton and saw his eight-game hit streak come to an end.
The Ports and Nuts wrap up their five-game series and the first half of the season on Sunday afternoon at John Thurman Field. A.J. Puk (0-0, 4.50 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Penn Murfee (3-0, 0.77 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.