STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports earned their fifth straight victory in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon at Banner Island Ballpark. The Ports padded a one-run lead with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and survived a late San Jose Giants surge in earning a 10-8 victory and, in doing so, their third consecutive series win.
The teams exchanged runs in the first inning as Heliot Ramos put the Giants on the board in the top of the first with an RBI double and the Ports countered in the home half with a two-out single by Jeremy Eierman to tie the game at 1-1. San Jose took the lead back in the third on a one-out RBI double by Joey Bart, the first of two doubles for Bart on the afternoon. Stockton countered in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs to take their first lead on a two-out, two-run single by Trace Loehr to make it a 3-2 game. Loehr's hit also chased Giants starter Trenton Toplikar from the contest. Toplikar went 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on two hits while walking a career-high five.
Ports starter Mitchell Jordan gave up a two-out double to Zander Clarke in the fourth, followed by an RBI single to Bryce Johnson that tied the game at 3-3. The Ports took the lead back for good in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jameson Hannah hit a two-run homer off Giants reliever Camilo Doval (3-3) that made it a 5-3 Stockton advantage. The home run was the only hit allowed by Doval, who suffered the loss after going 1 1/3 innings and allowing two runs while walking two and striking out three.
San Jose got a run back in the top of the fifth inning as Bart led off with a double and scored three batters later on a two-out double by David Villar that cut the Ports lead to 5-4 and knocked Jordan from the contest. Pat Krall (2-2) came on and got Kyle McPherson to fly out to right field to end the inning with the lead intact.
Jordan did not factor into the decision as he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on a career-high 11 hits while striking out five without issuing a walk.
Stockton got the lead back to two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Mickey McDonald hit a one-out double to right field that scored Loehr and made it 6-4. It was the first run given up by Aaron Phillips, who pitched the final four frames for San Jose.
Krall worked through the seventh inning and allowed a one-out double to Courtney Hawkins, followed by an RBI single to Peter Maris that cut the Ports lead to 6-5. Krall would go on to pick up the win, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing one run on three hits while striking out one.
The Ports padded their lead in the bottom of the eighth while taking advantage of a San Jose error. With runners at first and second and nobody out, Alfonso Rivas hit a potential double-play ball to the second baseman McPherson. McPherson had the ball get through his legs, allowing Nick Allen to score and putting runners at the corners with nobody out. Two batters later, Eierman delivered his second three-run homer in as many games out to left field to make it a 10-5 Stockton advantage.
Phillips worked for innings for the Giants and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out six.
After Sam Sheehan worked a scoreless eighth, Jake Bray came on to pitch the ninth and issued a pair of walks. With two on and one out, McPherson doubled to left to drive in a run and put runners at second and third. After a wild pitch plated the seventh San Jose run of the afternoon, Manuel Geraldo drove in the third run of the inning with an infield single to third that cut the Ports lead to 10-8 and put the possible-tying run in the batter's box. Bray, however, would get Clarke to fly out to center field and Johnson to pop out to the shortstop Eierman to close out the ballgame and secure the win for Stockton.
The Ports and Giants play the fourth game of their five-game set on Monday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Right-hander Gus Varland (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his California League debut for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Sean Hjelle (0-2, 4.09 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.