STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants both had late surges on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. By night's end, however, it was Stockton that found a 16th win in its last 19 games as the Ports scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on in the ninth for an 8-7 win over the Giants in the second game of a four-game series.
San Jose scored the first run of the game in the top of the first as Bryce Johnson drew a walk, stole second and scored on a single by Heliot Ramos to give San Jose a 1-0 lead.
Stockton answered back in the bottom of the first as the Ports loaded the bases with one out and Lazaro Armenteros hit into a fielder's choice force play that brought in the Ports first run. Trace Loehr came up next and delivered a two-run triple to the right field corner that gave the Ports a 3-1 lead.
Ports starter A.J. Puk, in his third appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery, allowed two runs in the second inning as Manuel Geraldo delivered an RBI double with two outs and a second run scored on the play when Nick Allen missed the throw in at second base from Jameson Hannah, allowing Dalton Combs to advance from third to home and tie the game at 3-3.
Puk did not factor into the decision, going two innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits while walking two and striking out two. Puk threw 47 pitches, 32 for strikes.
Gus Varland (1-1) took over for Puk in the third and allowed his first run in the fifth. With runners at the corners with nobody out, Joey Bart hit into a 6-4-3 double-play that scored Bryce Johnson from third. The run for Varland would be unearned as Johnson advanced to third base on a passed ball. The double-play was one of three hit into by Bart in the contest.
The Ports evened the score in the fifth. With two outs and the bases empty, Austin Beck singled to center and scored on an ensuing triple by Alfonso Rivas that knotted the game at 4-4. It was the final run allowed by Giants starter Jake Wong, who did not factor into the decision after going 4 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on four hits while walking four and striking out three.
With the score tied 4-4, Varland, working into the eighth inning, allowed a two-out solo homer to David Villar that gave San Jose a 5-4 lead.
Stockton's offense came up big again in the bottom of the eighth facing Giants reliever Camilo Doval (3-4). Beck and Rivas opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with one out, Loehr came up and delivered again, this time a game-tying single to right field. After Jeremy Eierman drew a walk to load the bases, Jonah Bride drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Ports a 6-5 lead. Robert Mullen came up next and hit a one-hopper to short that was booted by Geraldo, allowing two runs to score and making it an 8-5 Ports advantage.
Doval suffered the loss, going one inning and allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits while walking two.
Wandisson Charles (SV, 1) came on to work the ninth and saw Geraldo reach on a one-out fielding error by Rivas with one out. Johnson followed with a walk and with runners at second and third and two away, Bart delivered a two-run single to left on a 3-0 pitch to cut the Ports lead to 8-7. After Bart took second base on a wild pitch and got into scoring position, Charles struck out Courtney Hawkins looking to end the ballgame and notch his first California League save.
Varland, who worked six innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out five, picked up his first California League victory.
Beck went 3-for-4 with three singles for the Ports to extend his hit streak to 11 games.
The Ports and Giants play the third game of their four-game set on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. James Kaprielian (1-2, 3.71 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Jose Marte (0-1, 3.55 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.