STOCKTON, Calif. - Stockton Ports starting pitcher Gus Varland (2-1) enjoyed the best outing of his career on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Varland spun a career-high seven scoreless innings as he helped the Ports to a 4-0 win over the Visalia Rawhide, their fifth shutout victory of the season. With the win, the Ports secured a 5-2 homestand as they embark on a seven-game road trip.
Stockton snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jeremy Eierman singled with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Jordan Devencenzi that gave the Ports a 1-0 lead. It was the only run allowed by Visalia starter Cole Stapler (3-6), who opened the game by striking out his first six batters and set down 10-in-a-row. Stapler suffered the tough-luck loss, going six innings and allowing five hits while striking out 10, one off a career-high total.
Varland, meanwhile, saw his defense throw out a runner at home plate in the top of the sixth as Luis Basabe singled with two outs and Jancarlos Cintron was thrown out at the plate on a relay from the shortstop Eierman to preserve the 1-0 lead. Varland would set the side down in order in the seventh and go on to earn the victory as he allowed five hits while striking out six.
Luis Castillo came on to work the seventh for the Rawhide and issued a leadoff walk to Trace Loehr. Loehr would steal second, reach third on a throwing error made by catcher Tim Susnara, and score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. The Ports added two more runs in the inning, one on an RBI single by Nick Allen and another on a second wild pitch. All three runs were charged to Castillo, who worked two-thirds of an inning.
Seth Martinez came on to work the eighth and ended up closing out the ballgame as he set down six of the seven batters he faced to put the game in the win column for Stockton.
After going 5-2 on their seven-game homestand, the Ports embark on a seven-game road trip beginning with a four-game series that opens in San Jose on Thursday night. James Kaprielian (1-2, 3.66 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Jose Marte (0-2, 5.40 ERA). First pitch at Excite Ballpark is set for 7 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.