STOCKTON, Calif. - For the first time since Opening Night, the Stockton Ports won a game at Banner Island Ballpark on Monday night. Stockton snapped a nine-game home losing streak and won its fourth straight overall with an 11-6 win over the Visalia Rawhide to open a four-game series and a seven-game homestand.
The Ports took advantage of a Visalia error in the second to score the first three runs of the game. Hunter Hargrove reached on a one-out throwing error by third baseman Luis Basabe. Two batters later with two outs, Jeremy Eierman walked, and Mickey McDonald followed with a two-run triple to the right field corner. Nick Allen came up next and drove in a third run with an RBI single to give the Ports a 3-0 lead.
Visalia played long ball in the top of the third to take its first lead of the night. With one out, Jose Caballero and Mark Karaviotis hit back-to-back home runs. After Yoel Yanqui singled, Renae Martinez hit a two-run homer to right that vaulted Visalia in front 4-3.
Stockton kept with the home run theme to tie it in the bottom of the third as Austin Beck led off with his second home run of the season out to right field to knot the game at 4-4. It was the last run given up by Rawhide starter Justin Vernia, who did not factor into the decision after going four innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out two.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano worked into the sixth inning but gave up a leadoff home run to Martinez to open the frame. Martinez' second big fly of the night gave the Rawhide a 5-4 lead and knocked Altamirano from the contest. Altamirano did not factor into the decision, going five-plus innings and allowing five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two. The four home runs allowed by Altamirano were a career-high.
Kevin McCanna (2-1) took over for Vernia in the fifth and the Ports got to him in the sixth and took the lead back for good. With two outs and the bases empty, McDonald worked a walk, Allen singled, and Alfonso Rivas delivered a three-run homer tucked inside the right field foul pole to give the Ports a 7-5 lead.
Visalia got a run back in the top of the seventh as they loaded the bases with one out versus Nick Highberger (1-0) and got a sac-fly from Yanqui to cut the Stockton lead to 7-6. Highberger was able to escape further trouble and would go on to pick up the win, allowing one run on two hits in two innings of relief.
McCanna stayed out to work the seventh for the Rawhide and, with two on and one out, gave up an RBI single to Jordan Devencenzi that made it an 8-6 lead for the Ports. After McCanna walked Eierman to load the bases, he was lifted for Kyler Stout. Stout gave up an RBI single to McDonald that scored another run and mad it a 9-6 Stockton advantage.
McCanna suffered the loss for the Rawhide, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.
Stockton added two more runs in the eighth facing Stout, who gave up a two-out, two-run double to Hargrove that ran the lead to 11-6.
After Peter Bayer worked a scoreless eighth inning and survived a bases-loaded, one-out jam, Seth Martinez came on to work the ninth and pitched around a leadoff walk, retiring the next three hitters to close it out.
The Ports and Rawhide play the second game of their four-game series on Tuesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Right-hander Kyle Friedrichs (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his season debut for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Shumpei Yoshikawa (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who makes his California League debut for the Rawhide. 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.