STOCKTON, Calif.- The Stockton Ports withstood a late San Jose Giants rally and opened the second half of the 2019 season with a win on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark. The Ports amassed a 7-1 lead and survived a four-run seventh inning by San Jose, hanging on for an 8-5 win and making it 15 wins in their last 18 games.
Stockton's offense got off to a fast start in the first inning. With two on and nobody out, Austin Beck extended his hit streak to 10 games with a two-run double to left-center to put the Ports on the board. Beck scored later in the inning on a two-out RBI single by Trace Loehr to make it 3-0.
The Ports added to their lead in the second as Robert Mullen homered to right field to make it 4-0. It was the final run allowed by Giants starter Matt Frisbee (2-6), who suffered the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in four innings.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano (3-3) set down the first eight batters he faced in the contest and faced just one over the minimum through 4 1/3 innings. With one out in the fifth, David Villar hit a sinking line drive to left field. Lazaro Armenteros tried a headlong dive forward to try and make the catch but came up short as the ball rolled to the wall and became a one-out triple. Jean Angomas followed and hit a line drive off of Altamirano's right arm to bring in Villar and make it 4-1. Altamirano would stay in the game and retire Manuel Geraldo to end the inning and his outing.
Altamirano earned the win, tossing five innings and allowing the one run on three hits while striking out four.
Stockton came back in the bottom of the fifth and got back-to-back homers with one out off Giants reliever Joey Marciano. With one on and one out, Alfonso Rivas hit a two-run shot to the back porch in right field to run the Ports lead to 6-1. Armenteros followed with a home run to the exact same spot to increase the lead to 7-1. Marciano allowed three runs on four hits in his lone inning of work.
Jake Bray took over for Altamirano and struck out the side in the sixth. In the seventh, the Giants put two on with one out and saw Angomas hit a single to right field to score a run and cut the Ports lead to 7-2. Two batters later with two on and two out, Zander Clarke blasted a three-run homer to left to pull the Giants to within two runs at 7-5 and chase Bray from the game. Peter Bayer would take over and retire the next four batters in succession to get through the eighth inning.
Bray allowed four runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings of work.
The Ports added a run in the bottom of the eighth as Jameson Hannah singled and Beck followed with an RBI double to the right field corner to make it 8-5. It was the only run allowed by Solomon Bates in his lone inning of work.
Seth Martinez (SV, 2) pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.
The Ports and Giants play the second game of their four-game set on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. A.J. Puk (0-0, 4.50 ERA) continues his rehab as he makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Jake Wong (2-1, 4.37 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.