STOCKTON, Calif. - The Visalia Rawhide scored three runs over the final two innings to pull even with the Stockton Ports in a three-game series on Tuesday night. Visalia got a home run from Camden Duzenack and took advantage of a pair of wild pitches in the ninth inning in sending the Ports to a 6-4 loss, just their fifth loss since May 30.
Visalia opened the scoring in the top of the first as Jancarlos Cintron scored on a passed ball charged to Ports catcher Robert Mullen. The Ports answered back in the bottom of the first on a two-run double by Alfonso Rivas that gave Stockton a 2-1 lead. The Rawhide pulled even in the top of the second inning as Alex King doubled to open the frame and scored two batters later on a double by Jorge Perez to knot the game at 2-2.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano would be victimized by the long ball in the fourth as Joe Gillette homered to left field to give Visalia a 3-2 advantage. It was the last run allowed by Altamirano, who did not factor into the decision after going six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out six.
Rawhide starter Josh Green allowed his final run in the fifth inning. With runners at second and third and one out, Jameson Hannah grounded out to drive in Jonah Bride and tie the game at 3-3. Green did not factor into the decision, going five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out seven.
Pat Krall (2-3) took over for Altamirano in the seventh and set the side down in order in the seventh inning. With two outs and the bases empty in the eighth, Duzenack hit a solo home run to left field to break the tie and give the Rawhide a 4-3 lead. It was the only run allowed by Krall, who suffered the loss after going 1 2/3 innings and allowing just the one hit.
Nick Highberger took over to record the final out in the eighth and worked through the ninth where he saw Perez reach on a strikeout and wild pitch with one out. After Cintron was hit by a pitch, Luis Basabe came up two batters later and drove in the first run of the inning with an infield single. Highberger then threw a wild pitch that allowed Cintron to score and make it a 6-3 contest.
The Ports got a run back in the bottom of the ninth on a solo homer by Mullen, but Rawhide closer West Tunnell (SV, 13) struck out the other three batters he faced in the frame to notch his 13th save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide play the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Gus Varland (1-1, 3.52 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Rawhide right-hander Cole Stapler (3-5, 3.52 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.