LANCASTER, Calif. - The Stockton Ports offense came to play on Wednesday night at The Hangar. In the opener of a six-game road trip, the Ports enjoyed their largest margin of victory on the season as they walloped the Lancaster JetHawks by a final of 15-2, getting a pair of homers from Lazaro Armenteros including the first grand slam of the season.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano (4-5) stumbled out of the gate as he gave up a leadoff triple to Matt Hearn who scored on an ensuing single by Matt McLaughlin. After Luis Castro singled to put two on with nobody out, Sean Bouchard struck out and McLaughlin was caught trying to steal third for a double play. Ryan Vilade came up next and grounded out to get Altamirano out of the first having allowed just the one run.
Stockton took the lead and never gave it back in the second. With one on and two out, Trace Loehr delivered the first of his four hits on the night, an RBI double to right-center that tied the game at 1-1. Mickey McDonald came up later in the inning and drove in Loehr with an RBI single that gave the Ports a 2-1 lead.
The Ports widened their lead in the third on a three-run homer by Jonah Bride to make it 5-1. Stockton plated two more runs following a two-out error committed by the third baseman Vilade to make it a 7-1 contest.
JetHawks starter Lucas Gilbreath (3-7) would suffer the loss as he allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits over three innings of work.
Lancaster's final run came in the third on a two-out RBI single by Scott Bouchard to make it a 7-2 game. It was the last run allowed by Altamirano who finished on a high note, matching a career-high by working seven innings and allowing eight hits while striking out five without issuing a walk.
The Ports piled on in the fourth courtesy of Armenteros, who hit a grand slam off JetHawks Releiver Moises Ceja to run the lead to 11-2. Armenteros added another home run off Ceja, a solo shot in the sixth, to make it a 12-2 game. Ceja allowed five runs on four hits over three innings.
The Ports added two more runs in the seventh on a double-play groundout and a fielding error. The two runs were given up by Braxton Lorenzini, one of which was earned. Stockton's last run came in the eighth on a sac-fly by Ryan Gridley to balloon the lead to 15-2.
Michael Danielack came on in relief to start the eighth for Stockton and retired six of the seven batters he faced and ended the ballgame by striking out the side in order in the ninth.
Armenteros went 2-for-5 on the night and became the first Ports player to drive in five runs in a game while joining Austin Beck as the only Stockton player to hit two homers in a game. McDonald and Loehr each went 4-for-5. For McDonald, it marked his second four-hit performance of the season.
The Ports and JetHawks play the second game of their three-game series on Thursday night at The Hangar. Bryce Conley (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lancaster right-hander Will Gaddis (5-5, 5.99 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.