VISALIA, Calif. - The Stockton Ports scored eight runs in the seventh inning on Thursday night. You could also say the Visalia Rawhide fell apart. Visalia committed three errors in the seventh as the Ports matched their biggest inning of the season on their way to taking the rubber match of their three-game set with the Rawhide by a final of 11-6.
Ports starter Chris Lamb escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first, but couldn't escape a bases-loaded no out jam in the third. After allowing three straight singles to open the frame, Lamb got a strikeout and a pop up to the infield. After working a full count to Ronnie Freeman, Lamb surrendered a three-run double to left-center that gave the Rawhide a 3-0 lead.
Lamb would receive a no-decision after going four innings and allowing three runs on a season-high nine hits while striking out four.
Stockton got a run back in the fourth. Matt Olson walked to open the inning and Renato Nunez followed with an infield single to third. The throw from third baseman George Roberts skipped in the dirt and into foul territory, allowing Olson to take third. Beau Taylor came up next and hit a sac-fly to left to cut the deficit to 3-1. In the fourth, Jaycob Brugman led off with a home run off Rawhide starter Andrew Barbosa to make it 3-2. For Brugman, the homer was his seventh in as many games.
Blake Hassebrock came on in relief to begin the fifth and struck out the side in order in his first frame. In the sixth, however, Hassebrock gave up a leadoff single to Freeman and then a two-run homer to Socrates Brito that extended the Visalia lead back to three runs at 5-2. Roberts followed with a single to left and Brandon Jacobs came up next and doubled to the wall in left. Roberts, trying to score from first base, was thrown out on a relay throw made by Daniel Robertson. Hassebrock was then lifted for Andres Avila (2-1), who walked two batters but struck out two to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Hassebrock allowed two runs on four hits over an inning-and-a-third.
Visalia would see its lead crumble in the seventh. Barbosa opened the inning by issuing back-to-back walks to Brugman and Bobby Crocker, at which point he was lifted for Kyle Schepel (3-2). Schepel gave up a single to Wade Kirkland that loaded the bases and then walked Zeke DeVoss on four pitches to bring in a run and cut the Ports deficit to 5-3. Robertson came up next and hit a potential double-play ball to third. Roberts, the third baseman, threw home and threw wide of the plate, enabling another run to score to make it 5-4. Chad Pinder followed with an RBI single to left that tied the game at 5-5. Schepel was then replaced by left-hander Daniel Gibson, who got Olson to hit another potential double-play ball to first. First baseman Rudy Flores fielded and threw wide to second base, allowing two runs to score and giving the Ports their first lead at 7-5. Stockton added three more runs on a wild pitch, an RBI single by Taylor and a sac-fly by Brugman to take a 10-5 lead.
Schepel suffered the loss as he was charged with four runs (three earned) on two hits and did not record an out. Graham allowed two unearned runs and recorded all three outs of the seventh. Barbosa received a no-decision after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits in six-plus innings of work.
Stockton's final run came in the ninth as Olson hit his league-leading 35th home run of the season off Rawhide reliever Johnny Shuttlesworth to stretch the lead to 11-5.
Visalia got a leadoff home run from Alex Glenn in the ninth inning off Jonathan Joseph as it was the only run allowed by Joseph in two innings of relief. Joseph went on to strike out the next three batters after the Glenn home run to end the ballgame.
Robertson, who went 0-for-5, saw his 18-game hit streak come to an end. He stays tied with Lancaster's Conrad Gregor for the longest hit streak in the California League this season.
After taking two of three from Visalia, the Ports return home to begin a four-game series with the San Jose Giants at Banner Island Ballpark. Jake Sanchez (8-1, 3.05 ERA) makes the start in the series opener for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Joe Biagini (8-8, 4.32 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.