RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. - The Stockton Ports were held to just one hit after the fourth inning on Friday night at LoanMart Field. The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes' pitching staff set down 16 of the final 17 Stockton hitters of the game as they shut out the Ports by a final of 7-0 to open a three-game series.
The Ports collected seven hits over the first four innings but couldn't make anything of them as they had two runners thrown out at the plate in that span. Jameson Hannah singled to open the first inning and was thrown out at the plate by Quakes right fielder Donovan Casey trying to score on a two-out single by Jonah Bride.
Stockton squandered a leadoff double by Lazaro Armenteros in the second and had runners at second and third with two outs but did not score in the third. Quakes starter Michael Grove went three innings and pitched around five hits while walking one and striking out five.
Dylan Floro took over for the Quakes on a Major League rehab assignment in the fourth and, with the bases loaded and one out, saw Nico Giarratano hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by Casey. Trace Loehr tried to tag up and score from third and was thrown out to end the frame. Beginning with that double-play, Quakes pitching went on to set down 16 of the final 17 Ports hitters. Guillermo Zuniga pitched a scoreless fifth, Max Gamboa (5-3) set down nine of the 10 he faced beginning in the sixth and Melvin Jimenez struck out the side in order to end the game.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano (5-7) had a strong start and allowed just one run as he hit Marcus Chiu with two outs in the fourth and gave up an ensuing double to Stevie Berman that scored Chiu and gave the Quakes a 1-0 lead. Altamirano would leave the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and watch Ty Damron strand all three runners.
Altamirano would suffer the loss, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on four this while matching a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Damron would suffer through a tough seventh as he allowed four runs on four hits, including a three-run homer to Jeren Kendall that gave the Quakes a 5-0 lead.
Nick Highberger came on to work the eighth and, after allowing a one-out single, issued three straight walks, the last to Jeter Downs with the bases loaded to make it 6-0. Kendall followed with a sac-fly to center to run the Quakes lead to 7-0. Highberger allowed two runs on one hit while walking three over two-thirds of an inning.
The Ports and Quakes play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday night at LoanMart Field. Bryce Conley (3-0, 1.42 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga right-hander Gerardo Carrillo (2-6, 6.05 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.