LAKE ELSINORE, Calif.- The Stockton Ports had baserunners in eight of nine innings on Thursday night in Lake Elsinore, but never got any traction offensively. The Lake Elsinore Storm got a pair of home runs in the first inning and never looked back as the Storm handed the Ports a 5-1 loss to close out their rain-shortened series at The Diamond.
Oakland A's right hander Jharel Cotton (0-1) started for the Ports on a Major League rehab assignment and with two outs in the first, gave up back-to-back home runs to Gabriel Arias and Luis Campusano that gave the Storm a 2-0 lead. Cotton would work into the third and gave up a one-out single to Jeisson Rosario, at which point he was lifted for Xavier Altamirano. Altamirano would give up a single and a walk to load the bases before allowing a single to Jack Suwinski that brought in a run and stretched the Storm lead to 3-0.
Cotton would suffer the loss in his rehab start, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits while striking out two. He threw 45 pitches, 33 for strikes.
Altamirano gave up a leadoff double in the fourth to Tirso Ornelas, who scored two batters later on a double by Esteury Ruiz that made it a 4-0 game. After working a scoreless fifth, Altamirano gave up a leadoff single to Ornelas in the sixth and, two batters later, allowed an RBI triple to Ruiz that gave Lake Elsinore its fifth run of the night.
Altamirano worked 3 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out three.
Storm starter Ronald Bolanos (4-1) gave up back-to-back singles to open the second inning but then got Jeremy Eierman to hit into a double-play to halt the rally. Bolanos would not face another serious threat and allowed just a solo home run to Robert Mullen in the fifth, Mullen's first hit in a Stockton uniform.
Bolanos earned the win, tossing six innings and allowing five hits while walking two and striking out five.
Elliot Ashbeck, Hansel Rodriguez and J.C. Cosme each worked a scoreless inning of relief down the stretch for Lake Elsinore to close out the ballgame.
Peter Bayer and Sam Sheehan each worked a scoreless inning in relief for Stockton.
The Ports continue their road trip on Friday as they'll play two seven-inning games at San Manuel Stadium with the Inland Empire 66ers. The games begin at 5:35 p.m. PT with the continuation of Sunday's suspended game, which will resume with Stockton leading 3-1 heading into the top of the third with the Ports playing as the home team. The second game of the twin-bill will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.