Lightning Strikes Twice for Giants, Ports Fall 5-4
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sunday's game between the Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants followed the exact same script. Stockton saw a lead evaporate in the ninth inning, took the lead in extra innings and, with the Giants down to their final out, gave up a two-run homer to lose in excruciating fashion. Stockton native Gio Brusa delivered a two-run homer for the Giants with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to lift San Jose to a 5-4 win over the Ports. Stockton, which had won seven straight games after a win on Thursday night, has now suffered three straight losses.
For a second straight game the Ports jumped out to an early lead as Chad Pinder, playing his second game on a Major League rehab assignment, hit a solo home run in the first inning of Giants starter Melvin Adon to make it a 1-0 game. Adon would go onto retire the next 11 consecutive batters before issuing a leadoff walk in the fifth to Will Toffey. After Eric Marinez singled, Luis Barrera laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and Nate Mondou delivered a sac-fly to center that made it 2-0.
Adon would go six innings and allow two runs on two hits while striking out four.
Will Smith took over for the Giants on a Major League rehab assignment to start the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Toffey, who scored on an ensuing double by Marinez to run the Ports lead to 3-0. Toffey, who slid into home plate, was injured on the play and would leave for the remainder of the game.
Ports starter Zack Erwin pitched around an error that started the first, leadoff singles in the second and third, a one-out double in the fourth, a one-out single in the fifth and a pair of singles in the sixth to keep San Jose out of the run column. Erwin worked into the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk to Jacob Heyward, who scored three batters later on a two-out double by Johneshwy Fargas that put the Giants on the board and made it a 3-1 contest.
Boomer Biegalski came on to start the eighth and set the side down in order in his first inning of work. Biegalski came back on for the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Heath Quinn, who went 4-for-4 on the afternoon. Two batters later, Heyward singled with one out to put runners at the corners and Jeff Arnold delivered a single to right that scored Quinn and made it 3-2. With runners still at the corners, Brandon Van Horn supplied a sacrifice fly to left that tied the game at 3-3.
The Ports would pull back in front in the 10th facing Rodolfo Martinez (1-0) when, with runners at the corners and nobody out, Kevin Merrell extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to right that scored Mondou and made it 4-3. Merrell, following a throwing error committed by catcher Matt Winn on a throw down to first, would wind up at third base with one out but would be stranded as Brallan Perez grounded out to the shallow-playing shortstop and Jonah Heim grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
Brandon Marsonek (0-1) came on to pitch the bottom of the 10th. With one on and two outs, Brusa stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run homer down the left field line that gave the Giants a 5-4 victory. Marsonek suffered the loss while Martinez picked up the win for San Jose.
After dropping three of four in San Jose, the Ports continue their road trip when they open a three-game series with the Modesto Nuts at John Thurman Field on Monday night. Right-hander Jake Bray (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Ljay Newsome (0-1, 8.18 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
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