The Stockton Ports used big sixth and seventh innings, in which they scored three runs in each frame, to pull away late and defeat the San Jose Giants Friday, 8-5. The Ports won their second in a row over the Giants, and 10th straight game overall in a win streak that dates back to June 12. Stockton’s eight runs came in a four-inning span with one each in the fourth and fifth, and the big three-run innings to follow. San Jose tied the game at 2-2 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth before the Ports blew it wide open. Giants starter Andy Reichard (4-1, 3.55 ERA) was roughed up to the tune of five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings, resulting in his first loss of the season.
The Ports’ Michael Gilmartin put his team on the scoreboard first with a solo home run in the top of the fourth, taking Reichard’s first pitch of the inning over the wall in right field for a 1-0 Stockton lead. The home run was Gilmartin’s sixth of the season.
The visitors doubled their lead in the fifth, again doing damage with no outs. Rashun Dixon coaxed a four-pitch walk, and advanced to third on Jason Christian’s base hit in the following at-bat. Mitch LeVier’s fly ball found the glove of Gary Brown for the first out, but was plenty deep enough to let Dixon tag and score to make it 2-0 Stockton.
San Jose answered with a two-out rally in the home half of the fifth to draw even. After Ports starter Murphy Smith recorded two quick outs, Alex Burg worked a walk and then stole second base. Wendell Fairley’s ensuing line drive up the middle plated Burg to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Fairley also stole second to put himself in scoring position, and came around to score on James Simmons’ grounder up the middle to tie the game at 2-2. Simmons’ hit and RBI came in his first game since rejoining San Jose from Triple-A Fresno Thursday.
The first of two huge offensive innings for Stockton unfolded in the top of the sixth, as Myrio Richard and Gilmartin began with back-to-back doubles. Richard and Gilmartin traded places on base, as Richard scored to regain the lead for the Ports, 3-2. After advancing to third on a fielder’s choice, Gilmartin scored his second run of the game on Ryan Ortiz’s base hit to left, giving Stockton a two-run cushion again at 4-2.
Ortiz’s blow knocked Reichard fro the game for San Jose. Reliever Chuck Lofgren came in for the Giants and was tagged immediately by Anthony Aliotti, whose double off the center field wall plated Ortiz for a 5-2 Stockton lead. The Ports tacked on three more runs in the seventh, two of them coming via Ortiz’s two-run home run, his third of the year.
Down 8-2 in the bottom of the eighth, San Jose managed to cut the Ports lead in half and get three runs back. Bobby Haney’s leadoff single was backed up by Ryan Cavan’s double down the left field line. Haney scored to inch the Giants closer, 8-3. Cavan proceeded to steal third with an alert base running play, as he took advantage of Ortiz’s lazy throw back to the mound following a pitch. Cavan’s hustle paid off as he crossed home on Jarrett Parker’s ground out to make it 8-4 in favor of Stockton.
Jose Flores scored the Giants’ final run with two outs after doubling to right field. A Burg walk put two runners on for Fairley, whose grounder to the Ports’ Dusty Coleman was thrown wide of first by the shortstop. The error allowed Flores to come to the plate to trim the Stockton lead to 8-5, and also move Burg up to third. But James Simmons was called out on strikes to end the eighth, and Ports reliever Andrew Carignan made short work of the San Jose order in the ninth to secure the victory.
After winning 11 straight against the Ports, the Giants have lost two in a row to Stockton. The best San Jose can hope for is a series split with wins Saturday and Sunday. The Giants have not lost a series since losing three of four to Visalia May 2-5, and have only lost two series all season. The other came April 11-13 when San Jose dropped two of three to Lancaster. Both series were on the road, and the Giants would very much like to avoid suffering their first home series loss of 2011.
The Giants look to rebound Saturday when they send all-star Kelvin Marte (5-4, 2.93 ERA) to the mound to square off against Stockton’s A.J. Griffin (2-2, 2.93 ERA). Game time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with coverage on Comcast Hometown Network channel 104 for the second straight night. For those attending the game, tickets are available by visiting www.sjgiants.com, or by calling (408) 297-1435.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Michael Gilmartin (3B, STO): 3-for-5, HR (6), 2B, 3 R – finished a triple shy of the cycle
2. Ryan Ortiz (C, STO): 2-for-4, HR (3), 3 RBI, 2 R
3 (tie). Ryan Cavan (2B, SJ): 2-for 4, 2B, RBI, R
Wendell Fairley (DH, SJ): 2-for-4, RBI, R
* San Jose scored five runs Friday, which matched their output from the previous four games combined. Still, the Giants are 1-4 in their last five games after a stretch in which they won 24 of 26.
* Former San Jose Giant Chris Dominguez is off to a hot start in Double-A Richmond. Dominguez went 2-for-4 with his first Double-A home run in Friday’s win over the Erie Seawolves. In his eight games since being promoted to the Flying Squirrels June 16, Dominguez is 8-for-29 (.276) with five doubles, a triple and a homer. Seven of Dominguez’s eight hits have gone for extra bases.
* Former San Jose reliever Hector Correa has thrown 4 2/3 scoreless innings in two appearances since being promoted to Double-A Richmond June 17. Correa has only relinquished two hits and one walk while striking out four thus far for the Flying Squirrels.
* Former San Jose catcher Hector Sanchez is currently batting .308 with six RBI and five doubles as a member of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. Sanchez, who began the year in San Jose and played in 42 games, was promoted June 9.
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