MODESTO, Ca. – The Ports went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and could not overcome a four-run bottom of the third for the Nuts in a 4-2 loss on Saturday night at John Thurman Field in Modesto. The loss was the Ports’ fourth in a row.
With the game scoreless after the first two and a half innings, the Nuts (66-65) jumped on Stockton starter Mitch Myers for four runs in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back singles by Brett Rodriguez and Harry Ford started the inning and after a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Cole Young hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give Modesto a 1-0 lead. The Nuts then pounded out four consecutive hits, as Freuddy Batista drove in Ford with a double to make it 2-0 and Tyler Locklear singled Batista to third but was thrown out trying to advance to second base on a throw home from left field. Gabriel Gonzalez then doubled to right field to score Batista from third and Hogan Windish grounded a single up the middle to score Gonzalez from second giving the Nuts a 4-0 lead.
The Ports (44-87), meanwhile, had no issue getting runners aboard but failed to score in the early innings. Stockton put two runners on with nobody out on back-to-back singles to start both the first and second innings but failed to score. In the third the Ports had runners on first and second with one out, but Modesto starter Brayan Perez got CJ Rodriguez to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Danny Bautista finally got the Ports on the board in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs and nobody on, Bautista hit a towering drive over the left field wall off Perez for a solo home run cutting the Nuts’ lead to 4-1. It was Bautista’s second longball against Perez in 2022.
The Ports tallied another in the top of the eighth inning. With T.J. Schofield-Sam on first base and one out, Rodriguez lined an RBI double into the left field corner to make it 4-2. Rodriguez advanced to third base on an error by Nuts left fielder Gabriel Gonzalez, but the Ports failed to drive him home.
Stockton got a two-out single by Junior Perez in the ninth, but Bautista was retired on a fielders’ choice to end the ballgame.
Perez (6-3) got the win for the Nuts, scattering six hits over five one-run innigns while striking out three. Myers (4-10) took the loss despite tying a season-high with seven innings. He allowed four runs, all coming in the third, on ten hits with two…