BY ESTEBAN RAMIREZ Special to The Californian
The Stockton Ports held off a late Blaze rally on the way to 3-2 victory Friday at Sam Lynn Ballpark, snapping Bakersfield's season-best six-game win streak.
Stockton received a solid pitching performance from starter James Simmons (1-0), who worked seven shutout innings.
He struck out six and gave up only four hits and one walk on the way to earning his first win of the year.
After Simmons was relieved by T.J. Walz, the Blaze offense started to get going, scoring two runs in the final two innings.
Bakersfield scored a run in the eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Juan Silverio, who drove in Juan Duran.
In the ninth, Yorman Rodriguez led off with a single for Bakersfield and was moved to third on a double by Marquez Smith, who went 2-for-3.
After Steve Selsky struck out on three pitches, Kyle Waldrop drove in Rodriguez on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 with two outs, but Duran struck on three pitches to end the threat.
Even though the Blaze (17-30) struggled to get runners on base, the game was scoreless until the sixth inning when the Ports (24-23) scored three runs against starter James Allen.
Stockton's Dusty Robinson, a graduate of Centennial High, led off the sixth inning with a walk and took third on a double by Bobby Crocker. Top Oakland A's prospect Addison Russell singled in Robinson for the first run. Stockton's Antonio Lamas drove in two more runs to give the Ports 3-0 lead.
Allen (2-5) surrendered three earned runs, struck out four, walked three and allowed three hits in five innings.
Relievers Jimmy Moran and Brooks Pinckard worked two scoreless innings each for Bakersfield.
Stockton's Jose Macias earned his third save.
The series continues at 7:30 tonight at Sam Lynn.