RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Stockton Ports were two outs away from snapping a three-game skid on Monday night at Loan Mart Field. Keibert Ruiz, though, had other ideas. Ruiz came up with two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth and hit a game-winning three-run homer down the right field line to give the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes a walk-off 4-3 win and extend Stockton’s losing streak to four games. The Ports have now dropped seven of their last eight overall.
Stockton opened the scoring in the fourth when Sandber Pimentel came up with Eli White at third base and two outs and hit a two-run homer to center. The Ports added to their lead in the fifth as Seth Brown doubled with one out and scored on an ensuing RBI single by Edwin Diaz to make it a 3-0 advantage. Following Diaz’ RBI single, Quakes pitching retired 14 consecutive batters to close out the ballgame.
Quakes starter Dennis Santana would be rendered a no-decision after going seven innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven. Grant Dayton pitched a perfect eighth inning on a Major League rehab assignment and Andrew Istler (4-3) struck out the side in order in the ninth as he would pick up the victory.
Brandon Bailey started the game for Stockton and pitched five tremendous innings in which he retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced, allowing only a two-out single in the second inning to Drew Jackson after striking out the first five batters he faced to open his outing. He’d be in line for the win but also be rendered a no-decision as he struck out six over five scoreless frames.
Brendon Butler (2-3) came on to pitch the sixth and gave up a pair of singles that put two on with two out. After DJ Peters reached on a catcher’s interference to load the bases, Butler threw a wild pitch that allowed Brandon Montgomery to score from third and cut the Ports lead to 3-1.
Following the catcher’s interference, Butler would go on to retire seven consecutive batters to take him into the ninth inning. He opened the ninth by hitting Luke Raley to bring the possible-tying run to the plate. After a fielder’s choice force play, Johan Mieses singled to put two aboard and bring up Ruiz, who hit a three-run game-winning homer down the right field line and to the left of the foul pole to give the Quakes a 4-3 victory.
Butler suffered the loss as he allowed four runs on four hits over 3.2 innings worked.
The Ports and Quakes wrap up their three-game series with a matinee on Tuesday at Loan Mart Field. Norge Ruiz (2-0, 2.81 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga righty Adam Bray (4-2, 3.63 ERA). First pitch is set for 10:35 a.m. PDT.