Brown had a big game in support of Mitchinson.
STOCKTON - It may not have been Leeming, Western Australia but Ports' pitcher Scott Mitchinson certainly looked like he was at home Wednesday night, as he was nearly perfect, in his Stockton Ballpark debut against the Lancaster Jethawks.
Scott Mitchinson would retire the first 11 batters of the game before a controversial non-call, on a potential strike three, led to the lone hit he would surrender, a double to right field, to prevent a perfect six innings of work. In his six innings, Mitchinson struck out five while allowing just the one hit and didn't allow a walk as the Stockton Ports defeated Lancaster 7-2 to earn his first victory since his promotion from Kane County.
Ahead of Lancaster right fielder Ryan Kalish, with an 0-2 count, Mitchinson seemingly to the fans and Ports' defense had an inning-ending strikeout as they started to head to the dugout before having to retract those steps as the home plate umpire failed to stick his right arm out for the called strike-three. Two pitches later, Kalish hit a line-drive double to right field ending his chance for a perfect game. Mitchinson would respond by retiring the final seven batters of his outing without allowing another hit.
Selected by the Oakland A's in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Philadelphia Phillies in December, the 23-year-old Australian had previously spent the season in Kane County where he went 5-3 with a 1.74 ERA in 14 appearances with the Cougars before his promotion to Stockton last week. Mitchinson made his season debut in Modesto on Friday, where he received a no-decision after going 4.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Stockton wasted no time in giving Mitchinson an early lead to work with as Chris Carter drew a two-out walk to set the stage for a two-run, two-out RBI double by Matt Spencer to center field scoring Josh Horton and Carter hustling in from first to give the Ports an early 2-0 lead. Alexander Valdez, batting last in the order, extended the lead to 3-0 in the second inning with an RBI single to score Corey Brown. Brown would once again lead off an inning with a single to start the fourth inning and Valdez with a sacrafice fly to right field would plate Brown yet again extending the lead to four.
Following a Jermaine Mitchell one-out walk, Carter extended the lead to 6-0 with a high fly ball to left that had left fielder Matt Sheely thinking he would be able to catch the fly ball before he ran out of room as the ball cleared the wall for Carter's 38th home run of the season. Carter, with his second homer in as many nights, now has 102 RBI as he continue to increase the Stockton single-season home run record which previously stood at 31.
Frank Martinez would knock in the Ports final run of the evening with a line-drive double to left scoring Matt Spencer as the Ports led 7-0 after five innings of play.
James Heuser pitched a perfect inning of relief after taking over for the starter Mitchinson, striking out one before making way for Patrick Currin in the eighth inning. Currin would allow two hits and the JetHawks were able to score two runs before Sam Demel was called upon in the ninth. Demel allowed a two-out single but that was all, as he struck out the side to seal the victory.
Jermaine Mitchell and Corey Brown each finished with two hits each as Mitchell had two doubles to go with an RBI and stolen base while Brown stole two bases and scored twice in a 2-for-3 night with a walk.
The Ports (30-35 second half, 72-63 overall) are expected to send right-hander Travis Banwart (2-4, 4.45) to the mound Thursday night in a matchup against Lancaster's Chris Jones (7-8, 6.23). The Ports, who have already clinched the number two seed in the postseason that starts next Wednesday, have a chance to finish the second half of the season at with a .500 record by winning their final five games of the regular season.