Stockton Photo Gallery: Ports Lose Late

Julio Ramos went seven strong innings.

STOCKTON - It has been a rough season for the Stockton Ports in 2009, and the Ports' game against Visalia on Saturday night was emblematic of their tough season. Sloppy base-running and ill-timed defensive blunders helped the Ports waste a stellar pitching performance from youngster Julio Ramos. We have the photos inside...

For the most part, it has been a season to forget for the Stockton Ports, and Saturday's game was another forgettable contest. The Ports wasted a number of opportunities and committed some crucial errors in losing a game to the Visalia Oaks by a score of 5-4 in front of 4,942 fans at Banner Island Ballpark.

Stockton received a terrific pitching performance from starter Julio Ramos in the loss. Ramos, who was making his second start for Stockton this season after starring for the Vancouver Canadians earlier in the year, went seven strong innings. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks and he struck-out nine.

Stockton gave Ramos a lead early in the game, scoring two runs in the first inning. Unfortunately for the Ports, it could have been a bigger inning but for a base-running blunder. The Ports would have two runners thrown out trying to stretch singles into doubles on Saturday night - Michael Richard in the first and Gabriel Ortiz in the ninth.

The Ports held a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning, when Ramos made his one mistake of the evening, allowing a two-out, two-run triple to David Cooper to tie the game. The game remained knotted at two until the top of the eighth, when the Rawhide scored an unearned run off of Derrick Gordon. The run was a result of a two-base fielding error by left-fielder Shane Keough.

Stockton battled back in the bottom of the eighth. Jermaine Mitchell reached on an error and then advanced to third when Michael Richard's bunt single was thrown away. Mitchell would then score on a passed ball and, after a Steve Kleen soft line-out, Toddric Johnson would give the Ports the lead with an RBI single.

The Ports looked poised to win the game with reliever Jason Ray on the mound. Ray has had a terrific season for Stockton. He allowed a single, but had recorded two outs on strike-outs when he faced Visalia pinch-hitter Ryne White. White took the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence for the game-winning homer.

The Ports and the Rawhide combined to turn five double-plays in the game, two short of the league record.

Below are photos from the game.

ALL PHOTOS BY CHRIS LOCKARD/SCOUT.COM

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