BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Blaze season-opening skid reached three on Saturday night, as the Stockton Ports started quickly, and never let up en route to a 7-3 win at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.
The Blaze, needing a strong start to get back on track, will have to wait another day. Top prospect Jonathan Moscot (L, 0-1) struggled in his first California League appearance, allowing four runs in 3.2 frames, including a two-run homer to Ports second baseman Michael Fabiaschi.
On the other side, the Blaze offense did put together a strong inning in the 4th, but once again could not sustain the attach. Four two-out singles plated two runs, giving the Blaze a short-lived 3-2 edge in the contest, but the Ports came back with two of their own in the bottom half, and that was as close as the Blaze would come from that point forward.
The Blaze relieving corps struggled with Stockton, as well. Jake Johnson, making his first appearance, was asked to go as many innings as possible, and the righthander allowed a pair of runs over 2.1 frames. Jimmy Moran followed, surrendering one run over 2.0 innings.
The Ports bullpen continued to be a story, posting another 4.0 innings of scoreless baseball, and that crew still has not allowed a run this season.
The win will go to Sean Murphy (W, 1-0), the Stockton starter, who went the requisite five innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) and doing just enough before exiting.
The Blaze fall to 0-3 with the defeat, and will look for the first win of the year on Sunday afternoon, with James Allen taking the hill for Bakersfield and opposing Tanner Peters for the Ports. That game will be broadcast LIVE on the internet at BakersfieldBlaze.com's Multimedia link.