The Bakersfield Blaze appeared to need rest! After a rare off day, the Blaze bats came back gassed up, and greeted the Stockton Ports rudely, sailing to an easy 8-1 in the opener of a 3-game set at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.
Bakersfield jumped out to a big early lead against Ian Krol (L, 1-6), and never looked back. After going in order in the first, the Blaze sent 10 men to the plate in a 5-run, 7-hit second inning that featured just one extra-base hit, and RBI's for Chris Berset, Niko Vasquez, James Ewing, Kurtis Muller and Donald Lutz. From there, the Ports would never sniff the Blaze.
Bakersfield drove Krol from the game, then added 2 more off reliever Max Perlman on 3 hits and an error in the 3rd.
Meanwhile, Tanner Robles (W, 1-0) looked strong again. In his second start with Bakersfield, Robles had to throw a few more pitches to get his outs, but once again dominated Stockton, going 5.0 shutout frames and fanning 7 to get his first win at High-A.
The score remained 7-0 for the entirety of the middle innings, but the Blaze added one final run for good measure in the 7th. Travis Mattair lined a low bullet into the rightfield seats, his 12th homer of the year, off T.J. Walz to give the Blaze the 8-0 advantage.
The Ports eliminated the goose-egg in the 8th off Mike Griffin. A leadoff triple by Chad Oberacker was later followed by an infield single, and though the Ports would go on to load the bases in the frame with 1 out, Griffin escaped without any further damage, and after the Blaze made out in the 9th, Kyle McMyne finished off the victory with a quick bottom half.
With the win, the Blaze get back to 8-12 in the second half and 49-41 overall, winning two in a row now after dropping seven straight.
The series with Stockton continues Thursday night at 7:05pm, with Jamie Walczak getting the call for the Blaze, and Josh Bowman for the Ports. Make sure to tune in for all the action at 6:55pm, when Dan Besbris will fire up the pregame show at BakersfieldBlaze.com, the exclusive internet home of your Bakersfield Blaze.
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