A brilliant performance by San Jose Giants newcomer Jack Snodgrass was the driving force behind a 4-1 win over the Stockton Ports on Tuesday at Municipal Stadium. Snodgrass surrendered just five hits and struck out five in his seven shutout innings of work. With the win, Snodgrass’ third in his last four starts, he improves to 3-1 on the season with a 1.23 ERA that is second best in the California League.
Chris Lofton and Jeff Arnold each had three hits and a run scored to bookend the San Jose lineup from the leadoff and ninth spots, respectively. With two of his three hits going for doubles, Arnold continued his hot start to 2012 by raising his average to .588 (10-for-17) on the season. Seth Rosin, featuring a mid-90s fastball, pitched a dominant ninth to earn his third save of the year.
San Jose struck first in the home half of the second inning by taking an early 1-0 lead. Adam Duvall led off with a single through the left side of the infield, and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Stockton starter Blake Treinen. With one out, Luke Anders connected on a broken-bat single to center field, allowing Duvall to score.
The Giants’ remaining three runs all came in the bottom of the seventh, as San Jose pounded out four hits in addition to taking advantage of a Ports error and a hit batsman. With one out, Arnold, Lofton and Carter Jurica connected on three consecutive hits.
The trio combined for three-quarters of the cycle with Arnold’s double, Lofton’s single and Jurica’s triple in succession. Jurica’s three-bagger plated Arnold and Lofton to extend the Giants’ lead to 3-0. Jurica himself scored on Ricky Oropesa’s two-out base hit through the right side to put San Jose up 4-0.
Stockton’s Rashun Dixon led off the top of the eighth with a solo home run off of Giants reliever Jose Valdez, his second of the season and in his last three games. Dixon went 2-for-3 and was the only Port with more than one hit on the night.
Valdez navigated his way out of the inning before turning the ball over to Rosin, who struck out Stockton’s first two batters in the ninth on three consecutive pitches. Rosin then induced a weak ground out off the bat of A.J. Kirby-Jones for the final out, capping a save in which he was hitting 94 with ease on the radar gun.
Game two of the three-game set between the Giants and the Ports is slated for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Municipal Stadium. San Jose sends Shawn Sanford (3-2, 5.00) to the mound in the hopes that he can get back on track. After winning his first three starts of 2012, Sanford has dropped his last two decisions.
Stockton will counter with A.J. Cole (0-3, 6.41), who is in seek of his first win of the year. Despite having a 17-to-5 ratio of strikeouts to walks, Cole has given up 25 hits in his 19 2/3 innings and surrenders nearly a run per inning.
Tickets are available by visiting www.sjgiants.com or by calling (408) 297-1435. For those attending the game, catch live play-by-play action with Giants broadcaster Joe Ritzo on 92.9 FM inside the ballpark. The broadcast can also be found on the San Jose Giants’ web site during the game.
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