STOCKTON — The Modesto Nuts won't beat Stockton again until they can keep Maxwell Muncy's fly balls in the park.
Muncy, the Ports' powerful designated hitter, launched his eighth home run of the young season and his third against Modesto the last two games during Stockton's 5-2 win Saturday night.
Modesto fell for the second straight night after taking an early lead. Tyler Massey's first homer, a shot to right after Taylor Featherston's single, put the Nuts in front 2-0 in the third.
The Nuts' bats went quiet, however, and Muncy led off Stockton's two-run fourth with his homer off Modesto starter Chris Jensen (0-3). An inning later, Muncy's sacrifice fly gave Stockton the lead to stay 3-2.
Jensen struck out six and allowed three earned runs in 5º innings. Reliever Geoff Parker finished for the Nuts but not before Tony Thompson stroked an important 2-out 2-run double in the eighth to extend Modesto's deficit to 5-2.
The Nuts' frustration the last two games was symbolized by David Kandilas, who lined into a game-ending double play. Harold Riggins and William Swanner had two hits apiece.
Modesto (8-8) trails Stockton (11-6) and San Jose (12-5) in the California League's North Division.
Modesto seeks a win to split the four-game series today at 2:09 p.m.