Modesto Nuts claim second-half title with 5-3 win over Stockton

local@modbee.comAugust 31, 2013 

— The Modesto Nuts finally broke out the bubbly Saturday night.

The Nuts clinched a second-half California League North championship with a 5-3 victory over the Stockton Ports at John Thurman Field.

Modesto jumped out to a big lead then held on to secure the victory.

With two runners on and one out — and after having batting coach Jonathan Stone ejected for arguing with umpire Luke Engen — Jared Simon blasted a three-run homer that put the Nuts up 3-0 . Modesto added single runs in the second and third innings to build a 5-1 lead. Stockton wasn’t done, though, scratching together single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull within 5-3. But the Modesto bullpen shut the Ports down the rest of the way, with Bruce Kern closing out the win to record his second save.

Chris Jensen (5-8) got his first home win of the season, going six innings and allowing two runs.

Modesto went 42-26 in the second half to claim the title.

The Nuts have the home-field edge for their three-game series with Visalia.

The teams open at Visalia on Wednesday, with Games 2 and 3 slated for Modesto on Thursday and Friday.

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