In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps an incredible night of baseball in the American Association, as all 12 teams were in action. In the Game of the Night, the Cleburne Railroaders downed the Lincoln Saltdogs thanks to a 4-RBI night from Grant-Parks, and Dylan Thompson outdueled Kevin McGovern to lead Sioux Falls to victory.
Cleburne Railroaders Win See-Saw Affair, 6-5
The Cleburne Railroaders bullpen has struggled over the last 10 days, but they came up big on Friday night, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings to help down the Lincoln Saltdogs, 6-5. Blake Grant-Parks provided the firepower, driving in four, and Rafael Palmeiro hit his second home run of the season in the victory. Lincoln added two more home runs to their league-leading total.
Cleburne jumped out in front in the bottom of the second. Saltdogs starter Tyler Herron retired the first two batters of the inning, but Levi Scott kept the frame going with a single to right field. John Menken and Alex Polston each drew a walk to load cases before Blake Grant-Parks lined a double to the wall in center. All three runners came around to score and the Railroaders had a 3-0 lead.
Patrick Mincey was in complete command for Cleburne, allowing 2-hits through the first four innings. In the fifth, Lincoln would finally get on the board against the right-hander. Brandon Jacobs began the inning with a double and scored when Angel Reyes connected on his eighth home run of the season. Christian Ibarra followed by hitting the next pitch for his fifth homer of the year and the game was tied.
In the sixth, the Cleburne Railroaders would retake the lead. With one out, Rafael Palmeiro hit a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall for his second home run of the year.
In the top of the seventh, the Saltdogs would take their first lead of the game. Ibarra singled with one out and moved to second on a passed ball. With two down, Cesar Valera grounded a single up the middle, scoring Ibarra to tie the game. Curt Smith followed with a double into the gap, bringing Valera only way around from first to score and Lincoln was on top 5-4.
The lead did not last, however. Menken started the bottom of the seventh with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. Scott Kuzminsky took over for Herron and was greeted by a single off the bat of Grant-Parks. That drove in Menken, the fourth run driven in by Grant-Parks on the day.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Cleburne Railroaders would retake the lead. Angelo Gumbs got the rally going with a one out single and moved to third when Scott followed with a base hit into right. A wild pitch brought Gumbs home and Cleburne was on top, 6-5.
Cortland Cox (3-0) had come on in the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame, striking out the side. He would earn the victory. Shawn Blackwell came on in the ninth and retired all three batters he faced for his third save of the season.
John Menken followed his 3-4, 4-RBI debut on Thursday with a 1-3, 2-runs scored night for Cleburne. Angel Reyes finished 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI for Lincoln.
Early Outburst Boosts T-Bones to 6-4 Victory
The Kansas City T-Bones scored six runs through the first three innings on Friday night, then hung on for a 6-4 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. In the top of the first, Kansas City got things rolling, as Zach Walters, Cal Towey, and Adrian Nieto each had RBI singles in the frame. Brennan Metzger hit his third home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the first, but the T-Bones responded with a run in the top of the second on an RBI single by Todd Cunningham and would add an additional run in the third when Dexter Kjerstad drove home Nieto to make it 6-1. The RedHawks would put up three runs in the fourth to close the gap, but starter Lucas Irvine (2-0) would keep his team on top, tossing seven solid innings to earn the victory. Dylan Tice was 3-5 with a run scored for Kansas City.
Dylan Thompson Outduels McGovern, Canaries Win 3-1
It was a great pitching duel on Friday night in Sioux Falls, as Dylan Thompson outdueled Winnipeg Goldeyes Ace Kevin McGovern in a 3-1 Canaries victory. Sioux Falls jumped on top in the bottom of the first on an RBI double from Burt Reynolds and a run-scoring single by Blake Schmit. Each team would get a run in the third. Grant Heyman came home on a single by Dave Sappelt to cut the lead to one, but the Canaries immediately got that back in the bottom of the frame when Patrick Fiala started the inning with the triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. Thompson (3-2) earned the victory, allowing 7-hits and a run in 7-innings. He walked no one and struck out 9, a season high. Kyle Schepel earned his second save.
Keith Picht Stymies RailCats in 6-1 Explorers Victory
The Sioux City Explorers rolled into Indiana on Friday night, and gave the Gary Southshore RailCats a firsthand look at what the rest of the American Association has seen this season. Sioux City took the lead in the third on a two-run homer off the bat of Jay Baum and an RBI double by Dexture McCall. That was far more than enough support as Picht and three relievers combined on a 6-hitter. Keith Picht (1-1) tossed five shutout innings, striking out eight to earn his first victory of the season. Ryan Flores did see his scoreless streak end at 20 innings when he gave up a run in the eighth. Baum finished 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI for the Explorers.
Casey Harman Grounds AirHogs, Wingnuts Win 4-1
Casey Harman (3-1) earned his third victory of the season on Friday night as the Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Texas AirHogs, 4-1. Harman tossed eight outstanding innings, allowing 6-hits and a run, while striking out 6. This was a great pitcher’s duel for much of the game, as the score was tied at one until the top of the seventh. That is when Wichita would put up three runs to take command of the game. Harman then made the lead hold for two more innings before James Campbell came on in the ninth to close it out for his second save of the season. Logan Watkins finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI for Wichita.
Josh Goossen-Brown, Chicago Bullpen Push Dogs Past Saints, 4-2
The Chicago Dogs welcomed the St. Paul Saints to town for the first time and proved to be rather inhospitable hosts, scoring three runs in the first on their way to a 4-2 victory. Josh Goossen-Brown (2-2) earned the win allowing two runs in 5.2-innnings, and three relievers came on to toss 3.1 scoreless frames to preserve the victory. Ryan Wagner drove in two in the bottom of the first to help lead the offense.
By Robert Pannier