In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps the game of the night as the Lincoln Saltdogs hit three more homers to defeat the Cleburne Railroaders, 9-7. The Kansas City T-Bones score 9 in the ninth to defeat the Wichita Wingnuts, 11-3, and St. Paul Saints RHP Matt Solter is impressive again. Get recaps from around the league.
Chase Simpson Blasts Pair of Homers in Saltdogs 9-7 Win
The Lincoln Saltdogs continued their historic home run pace Friday night, blasting three homers in a 9-7 comeback victory over the Cleburne Railroaders. Chase Simpson hit a pair of home runs and Brandon Jacobs took sole possession of the American Association lead with his eighth of the season. That ruined Patrick Palmeiro’s big night, who hit the first grand slam in Cleburne Railroaders history. The three homers now give Lincoln 37 in 21 games, putting them on pace to hit 176, which would shatter the single season team record set by Lincoln in 2010 (128).
It was a scoreless tie through the first three frames as the Railroaders Dylan Mouzakes and Saltdogs Derek Gordon both looked sharp early on. In the top of the fourth, Cleburne would take the lead. With one down, Chevy Clarke, playing in his first game with the Railroaders, hit his first home run of the season to give the visitors a one run lead.
The lead did not last long, however. In the bottom half of the inning, Chase Simpson led off with a walk and scored when Brandon Jacobs followed with his eighth home run of the year. That put Lincoln on top, 2-1.
The Saltdogs extended their lead to three in the bottom of the fifth. Chad Hinshaw led off with a walk. Two batters later, Simpson crushed a shot into left-center for the first of his two home runs on the day.
Cleburne battled back in the top of the sixth. A single by Alex Polston started the inning. Cameron Monger then reached on an error. A sacrificed moved both runners into scoring position before Blake Grant-Parks was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That would be it for Gordon, as Brian Loconsole came on looking to shut the door. He retired KC Huth on a shallow fly ball to right field, but Trevor Sealey kept the inning alive with a hard single into right field, scoring Polston to pull the Railroaders within two. Next up was Patrick Palmeiro, who took a 1-1 pitch from the Lincoln reliever and drilled it for the first grand slam in Cleburne history. The fourth home run of the season by Palmeiro put the Cleburne Railroaders on top, 6-4.
Lincoln would get one of those runs back in the bottom half of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Nathaniel Maggio and Dashenko Ricardo got the inning started. Omar Obregon looked to move both runners up with a sacrifice, but the throw by reliever Josh Hodges went over the head of the first baseman and down the line, allowing Maggio to score to make this a one run game.
Cleburne extended their lead back to two in the top of the seventh. Polston walked with one down and scored on a Monger double to give the Railroaders the 7-5 lead.
From there, it was all Lincoln. In the bottom of the seventh, Angel Reyes was hit by a pitch with one down and moved to third on a single by Maggio. Reyes scored on a single by Ricardo to make it a one run game again.
That sent the game to the bottom of the eighth where the Lincoln Saltdogs would take the lead for good. Curt Smith walked to start the inning and scored when Simpson followed with his sixth home run of the season. That gave Lincoln a one run lead. Two batters later, Reyes singled. He would later score on an error to put Lincoln up by two.
J.R. Bunda came on in the ninth looking to close out the game. He gave up a one-out single, but struck out the final two batters for his fifth save of the season.
Chase Simpson finished the day 2-4, with 3-runs scored and 4-RBI to go along with his 2-homers. Dashenko Riccardo was 3-5 with 2-RBI. Patrick Palmeiro was 3-5 with a run and 4-RBI for Cleburne.
Jeff McKenzie Cages RedHawks in RailCats 2-1 Victory
The Gary Southshore RailCats are on a roll, winning their 11th game out of their last 13 to stay one game out of first in the American Association North Division. Jeff McKenzie was the big star of the contest, tossing eight outstanding innings to earn his second win of the season. The RailCats took the lead in the top of the third when Alex Crosby tripled with one out and scored on a single by Andy DeJesus. The lead became two in the top sixth when Wilfredo Gimenez drove home Colin Willis with an RBI single to make it 2-0. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had struggled all night against McKenzie, but would pull within one in the bottom half of the sixth when Maikol Gonzalez hit his first home run of the year. McKenzie (2-0) went 8-innings, allowing 3-hits and a run. He struck out 3. Myles Smith came on in the ninth and closed out the game, striking out the side for his first save of the season.
Charle Rosario Silences Dogs in 5-2 Goldeyes Win
Charle Rosario tossed seven shutout innings on Friday night as the Winnipeg Goldeyes were victorious, 5-2. Leading by a run heading into the bottom of the fifth, Jordan Ebert drew a bases-loaded walk to drive home Matt McCann, and Kevin Garcia followed with a two run single to extend the lead to four. Jonathan Moroney got the Chicago Dogs on the board with a two run double in the top of the eighth inning, but Josh Mazzola’s third home run of the season in the bottom half of the inning made it a 5-2 game, which would be the final. Rosario went 7-innings, allowing 4-hits and 2-walks. Mazzola and Garcia were both 2-4. Victor Capellan closed out the game for his seventh save of the year
Sizzling Nine-Run Ninth Gives T-Bones 11-3 Victory
The Wichita Wingnuts battled back to tie the Kansas City T-Bones at two in the bottom of the eighth, only to watch Kansas City score 9 runs in the top of the ninth inning on their way to an 11-3 victory. Cal Towey got the inning started with a single, one of two hits he would have in the frame. Adrian Nieto put the T-Bones back on top with a two run double. Zach Walters would add a two run single and Towey would add a two run double as 14 batters came to the plate in the inning. Nieto finished a perfect 4-4 with a run and 3-RBI. Sam Street earned his first victory of the season with two solid innings of relief.
Matt Solter Pure Heaven for Saints in 2-1 Victory
He may have earned the no decision, but St. Paul Saints starter Matt Solter continues to shine, tossing 6-innings of one-hit ball in the Saints 2-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries on Friday night. St. Paul took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI, two out single by Brady Shoemaker. Solter had tossed six no-hit innings against Cleburne last Sunday, and followed that up with 4.1 no-hit innings against Sioux Falls. However, an error in the top of the seventh allowed the Canaries to tie the score. St. Paul would retake the lead in the bottom of the seventh-inning, scoring a run on an error themselves. Beck Wheeler (3-1) earned the victory and Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out for his fifth save of the season. Solter went 6-innings, allowing 1-hit and no earned runs. The right-hander has a 1.40 ERA through four starts.
Explorers Extend Hit Streak to Eight, 12-3
The Sioux City Explorers extended their win streak to eight on Friday night, blowing out the Texas AirHogs, 12-3. After Texas had taken the lead in the top of the first, José Sermo drove in two with a double in the bottom half of the inning to put Sioux City on top, 2-1. The Explorers added three in the bottom of second, thanks to an RBI single by Jay Austin and a two run double off the bat of Nate Samson. The AirHogs pulled within two, but a five run sixth all but ended any hope for Texas to rally in this contest. Luis Durango had the big hit of the inning, a two run single that made the score 10-3. The Explorers would add two more in the bottom of the eighth. Michael Lang raised his average to .344 with a 4-6 night, scoring 2-runs and driving in one. Durango and Samson each drove in three.
American Association Daily Notes
The Cleburne Railroaders signed OF Chevy Clarke. Clarke was in the Los Angeles Angels system from 2010 until 2014. Last year he played for Vallejo in the Pacific Association where he hit. 266 and 77 games with 10 homers and 39 RBI. He scored 56 runs and stole 24 bases.
By Robert Pannier