In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps an incredible night of baseball in the American Association, as there were four games on Thursday night. That included the Sioux Falls Canaries rallying to down the Chicago Dogs and Cesar Valera homering in his second game since coming off the DL.
Chris Grayson Leads Canaries to 7-5 Victory
The Sioux Falls Canaries found themselves trailing 5-2 heading to the bottom of the fifth, but a five run frame put them on top on their way to a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Dogs. Chris Grayson looked to break out of a slump, going 3-4 with a homer and 3-RBI and Joe Bircher hung around long enough to earn his third win of the season.
After a scoreless first inning, the Dogs would take the lead in the second. Josh Goossen-Brown and Michael Baca delivered back-to-back singles with one out. Two batters later, Zach Racusin singled to load the bases, and Goossen-Brown came home when Edwin Arroyo was hit by a pitch.
The Sioux Falls Canaries responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. David Bergin singled with one down and scored when Chris Grayson followed with his sixth home run of the season.
Back came Chicago in the top of the fourth. A walk to Trey Vavra started the frame before Matt Dean singled. With runners at first and second and no one out, Jonathan Moroney lined a single into right that brought home Vavra to tie the score. A base hit by Goossen-Brown loaded the bases and Baca followed with a single of his own to bring home Dean. With the Dogs on top by a run, Michael Falsetti drew a walk to drive home Moroney and Goosen-Brown came home when Racusin hit into a double play. That made it 5-2.
Kyle Turnbull had kept the Canaries off the scoreboard through the third and fourth innings but, in the fifth, Sioux Falls would rally to take the lead. Jordan Smith started the inning with a single and scored when Burt Reynolds followed with his seventh double of the season. Reynolds then came home on a single by Blake Schmit who was thrown out when he strayed a little too far off of first base. With one down and no one on, Jabari Henry reached on an error and scored when Bergin followed with a double into the wall. Sioux Falls would retake the lead when Grayson singled up the middle, scoring Bergin to put the Canaries on top, 6-5.
Brandon Shimo came on for Chicago, looking to slam the door, however, he threw a wild pitch, moving Grayson to third. The runner would then score when Patrick Fiala delivered a clutch two-out single to give the Canaries a 7-5 lead.
From there, the Sioux Falls bullpen took command. Nicco Blank came on in the sixth and tossed a perfect frame. Ryan Fritze relieved in the top of the seventh and would tossed two scoreless innings, bringing James Jones on in the ninth. Jones gave of a walk to start the frame, but then retired the next three batters for his sixth save of the season.
Chris Grayson finished 3-4 with 2-runs, a homer, and 3-RBI. David Bergin was 2-4 with 2-runs and an RBI for Sioux Falls. Chicago was led by Josh Goossen-Brown, who went 2-4 with 2-runs scored.
John Menken Leads Railroaders to 11-5 Victory
It was an impressive debut for Cleburne Railroaders outfielder John Menken, who went 3-4 with 2-runs and 4-RBI in his first game in a Cleburne uniform. That included a grand slam in a five run third inning that helped propel the Railroaders to an 11-5 victory over the Wichita Wingnuts. After Wichita scored three in the top of the first, Cleburne would score three in the second to tie the game before the five run third put them on top. They would add two more in the fourth on a two run homer by Trevor Sealey. Jared Mortensen earned his first victory of the season, going 8-innings while striking out 10 for the second time this year. Rafael Palmeiro and Levi Scott each had 2-hits and scored 2-runs for Cleburne. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Wingnuts.
Walters, Torres Help Lead T-Bones Comeback Victory, 9-5
There haven’t been many teams that have had success against the Sioux City Explorers the season. In fact, there’s just been one, the Kansas City T-Bones. The T-Bones would prove that again on Thursday, rallying after falling behind 3-2, scoring seven runs through the seventh and eighth innings on their way to a 9-5 victory over the Explorers. Zach Walters and Nick Torres led the way. Walters added a two run double in the seventh that helped to put Kansas City on top and Torres added a two run single in the eighth to help solidify the victory. The two combined to go 6-10 with 3-runs and 5-RBI. Jordan Edgerton was 2-3 with 2-runs and 2-RBI, including a homer in his first game for Sioux City. The T-Bones are 4-4 against the Explorers this season.
Cesar Valera 3-RBI Night Helps Saltdogs Prevail Over AirHogs, 4-2
The rich truly are getting richer. Cesar Valera returned from the disabled list Wednesday night, and has become an instant spark for an already potent Lincoln Saltdogs lineup. That proved to be the case on Thursday as the second baseman had three hits, including a three run homer to help lead the Saltdogs to a 4-3 victory over the Texas AirHogs. Texas led 1-0 heading into the fifth, when Valera hit his first home run of the season in his second game. Michael Tamburino continues to look impressive, tossing six outstanding innings to move to 3-0. Valera is now 5-10 with 3-runs scored, a double, triple, and homer since his return.
American Association Daily Notes
The St. Paul Saints announced that second baseman Josh Allen had his contract purchased by the New York Mets and that Dan Johnson was resigned by the team. Johnson returns to the Saints looking to continue the reinvention of his career as a knuckleballer. He appeared in seven games in 2016, going 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA…The Sioux Falls Canaries signed 1B David Bergin and RHP Kevin Folman. Bergin had started the season with Winnipeg before his release. The slugger hit .323 with 20 homers in 100 games last season…The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed four players, including LHP Mitch Lambson. Lambson was signed by Puebla (Mexican League) where he was 5-4 before returning to the Goldeyes. The team also signed IF Eric Aguilera, OF Dave Sappelt, and IF/OF Tucker Nathans. Aguilera was in Mexico to begin the season, where he hit .301 in 57 games. He had 12 homers and 43 RBI. Sappelt is a former Major Leaguer who spent three seasons with the Chicago Cubs (2011-2013). He started the season in Southern Maryland (Atlantic League), hitting .185 in 27 games. Nathans played for Southern Maryland last season, hitting .233 in 33 games.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA