Late Run Spoils RailCats Comeback in Gary
GARY, Ind.- In the series finale, the Gary SouthShore RailCats (23-36) were swept by the Cleburne Railroaders (34-23) in a late-inning 6-5 win as the RailCats lost their season-high eighth straight.
The Railroaders have now won 23 of their last 31 games and continue to creep closer to the top of the South division after their first sweep over the RailCats in franchise history. They’ll go for their record eleventh consecutive series victory this weekend against the North’s second-place Chicago Dogs.
The eight-game losing streak is the second longest active streak in the American Association, solely behind the Houston Apollos, and tied for the third longest such streak this season.
For the second straight game, the first batter of the game Osvaldo Martinez cranked a solo home run to left in the first at-bat of the game.
The RailCats responded in similar fashion as their leadoff man Billy Cooke sent his own homer out of the park, his first of the season, as the opening batter in the bottom of the first frame.
A two-out rally for Cleburne would give the Railroaders a 4-1 lead in the fourth before Ramon Hernandez hit his team-high fourteenth homer of the year in the fifth to put Cleburne up 5-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the RailCats made it a game as Tommy McCarthy started a one-out rally with a walk. Eight batters later, the RailCats would be tied with the Railroaders after a few RBI singles, the first from Jackson Smith, and the last from Jose Mercado.
From the sixth through the eighth, Sandy Lugo and Nick Garcia were strong in relief, holding the Railroaders silent, yet Garcia, who suffered the loss, allowed one in the ninth as a soft roller to the mound would plate the eventual winning run for Cleburne in the top of the final frame.
The Gary SouthShore RailCats now shift their attention to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks as their North division foe rolls into town for three starting tomorrow, July 23 at 7:10 p.m. at the Steel Yard in Gary, Indiana.
By Max Kelton, Gary SouthShore RailCats