In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps tan exciting Memorial Day in American Association baseball, including a double-header sweep by the Lincoln Saltdogs, and the Texas AirHogs ending their 10 game losing streak in walk-off fashion.
Saltdogs Sweep Double-Header in Winnipeg
It’s hard enough to sweep a double-header with the Winnipeg Goldeys and do it in Winnipeg, but the Lincoln Satldogs not only pulled that off on Thursday, but did it with identical 8-2 victories, including beating Winnipeg closer Victor Capellan in the first game. Chad Hinshaw drove in five total runs in the two contests and Brandon Jacobs homered in both ends of the double-header.
The first game was an outstanding pitching duel, as neither team was able to score through the first three frames. Both Michael Tamburino and Kevin McGovern looked sharp, but the Goldeyes were finally able to break through in the fourth to take the lead.
Grant Heyman started the inning with a double and scored on a ball drilled to the wall by Reynaldo Rodriguez that he legged out for a triple. Two batters later, Kevin Garcia brought Rodriguez home with a sacrifice fly and Winnipeg led 2-0.
In the sixth, Lincoln would tie the score. Christian Ibarra was hit by a pitch to get the rally started and moved to second when Chad Hinshaw singled into center field. A ground out allowed both runners to move up before Chase Simpson was walked to load the bases. McGovern came out and Zach Hartman relieved.
Curt Smith grounded to the shortstop, who flipped the ball to second for the first out. However, the throw to first on the attempted double-play was wild, allowing an additional runner to score to tie the game.
That sent the game to the top of the seventh, when Lincoln would blow it open. Victor Capellan came on in relief and walked Dashenko Ricardo to start the inning. Brent Whiting was then hit by a pitch before Ibarra singled to load the bases. That brought Hinshaw to the plate, who drilled a 1-0 pitch to the wall in right-center that he legged out for a triple. The drive cleared the bases, putting the Saltdogs on top 5-2. Hinshaw scored on a sacrifice fly by Angel Reyes to extend the lead to four.
That ended the night for Capellan. Kenny Matthews came in and walked Simpson. Two batters later, Brandon Jacobs blasted his third home run of the season to make it 8-2. That would be the final.
Chad Hinshaw finished 2-4 with 2-runs and 3-RBI for the Lincoln Saltdogs. Jose Jose (1-1) earned his first win of the season.
After scoring six runs in the seventh-inning of Game 1, the Lincoln bats did not cool down, as they came out with five runs in the top of the first in the second game of the doubleheader. Ibarra started off the game with a walk. Edwin Carl retired the next two batters before giving up a two-out single to Simpson. That brought Curt Smith to the plate, who did not play in the first game. He took a 1-1 offering from Carl and blasted it for his second home run of the season to make it 3-0. Nathaniel Maggio followed with a single and he scored when Jacobs hit his second home run of the day, a two run blast and his fourth of the year to extend the lead to five.
Winnipeg got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second. Garcia led off the single and moved to second on a walk by Victor Cruzado. A ground out moved both runners up and Garcia came home on an infield single by Gavin Stupienski.
In the fourth, both teams would get on the board. Lincoln scored in the top half of the inning when Ivan Marin hit his first home run of the season. The Goldeyes would use the long ball in the bottom half of the inning, as Josh Mazzola connected on his second long ball of the year to make it 6-2.
The Lincoln Saltdogs added two more runs in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and two down, Hinshaw lined a single up the middle that brought home both Smith and Maggio to make it 8-2.
That was plenty enough run support for Tyler Herron (3-1) on this day. The right-hander allowed 5-hits and 2-runs in 5-innings of work, striking out 6. Curt Smith was 1-3 with 2-runs scored and 3-RBI.
Four Run RailCats Sixth Dooms Dogs, 7-6
The Chicago Dogs losing streak reached 10 on Thursday, thanks to a four run six inning. Mitch Glasser had the big hit in the frame, a two run single that put the Gary Southshore RailCats up 7-5. The loss wasted another outstanding performance from Trey Vavra, who was 2-3 with 2-runs and an RBI to raise his average to .409. Glasser finished 2-4 with 2-RBI and D.K. Carey was 2-2 with 2-runs, 2-RBI and his first homer of the year. Andy Paz was also 2-2 with 2-RBI. Gabe Perez earned his third save in the contest. The second contest of the double-header got underway but was suspended with the score tied 5-5. No official date has been provided as to when the game will be completed.
Explorers Thwart T-Bones Comeback, 5-4
The Sioux City Explorers led 3-0 through four, but each team would get a run in the sixth, making it 4-1. Kansas City would tie the score on a three run homerun by Dexter Kjerstad, but the Explorers would retake the lead in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by shortstop Nate Sampson. Ryan Flores made the one run lead hold, tossing 2.1 innings of outstanding relief for his first win of the season. Flores has not been scored upon in his eight outings this season, striking out 13 in 11-innings pitched while only allowing nine total baserunners. The victory made Sioux City the first team to reach 10 victories in the American Association this season and dropped Kansas City 1.5 out in the South Division lead.
Chu Fujia Scores Winning Run in AirHogs Walk-Off Victory 7-6
A two-out solo home run by J.J. Gould tied the score for the St. Paul Saints in the top of the ninth and it look like another heart breaking loss for the Texas AirHogs, but the team would rally in the 11th, scoring the winning run in walk-off fashion to win 7-6. That came courtesy of a heads-up play by Chu Fujia. With Chu at second and two outs, Ryan Wagner grounded a ball into the hole between short and second. Noah Perio, Jr. fielded the ball and fired to first, but not in time to catch Wagner. Chu rounded third and headed for home, narrowly beating the throw to end the AirHogs 10 game losing streak. Chu finished 3-5 with 3-runs scored and Song Yunqi also had 3-hits in the best offensive output of the season by Texas, as the team recorded 14-hits.
Tyler Wilson Shuts Door on Wingnuts, Railroaders Win 4-3
The Cleburne Railroaders reaped the benefits of two Wichita Wingnuts errors to score 3 runs on their way to a 4-3 victory Thursday night. However, it was the outstanding outing of Tyler Wilson, who struck out eight in 3.0 innings pitched that led the way. Wilson struck out the side in the seventh and eighth and Shawn Blackwell closed the door with his second save of the season. The decisive run came in the top of the eighth with score tied at three, when Blake Grant-Parks reached on an error and scored on a base hit from Trevor Sealey. Alex Polston and Angelo Gumbs both had 2-hits for Cleburne.
American Association Daily Notes
The Chicago Dogs Signed RHP Tyler Frohwirth. The right-hander started the season with Mid-A Greensboro (Miami Marlins) before being released. He has a career 3.27 ERA in 44 appearances.
By Robert Pannier