Crouse Drives in Five as Dogs Down Canaries
By Jack Ankony, The Chicago Dogs
The Birdcage couldn’t contain the Dogs through four innings.
The first three hitters in the Dogs’ lineup, Brennan Metzger, Michael Crouse and Danny Mars, each homered to give the Dogs a 9-2 lead heading into the fifth inning. But it turned out that each of these long balls were crucial as Sioux Falls made a storming comeback.
The Canaries came as close as 12-10 in the eighth inning, but the Dogs were able to stave off the late-inning magic to win 13-10. New Dogs signees John Baker and Cam Booser were called upon in clutch moments on Saturday, but proved they were up for the challenge.
Baker tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while allowing one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. Booser recorded his first save as a Dog, slamming the door on the Sioux Falls rally in the ninth inning.
After losing three bullpen arms to MLB organizations in late June, Booser’s 100 mph fastball has brought a smile to the face of Dogs pitching coach Stu Cliburn. Booser has now pitched three innings for the Dogs, striking out nine batters.
Baker and Booser’s performances were especially vital after an uncharacteristic start from Jake Dahlberg. After being named American Association Pitcher of the Week last week, Dahlberg gave up 10 hits and five runs through 5.1 innings, but still got the win.
Dahlberg was challenging the Sioux Falls hitters and finished with zero walks and eight strikeouts, but the five earned runs were the most he has given up in a start this season. Luckily for Dahlberg and Dogs, the lineup was scoring early and often.
Metzger reached base in all six of his at-bats, and the rest of the batting order was eager to follow. Crouse led the way with five RBI while Mars, Anfernee Grier, T.J. Bennett and Harrison Smith each recorded multi-hit games.
The Dogs have now won eight of their last nine games and became the first team in the American Association to win 30 games on Saturday. The Dogs cling to a one-and-a-half-game lead on the Milwaukee Milkmen for first place in the North Division.
Next up is an afternoon showdown with the Sioux Falls Canaries as the Dogs aim for the series sweep. New signee Ryley Widell will make his first start as a Dog on the mound on Sunday at 2:05 p.m.