Dogs Bats Struggle in Series Finale in Sioux City
By Jack Ankony, The Chicago Dogs
The Dogs loaded the bases in the top of the third inning, with an eye on taking a commanding lead in the final game of a four-game series at Sioux City. Michael Crouse was 6-for-11 in the first three games of the series, but struck out in this prime run-scoring opportunity.
Brennan Metzger walked for the 22nd time this season to bring in one run, but a K.C. Hobson 3-6-1 double play ended the rally in an instant. This inning marked a number of missed opportunities by the Dogs in their 9-2 loss at Sioux City. The Dogs were unable to complete the series sweep, but winning three of four games on the road against the South Division leaders is always a good thing.
Jake Dahlberg made his third start of the season on Thursday and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs, no walks and five strikeouts. Dahlberg’s changeup was especially effective tonight in his five strikeouts, as the late, downward movement fooled Sioux City.
Dahlberg was carving up the Sioux City batting order to begin the game, but a few costly mishaps in the fourth inning proved too costly to overcome. Dahlberg hit a batter with the bases loaded and later bobbled a ground ball that allowed two Explorers to score with two outs.
These two plays resulted in Scott Firth replacing Dahlberg in the fourth inning. Firth went on to allow three runs in 1.1 innings of work, but the Dogs lineup didn’t do much to help the pitching staff either.
The first four batters in the Dogs lineup recorded zero hits and struck out a combined five times. The Dogs were never quite able to string together enough hits to start a rally. Harrison Smith blasted his fourth home run of the season in the seventh inning, which gave a sense of hope at yet another comeback win for the Dogs.
A runner reached base in both the eighth and ninth innings for the Dogs, but again, Sioux City was able to work out of this trouble unscathed. Even with this loss, the Dogs boast the most wins in the American Association with 14.
After going 3-1 in Sioux City to begin the road trip, the Dogs look to keep things rolling in Milwaukee as a three-game weekend series with the Milkmen begins at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday.
The Dogs will now face the challenge of following up a successful visit to Sioux City with another series against a tough opponent. Milwaukee sits tied atop the North Division with a 13-8 record. Jordan Kipper will take the mound for the Dogs tomorrow in an important divisional matchup.