Flores Sets Personal High, Martinez, Gurwitz Homer Twice, Apollos Win First Series
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. Robert Pannier recaps the six games in the American Association on Thursday, including both Ozzie Martinez and Zane Gurwitz homering twice in the Cleburne Railroaders victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries, Ryan Flores striking out a career-best 15 in the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks victory over the Kane County Cougars, and the Kansas City Monarchs pummeling the Sioux City Explorers. This and much more.
Apollos Rally to Down RailCats
The Houston Apollos rallied from six runs down, scoring six in the seventh and three in the eighth on their way to a 12-10 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats. The victory earned Houston their first series win of the year. Aaron Takacs had four hits and drove in three runs, including hitting his seventh homer of the year. Ian Yetsko also drove in three. Pierce Smith earned the victory with a scoreless inning of relief and Keisy Portorreal earned the save for the second straight night.
Alec Olund homered and drove in three for Gary. Billy Cooke and Daniel Lingua each had three hits.
Saltdogs Down Milkmen to Win Series
The Lincoln Saltdogs scored four runs in the first inning, then held on for a 5-4 victory. That gave the Saltdogs the series victory, as they took three of the four contests in Milwaukee. Justin Byrd led off the game with his 13th homer of the year and Yanio Perez added a two-run homer in the decisive frame. Greg Minier earned the victory, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings. James Pugliese came on to close out the contest for his league-leading 22nd save of the season.
David Washington had three hits and an RBI from Milwaukee. Cole Sturgeon had two hits.
Flores Strikes Out 15 in RedHawks Victory
Ryan Flores struck out a career-high 15 is the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks defeated the Kane County Cougars, 6-3. Flores struck out just three through the first four innings, then caught fire, striking out two over each of the next four innings before striking out the side in the ninth to close out the contest. The offense did the rest, staking their starter to a six-run lead thanks to a four run fifth inning. Jordan George had the big blow of the frame, hitting his 12th homerun of the year, a three-run blast.
Josh Rolette had two hits and drove in three runs for Kane County. Rolette hit a three-run homer, his fifth of the year. The Cougars recorded just one other hit.
Monarchs Crush Explorers to Close Series
The Kansas City Monarchs scored runs in six of the nine innings in a thrashing of the Sioux City Explorers, 16-3. The Monarchs took a 4-0 lead through three, then added four in the fifth, two in the sixth, two in the eighth, and four in the ninth. Ryan Grotjohn and Darnell Sweeney led the way with each driving in four. Colin Willis hit his 15th homerun of the season as all 10 players who came to the plate had at least one hit in the contest. Kansas City had 22 hits and all, tying a season-high for the team.
Joseph Monge and Sebastian Zawada each had two hits and an RBI for the Explorers. The loss was the ninth in the last 10 games for Sioux City.
Martinez Homers Twice in Railroaders Victory
Ozzie Martinez homered twice as part of a five-homerun performance by the Cleburne Railroaders as the team held on for an 8-7 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. Martinez homered in the top of the first and added a two-run shot in the fifth. Chase Simpson and Noah Vaughan went back-to-back to lead off the second and John Nester added a solo homerun in the top of the fifth. That put the Railroaders on top 8-3, but Sioux Falls battled back and pulled within one before Tyler Wilson was able to close the contest out for his seventh save of the season.
The Canaries hit four home runs in the contest, including two by Zane Gurwitz. Jabari Henry and Cade Gotta also went deep for Sioux Falls.
The contest between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Chicago Dogs was suspended in the ninth inning with Winnipeg leading 8-5. This came as a firework show at a development near the ballpark forced the suspension. The game will be picked up in the top of the ninth when Chicago visits Winnipeg on August 31.
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Ozzie Martinez (Cleburne Railroaders) 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB
No. 2 – Zane Gurwitz (Sioux Falls Canaries) 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, 2 Doubles
American Association Daily Notes
The Houston Apollos earned their 12th victory of the season on Thursday. They also took two of three from the RailCats, winning their first season series…Apollos IF Blake Berry has reached a base and 30 consecutive games…Kansas City Monarchs IF Will Kengor has an 18 game hitting streak, third longest in the American Association this season…With the victory on Thursday, Monarchs starter Nick Travieso is tied for second with eight victories…RedHawks starter Ryan Flores now leads the American Association with 108 strikeouts.
By Robert Pannier