Kipper Hurls Dogs to Victory over Canaries
By Jack Ankony, The Chicago Dogs
The Dogs’ bats were hot upon arrival in Sioux Falls.
For the second straight game, the Dogs scored three runs in the first inning. After a Michael Crouse single and a walk from Danny Mars, K.C. Hobson scorched a line drive down the first base line. Ryan Lidge followed that up with an RBI double of his own, giving a warm welcome to the Canaries in the opening frame.
This quick start allowed Dogs starter Jordan Kipper to relax and settle into Wednesday’s contest as the Dogs emerged with a 5-3 victory. Kipper continued his recent prowess on the mound, tossing eight innings while allowing seven hits, three earned runs, zero walks and six strikeouts.
Kipper’s newly developed slider was working yet again in Sioux Falls, keeping hitters guessing all night. Kipper has now gone at least six innings in five of his last six starts thanks to his control and ability to force weak contact.
He has walked just four batters over his last six starts, setting up his defense to make routine plays. But Michael Crouse continued the theme of outstanding defense from Dogs outfielders with another diving catch.
Dogs closer Jeff Kinley entered to shut things down in the ninth, and the first batter he faced sent a lazy fly ball to shallow center field. The speedy Crouse charged in an made a full-extension diving catch for the first out of the inning.
This highlight-reel snag from Crouse aided Kinley’s efforts to save his team-high sixth game of the season. Kinley’s ERA has steadily dropped in recent weeks, dipping to 0.93 after Wednesday’s outing. He has not given up a run since June 18 against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.
The Dogs are now off to a 3-1 start to a six-game road trip that concludes on Sunday in Sioux Falls. At the beginning of the season, the Dogs often relied on late-game magic at the plate to win games, but recently they are jumping on teams early and often.
The Dogs will look to continue their hot starts at the plate on Wednesday as Jake Dahlberg takes the mound. Dahlberg was named the American Association Pitcher of the Week after two dominant starts between June 27 and July 4.