Murphy Handcuffs Railroaders to Lead Dogs
By Jack Ankony, Chicago Dogs
Butch Hobson called Kyle Murphy’s first professional outing on July 30 a “bulldog start.”
But Hobson will now have to find a better superlative to describe Murphy’s second start for the Dogs on Aug. 4 after Murphy pitched eight and one-third of an inning while allowing three hits, one run, two walks and six strikeouts.
Murphy didn’t look like a rookie on Wednesday night, but rather an American Association veteran who knew just how to navigate the Cleburne Railroaders’ lineup. Murphy’s dazzling outing led to a 6-1 Dogs victory, which claimed a series win over the Railroaders.
The 2021 Northeastern graduate flirted with a no hitter deep into Tuesday’s contest, but it was broken up with two outs in the seventh inning on a Chase Simpson double. Murphy didn’t let this hit faze him, though, as he forced a groundout from Hunter Clanin in the next at-bat to end the inning.
Eyeing the Dogs’ third complete game of the season, Murphy toed the rubber to begin the ninth inning, but ran into some trouble with the top of the Railroaders’ order. Alay Lago led off the inning with a single, and Ramón Hernandez’s RBI double put an end to Murphy’s night.
Jase Dalton relieved Murphy with one out in the ninth, caught a line drive and doubled off Simpson at first base to end the game. After suffering a four-game losing streak, their longest of the season, the Dogs have rebounded with two important wins to end their road trip.
K.C. Hobson started off the scoring on Wednesday night with a solo home run in the second inning. But after Hobson’s moonshot to right field, it was station-to-station production from the Dogs for the rest of the evening.
Grant Kay drove in two runs on two singles, and Michael Crouse followed suit. Crouse finished the night with four hits in five at-bats, two of which were RBI singles. As a whole, the Dogs recorded 12 hits and struck out 4 times, constantly applying pressure to the Cleburne defense.
The Dogs also benefited from losses by the Milwaukee Milkmen and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Wednesday night in what will be a heated playoff race until the final game of the regular season. Because of this, the Dogs now move into sole possession of second place in the North division and trail Milwaukee by five games for the division lead.
The Dogs will have Thursday off as they travel home from Cleburne, Texas and prepare for a nine-game homestand against the Sioux Falls Canaries, Winnipeg Goldeyes and Kansas City Monarchs.