Perez Homers Twice as Explorers Crush RedHawks
By Austin Thomas, Sioux City Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Sioux City Explorers (36-35) kept their winning ways alive Wednesday night, taking down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (35-34) in a 13-4 blowout. The win was the Explorers’ fourth victory in the last five games and puts their record even with the RedHawks for second in the West Division of the American Association.
Despite the RedHawks loading the bases in the top of the first, it was the Explorers who scored first when Sioux City’s Matt Lloyd came home on an errant snap throw to third from Fargo catcher BJ Lopez, giving the X’s an early 1-0 lead.
The Explorers doubled the lead in the second, when Sioux City’s Lloyd sent home Miguel Sierra on an RBI single off RedHawks starter Kevin McGovern (7-6), extending the lead to 2-0 Sioux City.
The following inning, the X’s blew the game open when Explorers Daniel Perez ripped a three-run bomb over the left field wall off McGovern, sending home Kyle Kasser and Sierra to extend the lead to 5-0. McGovern, who was coming off seven shutout innings his last time out, would give up five earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts to get tagged with the loss.
Sioux City didn’t stop there, making it 6-0 in the fourth, when Vince Fernandez grounded into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, sending home Scott Ota in the process.
The RedHawks cut into the lead in the sixth inning however, starting with Leo Pina’s leadoff homer off Sioux City starter Mitchell Verburg (3-3), cutting it to a 6-1 game. Alec Olund followed with a walk and, with one out, Sam Dexter also smacked a homer, quickly cutting the previous 6-0 X’s lead in half to 6-3. Brandon Brosher would come into the game and stop the momentum for the RedHawks getting the final two outs for Sioux City. Verburg would work 5.1 innings with three earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts in his third outing since returning from the Injured List.
The Explorers responded right after that with a slew of their own runs in the sixth, starting with Sioux City’s Kasser taking a bases-loaded walk from RedHawks reliever Alex DuBord, extending the lead to 7-3. A wild pitch from Fargo’s DuBord sent home X’s Tyler Rando before Chase Harris collected an RBI single, making it 9-3.
Thanks to a roughed-up bullpen from the 12-inning game the night prior, the RedHawks turned to newly signed catcher Michael Falsetti to take the mound in the seventh. Sioux City added three more off the position player pitcher in the seventh when X’s Fernandez ripped a three-run homer with Ota and Jake Ortega on base.
The Explorers made it a double-digit lead in the eighth when Daniel Perez hit a solo shot off Falsetti, making it 13-3.
The RedHawks got one in the ninth on a Scott Schreiber sac fly, but didn’t threaten the X’s who ended up winning 13-4 to move even with Fargo in the standings. The Explorers got four RBI nights from Perez and Fernandez, while Matt Lloyd added four hits going 4-for-5 in the win.
The Explorers will face the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the final game of the three-game series Thursday night with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. at Mercy One Field at Lewis and Clark Park. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as XSBaseball.com, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on aabaseball.tv and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM with the pregame beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch.