Rifaela Delivers Walk-Off Homer, Sheaks Outduels Kinley, Cougars Crush Railroaders
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. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier recaps the six games in the American Association on Wednesday, including Jeff Kinley and John Sheaks locked in a great pitcher’s duel, Ademar Rifaela delivering a walk-off homerun for the Sioux City Explorers, and the Sioux Falls Canaries hang on to defeat the Lake Country DockHounds. This, plus much more.
Sheaks Outduels in Kinley’s Record Setting Performance
Chicago Dogs left-hander Jeff Kinley put up a record-setting performance on Wednesday, tying the American Association league record with 17 strikeouts. However, it was not enough to outduel Gary SouthShore RailCats right-hander John Sheaks, as the RailCats pulled off a 4-1 victory.
This was a scoreless tie through the first four frames, but Chicago took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when an error allowed K.C. Hobson to score. Kinley was in complete command through the first eight innings, allowing just three hits, but things unraveled quickly in the top of the ninth. With one down, Kinley issued his first walk of the evening and that came back to bite him when Sherman Graves followed with a double. Kinley came out for Ryan Clark, who promptly walked Jesus Marriaga. The next batter was Victor Nova, who fell behind 0-2 before drilling a three-run homer, his third of the year.
Sheaks came out after eight, allowing one unearned run on three hits. Yeison Medina came on to close out the contest in the ninth for his fourth save of the season Kinley allowed two runs on four hits while striking out a career-high 17.
Gary SouthShore RailCats Recap by Ryan Zimmerman
Cougars Bury Railroaders
The Kane County Cougars scored four runs in the first inning, taking complete command of this contest early on their way to a 13-5 victory. The Cougars got things going early, as three of the first four batters of the game doubled and Dylan Busby capped off the scoring with a two run homer, his 10th of the year.
Cleburne got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second on the 21st homerun of the season by Chase Simpson however, back-to-back homers by B.J. Lopez and Sherman Johnson to lead off the top of the fourth extend the lead to five. In the fifth, Kane County added three more runs thanks to a sacrifice fly by Lopez and a two-run shot by Josh Rolette, his seventh homerun of the season. The Railroaders put together a little rally in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run homer by Simpson, his second of the day, and a solo shot by Wyatt Mathisen. However, Cornelius Randolph put this game away with a two-run shot in the top of the ninth, his 12th homerun of the season and the fifth homerun hit by Kane County in the game.
The 1-5 hitters for the Cougars were a combined 12-25 with nine runs scored and 11 RBI. Randolph and Rolette each had three hits, scored two runs, and drove in three. Johnson had two hits and scored three runs. Simpson finished with two hits, two runs scored, and three RBI for the Railroaders.
Saltdogs Hang on to Down RedHawks
The Lincoln Saltdogs scored three in the third, a run in the fifth, and a run in the sixth, then hung on for a 5-3 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Hunter Clanin got the scoring going with a solo homer to lead off the third, his eighth of the year. Jason Rogers added an RBI double later in the frame, and he scored on a Josh Altmann single. Two innings later, Ryan Long drove home Justin Byrd to extend the lead to four.
Greg Minier was in complete control of this contest, allowing four singles through the first five frames, and two of those hitters were erased by double plays. In the sixth, Fargo-Moorhead finally was able to get through against the left-hander. Evan Alexander led off with a double and scored when Peter Maris singled two batters later. An error and a single loaded the bases for Leobaldo Pina who drove home Maris with a single. A wild pitch pulled the RedHawks within one, but Minier was able to get Rymer Liriano to line out to in the frame. In the bottom half of the inning, Welington Dotel extended the lead to two with an RBI single.
The Saltdogs bullpen did the rest. Matt Cronin tossed two scoreless innings and Steffon Moore came on to close out the contest for his 10th save of the year. Minier allowed two earned runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings. Manuel Boscan, Drew Ward, and Pina each had two hits for the RedHawks.
Lincoln Saltdogs Recap by Michael Dixon
Canaries Hang on to Edge DockHounds
The Sioux Falls Canaries jumped out to a five-run lead, then held on for a 6-5 victory over the Lake Country DockHounds. Sioux Falls took the lead in the top of the third on a solo homer by Kona Quiggle and an RBI ground out by Zane Gurwitz. Lake Country cut the deficit in half on a sacrifice fly by Casey Dykstra in the fourth, but the Canaries responded with three runs in the top of the fifth. Jabari Henry drove home a run with a single and Gavin LaValley walked with the bases loaded to drive home another run. A sacrifice fly by Trey Michalczewski made it 5-1.
An inning later, Ozzie Martinez drove home the sixth run of the day for Sioux Falls, but T.J. Bennett began the comeback in the bottom half of the sixth, drilling his 13th homerun of the season. Ty Culbreth made that lead hold, allowing two runs in 7.0 innings while striking out eight. However, the DockHounds were not going away quietly. Jordan Schaffer cut the deficit to three with an RBI single in the eighth. Mitchell Walters came on for the Canaries in the ninth and promptly walked the first two batters before giving up a single to Lamar Briggs. After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Mitchell then hit Daikan Yoh to drive home the second run of the inning. The bases were still loaded with no one out, when the Canaries turned to Stevie Ledesma to preserve the victory, and he did just that, striking out the next two batters before getting Noriega to ground out to and the contest. That earned Ledesma his first save of the season.
LaValley finished with three hits and an RBI. Yoh had two hits for the DockHounds.
Bourassa Dominates Milkmen to Complete Sweep
The Winnipeg Goldeyes completed their sweep of the Milwaukee Milkmen thanks to seven outstanding innings by Landen Bourassa in the 13-1 victory. Bourassa allowed eight hits and two walks but did not strike out a batter in the contest. The performance earned him his fourth victory of the season.
Winnipeg staked their starter to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Max Murphy delivered an RBI single and David Washington drove home two more with a single of his own. In the fourth, the Goldeyes put six runs on the board on seven hits. Hidekel Gonzalez had a two run double and he scored on an Ian Sagdal double. A two run double by Raul Navarro made it 8-0 and Washington capped off the scoring with an RBI single.
Winnipeg added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth for good measure. Navarro added two run double in the frame, giving him four RBI on the day. Sagdal had four hits and scored three runs and Washington drove in three. Logan Trowbridge had two hits for Milwaukee.
Winnipeg Goldeyes Recap by Steve Schuster
Rifaela Walk-Off Homer Completes Explorers Comeback
The Sioux City Explorers lineup had been hamstrung virtually all night, but came alive in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring four runs, capped off by a three-run homer off the bat of Ademar Rifaela to earn the 5-2 walk-off victory over the Kansas City Monarchs.. Patrick Ledet was matched against Nick Belzer, and both starters were dominating early on, keeping this a scoreless contest through the first five innings.
Kansas City finally broke through in the top of the sixth, as an RBI triple by Jacob Robson gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead, and David Thompson drove home Robson with a single. Sioux City finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh when Jack Kelly scored on an error. That sent the game to the ninth with the Explorers down by a run. Jameson McGrane came on and retired the first batter before giving up a single to Danny Amaral. He then hit Blake Tiberi and Danry Vasquez followed with a single to tie the score. After striking out Sebastian Zawada, McGrane went 1-1 against Rifaela before the Explorers slugger drilled a three-run homer, his sixth of the season.
Thomas McIlraith earned the victory while Jameson took the loss. Ledet allowed one earned run in 7.0 innings. Belzer tossed six scoreless frames, striking out seven. Vasquez and Zawada each had two hits for Sioux City. Thompson had two hits for the Monarchs.
Kansas City Monarchs Recap by Adam Cook
Sioux City Explorers Recap by Will Glocker
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Landen Bourassa (Winnipeg Goldeyes) 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, ER 0 K
No. 2 – Jeff Kinley (Chicago Dogs) 8.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 ER, 17 K
No. 1 – John Sheaks (Gary SouthShore room counts) 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, BB, 3 K
American Association Daily Notes
Chicago Dogs left-hander Jeff Kinley tied an American Association record by striking out 17 on Wednesday. The mark has been set several times in league history… Cleburne Railroaders IF Edwin Arroyo extended his consecutive on-base streak to 39 straight games. He also has a 19-game road hitting streak. Teammate Chuck Taylor has reached base and 33 straight games… The Sioux City Explorers earned their sixth victory of the season (6-30) when trailing after eight innings. That is the most in the American Association this year. The Kansas City Monarchs also dropped their first game when leading after eight innings. They are now 44-1.
By Robert Pannier