Ventura Gem Helps Milkmen Sweep Dogs, 4-1
The Milwaukee Milkmen became the one of just two teams to complete a sweep in the American Association this season as they defeated the Chicago Dogs on Thursday evening, 4-1. Angel Ventura earned his first victory of the season, tossing six shutout innings to get a little revenge against Chicago after dropping the season opener. Adam Walker hit his first home run of the season for Milwaukee.
After a scoreless first inning, it was Walker who put the Milkmen on top. On a 2-2 pitch, Walker drilled a J.D. Busfield pitched deep over the right-center field wall for a homerun. That gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
It stayed that way through five, as this was a great pitching battle between Busfield and Ventura. Busfield left after four, yielding just three hits and two walks while striking out six.
Meanwhile, Ventura had breezed through the first two innings, not allowing his first hit until Tony Rosselli led off the bottom of the third with a double. He was left stranded after the Milwaukee starter struck out two of the next three batters. That started a run of seven straight batters retired.
Ventura (1-1) left after six, yielding just two hits and a walk. He struck out four.
The Milkmen gave their starter a little breathing room in the top of the sixth. With one down, Mason Davis grounded a single up the middle. He stole second and came all the way around to score on an error by the catcher on the throw.
In the eighth, Milwaukee extended their lead to four. Dylan Tice walked to start the inning and moved to second on a base hit by Brett Vertigan. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and came home on a single by Davis two batters later.
The Milwaukee bullpen picked up where Ventura left off. Zach Hartman came on in the seventh and retired Chicago in order. In the eighth, Peyton Gray did the same, retiring all three batters he faced.
Chicago’s bats had been lifeless through eight innings, but they came alive in the ninth against closer Myles Smith. Edwin Arroyo doubled to start the inning. Joey Terdoslavich then lofted a ball into right-center field that looked like it may be caught, but it dropped in for a double. Arroyo had to hold to see if the ball would be caught, reaching third on the play. K.C. Hobson followed with a sacrifice fly and the Dogs had their first run of the game. Tyler Ladendorf walked before Victor Roache lined out. Michael Crouse then drew a walk to load the bases with two down, bringing Rosselli to the plate. He represented the winning run, but fell quickly behind 0-2 before striking out to close out the ballgame.
Davis finished with two hits and two RBI for Milwaukee. He also stole a base.
With the victory, the Milwaukee Milkmen (4-1) moved into first place in the American Association. They will welcome the St. Paul Saints on Friday night. Game time is 6:35 PM. The Chicago Dogs (1-4) travel to Fargo-Moorhead to take on the RedHawks Friday night. Game time is set for 7:02 PM.
by Robert Pannier