Blasters Split Pair at Gary to End Skid
Gary, IN-The Blasters losing streak ended at four after splitting two seven-inning games against Gary Southshore Wednesday night at U.S. Steel Yard, losing game one 3-0 but winning game two 5-1.
Joplin (43-38) fell out of the wild-card lead as Laredo swept a twin bill at Sioux Falls. The Blasters now sit a half-game back of the Lemurs. Gary SouthShore (39-43) is five games back of Laredo in the wild-card chase. SouthShore had its winning streak snapped at six, one shy of a season high.
The RailCats two-run third would be all they needed in game one. Spencer Mahoney and Brennan Metzger both had base hits in the inning and later scored on a two-out double from Adam Taylor. Gary added a bases-loaded walk in the fourth for the game's final margin.
Andy Roberts posted the win in relief for SouthShore. Roberts (2-7) worked three perfect innings with one strikeout. Newly-acquired Josh Evans took the loss in his Joplin debut. Evans (0-1) went three-and-a-third and gave up three earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Gary outhit the Blasters 8-to-4. Dustin Geiger finished 2-for-3. Jake Taylor had two hits in defeat for Joplin.
The Blasters jumped on the RailCats early in game two. With one out in the first, Oscar Mesa singled to left. Jairo Perez followed with a base hit to center. Carlos Ramirez plated the game's first run with a double off the wall in left-center that scored Mesa. Omar Luna grounded out to second for a 2-0 lead. In the second, Joplin added three more tallies for a 5-0 cushion. Steven Tinoco singled to lead off the inning. Back-to-back doubles from Jesus Solorzano and Mitch Glasser scored the first run in the second. Maikol Gonzalez made it 4-0 with a sac fly to right. Mesa then brought in the fifth run on a sac fly line out to center. Gary's lone run came on a Brennan Metzger RBI double in the sixth. Jon Jones scored on the play after he had tripled into the right field corner.
On the mound, Josue Montanez had another solid outing to earn the victory. Montanez (3-2) lasted five scoreless innings and gave up just three hits with four strikeouts and one walk. RailCats ace Charle Rosario suffered the loss. Rosario (12-6) went four innings and allowed five earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Winston Abreu posted a four-out save, his 16th of the season. Abreu gave up one hit with three strikeouts and one walk. At the plate, Joplin outhit Gary 10-to-6. Jake Taylor and Jesus Solorzano each collected two hits for the Blasters. Jon Jones posted two hits for SouthShore.
Joplin wraps up its series in Gary Thursday night at 7:10. The road trip continues with four games in three days at Kansas City starting with a doubleheader Friday night. The final Blasters home stand of the season runs from August 24th through August 30th against Lincoln and Grand Prairie. For 2015 ticket information and promotion specials at Joe Becker Stadium, call 417-622-4838 or visit the Blasters website at www.joplinblasters.com.
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