X's Bats Held in Check against Chicago
Rosemont, IL - The Chicago Dogs took game two of the series from the Sioux City Explorers by a final score on 5-3.
The Explorers actually raced out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Luis Durango lead off the game with a double and was immediately brought home by Michael Lang's sixth home run of the year.
But Chicago would answer and take the lead in their half of the first as the second batter of the inning Edwin Arroyo hit a solo shot, his third of the year making it 2-1 X's. With two outs in the inning Joe Benson singled followed by Dalton Blaser working a walk. Jonathan Moroney then brought both of them home with a triple off the right field wall to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.
They would add to that lead in the second inning as Mike Falsetti doubled to lead things off. He then advanced to third on a balk and then scored on a wild pitch against Explorers starter Luis Mateo making it 4-2 Dogs.
Mateo (7-3) took the loss going 6 innings for the X's, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, walking three and tying a season high with 9 strikeouts.
Sioux City in the third got a lead off single by Durango, he then scored on an RBI double by Jay Austin to make it 4-3 Chicago. Austin and Durango account for 5 of the 7 Sioux City hits in the ball game and were the only two players in the lineup with a multi hit game. Austin was stranded at third base to end the inning despite making it into scoring position with only one out in the inning.
Sioux City then went quiet offensively from that point on as Chicago pitching then retired the next 15 Explorers that came to the plate. Sioux City did not get a base runner on until one out in the eighth inning. Sioux City's top three batters of Durango, Lang and Austin accounted for all three Explorers runs scored in the game and for six of the seven hits that Sioux City had in the ball game and were a combined 6 for 11. The rest of the lineup however did not fare as well. As batters four through nine in the lineup combined to go 1 for 22 on the night with eight strikeouts. The Chicago Dogs pitching continued it's dominant month of July as a staff they own a 2.70 ERA and have held the Explorers to just six runs through two games.
Chicago added an insurance run in the sixth against Mateo as Matt Dean doubled with one out in the inning and then with two outs Kenny Wilson who had struck out in the three previous at bats against Mateo singled home Dean to make it 5-3 Chicago.
Parker Markel pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Sioux City and struck out four batters in his outing. In total Sioux City struck out 13 Chicago batters in the ball game.
Sioux City would threaten in the top of the ninth trailing by two runs. Taylor Grover was attempting to pick up a four out save but the ninth did not start well for him. He walked the first two players to the plate Jose Sermo and Jay Baum on 4 pitches each and Dexture McCall followed with the first three pitches he saw miss the strike zone. But Grover was able to get a borderline pitch on the 3-0 count called for a strike and then the switch flipped for him. He was then able to strike out the next three batters to earn the save and finish off the win for Chicago.
Sioux City now finishes the first half of the season (50 Games) with a 37-13 record. Their best record through the first 50 games of a season.
Sioux City and Chicago will play the rubber game of this three game series on Wednesday morning with first pitch set for 11:35 AM. James Dykstra who was removed prematurely from his last start due to a blister will make his regularly scheduled start against right hander Connor Root for Chicago.
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