A 1-0 lead through half an inning and 5.2 scoreless innings from the bullpen wasn’t enough as the Gary SouthShore RailCats lost their fifth straight game in an 8-3 loss to the Sioux City Explorers. Following Thursday’s defeat, Gary is a season-worst 15 games below .500, 0-5-1 in their last six series and have dropped nine of their last 11 contests.
Gary (24-39) took their first lead of the series with three straight two-out hits in the top of the first. John Price Jr. picked up the first hit of the evening with a single to left before Tom Walraven floated a single to left. Colin Willis followed with an RBI single to left, scoring Price Jr. from second.
Sioux City (34-29) quickly responded with six runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Kyle Wren singled to left to begin the inning before Nate Samson brought him around to score with a one-out double to the left-center gap. Former RailCat Jose Sermo then pulled a single to right before Drew Stankiewicz walked on five pitches. Two hitters later, Dexture McCall gave the Explorers a 2-1 lead with an RBI single to left before Sebastian Zawada delivered the final runs of the inning with a two-out grand slam off the left field foul pole on a 1-2 pitch.
The RailCats cut the Explorers lead to 6-3 with two runs in the top of the third. MJ Rookard walked with one out before Price Jr. belted his second home run of the year over the left-center field wall.
The X’s went back up five again with two more runs in the bottom of the third. Stankiewicz launched an opposite-field home run to left-center to begin the inning before Adam Sasser drew a one-out walk. Zawada then doubled, giving Sioux City runners on second and third. Dylan Kelly followed Zawada with an RBI groundout for the final run of the night.
Carlos Sierra (5-0) recorded his fourth straight win in his third game (first start) against Gary. The right-hander went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six.
Colby Morris yielded two hits and a walk over a career-high 3.2 scoreless innings of relief while Dugan Darnell threw two scoreless innings of relief in his second pro appearance for the ‘Cats. Darnell allowed two hits and two walks while recording his first two strikeouts in his second appearance in as many nights.
Frank Moscatiello (0-2) was charged with his second straight loss for Gary. The right-hander lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing a career-high eight runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out three.
Gary concludes their three-game series against Sioux City on Friday night at 7:12 p.m. in Iowa at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. Trevor Lubking (5-6, 4.81) makes his league-high 16th start for the RailCats against Explorers right-hander Eric Karch (2-4, 4.88) in the final game of the year between the two clubs.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday for a nine-game, 10-day homestand vs. the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday’s game is Crown Point Community Library Night and features a food drive, supporting Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Tuesday’s game is also another Community HealthNet Health Centers Tuesday and Taco Tuesday. Visit any Northwest Indiana CHN for complimentary tickets to Tuesday’s game and enjoy our beef tacos and margaritas for $2 and $5, respectively.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.