Sioux City Explorers 6/13/12
SIOUX FALLS -- The Sioux Falls Pheasants dropped the rubber game of series against the Sioux City Explorers Wednesday night, losing 5-2 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Sioux City took advantage of a miscue in the outfield to break a scoreless tie in the third. A fly ball hit by Yusuke Inoguchi fell in between Cristian Guerrero and Jared Bolden, playing center field for the injured Jonny Kaplan, scored the first of three third-inning runs for the Explorers.
“We have a couple of guys playing out of position right now and that’s what you get, sometimes it will affect the game,” said manager Steve Shirley.
The X’s scored their second run in the third inning on Michael Lang’s triple. He came home on a groundout one batter later to give the Explorers the early 3-0 lead.
Sioux Falls inched their way back into the game with a two-out rally in the sixth inning. Cesar Nicolas capped it with bouncer up the middle that scored Bolden and Trevor Lawhorn, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Explorers responded with a two-out rally of their own in the next half inning. Wally Backman Jr. doubled to start the seventh inning and Pheasants starting pitcher Alan DeRatt (1-1) struck out the next two batters. He exited for reliever Kyle Mertins, who gave up two hits and allowed two runs to score. It was just the second time in 14 appearances that Mertins allowed an earned run.
DeRatt pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing four runs on six hits and struck out four. Though he suffered the loss, Shirley praised his outing.
“The mistakes we made behind him don’t go as errors and they land on his numbers, but I thought he threw great tonight,” Shirley said.
Sioux Falls batters grounded into three double plays and failed to start a late-inning rally, collecting just one hit in the final three frames.
“The entire pitching staff came in tonight and gave us the chance to win,” said hitting coach Andy Juday. “They scored five runs. That’s in the game; we have a chance to win the ball game and that’s all we can ask from the pitching staff.”
Richard Salazar (3-3) earned the win for the Explorers. He hurled eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and fanned two batters.
“The main thing is having good at-bats, which we’re having, just not in the right situations necessarily,” said Juday. “Guys get big hits one night and we couldn’t get any tonight. It’s just the nature of the game, one night you can be great and the next night you put up eight hits and score two runs.”
The Pheasants have an off day Thursday. A three-game weekend series begins at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, June 15, against the St. Paul Saints at Sioux Falls Stadium. Friday Night Fireworks follows the game, sponsored by Sanford Health and All-Star Fireworks. “Kids FREE in June” also continues. Two tickets for children 12-and-under are free with every regular-priced adult ticket purchase.