Pitching leads to a RailCats victory
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent June 10, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: July 12, 2012 6:13AM
GARY — The puzzle that has been the RailCats’ starting rotation seems to have another piece in place.
Kyle Wilson worked seven strong innings — the longest outing by a Gary pitcher this season — and the RailCats scrambled back from a three-run deficit to edge the Newark Bears 5-4 on Sunday afternoon before a Steel Yard crowd of 2,539.
Craig Maddux, subbing for an injured Rico Washington in the cleanup spot, went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Adam Klein hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to help the RailCats win the series three games to one.
Wilson (1-2), still adjusting to being a full-time starter for the first time in his seventh pro season, worked around a rough fourth inning. Third baseman Brian Kolb’s error opened the gates for a three-run rally for the Bears, who scored all of the runs with two out.
But Wilson followed that up with three perfect innings and wound up allowing five hits and four runs (one earned) while walking one and striking out four.
“I’ve had a few rough fifth innings the last couple outings,” he said. “It felt good to put up zeroes especially after scoring a few runs to get back in the game.
“Today was definitely the most comfortable I’ve felt on the mound all year. ... I just kept my composure and trusted myself.”
The righty was rolling along so well that manager Greg Tagert even considered letting him go all nine innings. But, Tagert said, “he told Jake (Upwood, Gary’s pitching coach) he was getting jelly-legged there with the heat.”
So Marco Gonzales worked a scoreless eighth and Will Krout pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.
“We knew we had an inning from Marco and an inning from Will today,” Tagert said. “We didn’t have much more than that (from the bullpen), to be honest with you.”
Down 4-1, the RailCats started their comeback with a vintage rally in the fifth. Klein led off and was hit by a pitch before Mike Massaro beat out a bunt single. Mike Coles’ groundout to the right side advanced the runners and Maddox drove in Klein with a broken-bat single on the infield. Mike Rohde’s sacrifice fly then made it 4-3.
In the sixth, Kolb led off with a single and scored on David Cooper’s triple to the gap in left-center. Klein’s sac fly broke the tie.
Notes: Washington is not expected to play in the upcoming series against Wichita after getting hit on the hand by a pitch in Saturday’s loss to Newark. Washington, the starting third baseman, is one of two regular infielders currently out. Second baseman Chris Carrara is on the DL with a hamstring injury. ... Derek Drage (2-1) starts for the RailCats on Monday at 7:10 p.m. against Wichita.