RailCats split doubleheader, running out of time
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent August 5, 2012 11:22PM
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:20AM
GARY — The math is getting tougher and tougher for the RailCats, but that doesn’t change Adam Klein’s approach.
“Regardless of the results and the way the season’s going, you’ve always got to look at the glass like it’s half-full no matter what, every single day,” Klein said Sunday.
It was another half-and-half day for Gary, which beat St. Paul 7-5 in the opener of a doubleheader behind a big hit from Klein before dropping the nightcap 5-2 in front of a U.S. Steel Yard crowd of 2,702. Both games went seven innings per the American Association’s doubleheader rule.
The RailCats (33-41) are 11 games behind first-place Wichita in the American Association’s Central Division with 26 games left and are running out of time to extend manager Greg Tagert’s streak of winning seasons.
Still, the push goes on not just to win this season, but down the road.
“We need to re-establish a group of players here,” Tagert said. “We also know that players aren’t looking to play for the RailCats for 4-5 years, but it does happen. We need to establish players who will potentially be here (more than short-term).”
One of those players could be right-hander Alberto Rolon, who took a no-decision in Game 1 in his RailCats debut.
“(He’s) a guy we tried to get earlier in the season or even before the season,” Klein said. “In my opinion, (he had) the best arm I saw last year and I told Tagert that.”
Rolon was 10-4 for St. Paul last season, but struggled this year before coming to Gary, going 2-5 with a 7.58 earned run average in 12 starts with St. Paul and Lincoln.
“We tried hard to get him,” Klein said of the 27-year-old righty. “I’m glad he’s on our team.”
“Alberto gave us a chance in his first start,” Tagert said. “It’s always difficult for a pitcher facing his former team, you know, (getting) a little amped up. Certainly he was excited to be out there.”
Rolon gave up four runs (all earned) on six hits in four innings. Reliever Marshall Schuler (1-1) gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth, but Klein (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI) punched a two-run single through the right side in the bottom of the inning to put Gary ahead to stay at 6-5. Mike Coles (2-for-3, run, RBI) singled home an insurance run.
Mike Massaro (2-for-4, run, RBI) also contributed for the RailCats in the opener.
In Game 2, St. Paul’s Robert Coe (10-3) worked around seven walks to beat the ‘Cats and Steven Hiscock (3-5), who allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits in five innings.
Rookie Kenny Bryant, signed over the weekend when first baseman Mike Rohde went on the DL with a strained oblique, drove in both Gary runs in the nightcap. In three games, he’s 5-for-9 with two runs and three RBI.