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Railcats fall to Saltdogs, 10-4

Updated: June 19, 2013 6:21AM



GARY — Any chance the RailCats had of fashioning a second straight comeback pretty much burned up in a ragged sixth.

Without the benefit of a hit, Lincoln scored four runs in that inning on its way to a 10-4 win on Friday night at the Steel Yard.

In an inning in which Takahiro Matsuka made a less-than-spectacular RailCats — and American — debut, the Saltdogs used three hit batters (they were hit a total of five times in the game), a walk, a sacrifice fly and two errors by second baseman Chase Tucker on the same play to break open the game at 8-2.

“We took a step back tonight in terms of our play,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said.

“The hit batsmen on the pitching side, then the wild pitches (four), and the defensive side — we really didn’t give ourselves a chance tonight, not to take away anything from the Saltdogs.”

Matsuka recorded just one out before leaving with the bases loaded (two hit batters and a walk), eventually charged with three runs (two earned).

“There’s concern there,” Tagert said. “We’ve seen him throw well for us, we’ve seen flashes, but we’re not sure what we’re going to get.”

RailCats starter Ari Ronick, converting back to the rotation after spending the last two seasons in the bullpen in the San Francisco Giants organization, went five innings, allowing four runs on three hits with three strikeouts, three walks, and two hit batters.

After retiring all five batters he faced in Thursday’s season opener, Taylor Sewitt really picked up the RailCats bullpen on Friday, coming through with 22/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on a hit with three strikeouts. But by then, it was too late for them.

The Saltdogs (1-1) scored four runs in the third to take a 4-1 lead, highlighted by a three-run homer by Matt Forgatch — who spent part of last season in Gary — the fourth homer the RailCats have allowed in two games this season.

The RailCats (1-1) had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on Mike Massaro’s one-out single and Ryan Babineau’s two-out single up the middle.

“I don’t know if it’s something we’ll address, being so early in the season, and I don’t want to say it was a letdown, but some things started to snowball,” Tagert said.

Notes: Danny Pulfer got the start at third base on Friday night, after Brian Kolb was a late scratch. Kolb suffered a jammed finger in Thursday’s game sliding home with a run in the second inning, and it remained swollen overnight. It was not thought that Kolb’s finger was broken, but he likely was going to get X-rays to be sure. … Right-hander Stephen Hiscock was scheduled to start Saturday night’s game, against Saltdogs lefty Nathan Moreau.



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