RailCats slip up in rain-shortened loss
By Michael Osipoff firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-2485 May 28, 2013 11:10PM
Updated: June 30, 2013 6:45AM
GARY — The RailCats and Sioux City had avoided the rain for most of Tuesday night — the heavy stuff, at least.
Until 9:16 p.m., when play was suspended at the Steel Yard, with the Explorers leading 6-4, and having runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning.
And that’s how the game ended, as it was called after less than 40 minutes.
“That was a quick rainout — I’ll leave it at that,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said. “We like our chances in the late innings. But we put ourselves in that position.
“When you’re on the winning end, it’s a sense of relief; when you’re on the losing end, it’s about as anticlimactic a blow as you can get.”
Will Krout (1-1) took the loss, actually pitching a “complete game” by going all 71/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Sioux City’s Preston Olson (1-1) notched the win, going five innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
The Explorers (6-6) took a 5-4 lead on Palmer Karr’s two-run double in the third, their third hit of the inning. Neither team scored through the middle innings — the RailCats started the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with a single, and came up empty each time — before Sioux City added an unearned run in the seventh.
The RailCats (7-5) had grabbed a 4-3 lead with a run in the second. With one out, Zac Mitchell and Chase Tucker had back-to-back singles, with Mitchell scoring all the way from first when center fielder Eliezer Mesa bobbled Tucker’s hit.
Sioux City jumped on Krout for three runs in the first, highlighted by a two-run double from Bryan Pounds with two outs. The Explorers had loaded the bases with no outs, before it appeared the RailCats were going to limit the damage to one run as Krout induced a double-play grounder. But Karr was hit by a pitch, and Pounds followed with the double.
“As well as we played yesterday and some other games, we’re not as sharp as we need to be on a daily basis, and I think we saw that in the first inning,” Tagert said.
“We’re bringing the same intensity and the same energy every day — it’s been like that from Day 1 of spring training, and I love that about this club. But at the same time, that’s not always going to make up for some mistakes, and that’s what we saw tonight.”
The RailCats answered right back with three runs against Olson, aided by left fielder Sam Judah losing Craig Maddox’s fly ball in the lights, turning a sacrifice fly into a double. Adam Klein had led off with a walk, Mike Massaro doubled, and Cristian Guerrero had a run-scoring groundout. After Maddox’s gift hit, Steve Liddle singled to center to tie the score.
“It’s a little early to say what’s characteristic of a club, but we’ve shown the ability to bounce back,” Tagert said.
Notes: First baseman Liddle returned to the RailCats lineup on Tuesday night, having missed five straight games after fouling a ball off his right shin last Tuesday against Wichita. He was cleared by the team doctor, and it’s a matter of pain tolerance for him. He put in early work on Tuesday, received treatment, took batting practice, then received more treatment before first pitch.
… With Liddle back, Ryan Babineau was given the night off, after having caught five consecutive games, including four in as many days. Maddox was behind the plate on Tuesday, after having played first base five straight games in Liddle’s absence. … Third baseman Brian Kolb also returned to the lineup after sitting out the previous two games, as he continues to recover from the fractured middle knuckle on his left middle finger. … Krout had gone 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in two starts against Sioux City last season. On July 24 at the Steel Yard, he threw a four-hit shutout on 89 pitches — the RailCats’ only pitcher to throw a shutout last season.
… Going into Tuesday, five of the RailCats’ seven wins had been by one run. … They are 4-0 in series openers, and were 4-0 when holding opponents to less than four runs. … Alain Quijano (2-0, 4.70 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday night’s series finale, against Sioux City righty Andy Noga (1-1, 5.73).