RailCats end four-game losing streak at home
By Michael Osipoff firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-2485 June 10, 2013 11:38PM
Updated: June 11, 2013 12:08AM
GARY — So much for that rough patch for the RailCats.
At least for one night, against a high-caliber opponent, they returned to their crisp play.
Behind a terrific start from Morgan Coombs and a key hit from Cristian Guerrero, they ended a four-game losing streak, and a stretch of six losses in seven games, topping four-time Can-Am League champion Quebec 5-1 on a foggy Monday at the Steel Yard.
The RailCats (12-11) moved back over .500, cooling off the first-place Capitales (15-8), who had won nine of their previous 10 games.
The only run the RailCats allowed was unearned, but they made several outstanding defensive plays. The bullpen locked down for three scoreless innings.
And Coombs, making his third straight start in place of the injured Stephen Hiscock, gave up just that unearned run on six hits in six innings.
“You can’t put too much pressure on yourself,” Coombs said. “You have a job to do every day, and that’s to win; we don’t like to lose. These last few games have been uncharacteristic for us, and we don’t think it’s acceptable. We just have to keep it going.”
Fittingly, a day after giving an impassioned post-game clubhouse address, Guerrero delivered a bases-clearing double that gave the RailCats a 3-1 lead in the third inning.
“This is the team everybody wants to see,” Guerrero said. “We have to stay like that, because we know we have a good team. We talked last night after the game, and you can feel a difference tonight. It’s a good sign.
“We’re going to be good. Trust me, we’re going to be good. We have a good group of guys to do damage.”
The RailCats appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead in the second, but Drew Martinez was called out on a play at the plate after Zac Mitchell had singled to center with two outs. Manager Greg Tagert, coaching third base, sprinted toward home plate to argue.
The Capitales then scored the unearned run in the third.
“What was important for us, was after Martinez got thrown out at the plate, you worry about the club’s psyche, you’re not sure how the club is going to handle it after the last few nights,” Tagert said. “But that was probably the most impressive thing of the night, how the club handled it, and then the unearned run on top of it. But Morgan, he didn’t let it snowball — all the credit goes to him.
“What a difference a night makes. But, really, what a difference a great starting performance makes, and one big hit — the huge hit by Cristian takes the weight off everyone’s shoulders.”
Notes: Quebec center fielder Asif Shah had a (very) brief RailCats career, playing one game for them last season. They acquired him from Lincoln in late July, and after the one game, he left the team for personal reasons, returning home to Cincinnati, and they placed him on the inactive list. In April, the RailCats traded Shah to Quebec, where he was hitting .286 with five homers (second on the Capitales) and 16 RBIs (also second) entering Monday’s game. … Quebec had won two of three games from the RailCats in Quebec City last season from July 16 to 18, with Coombs winning the middle game, allowing two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. … Will Krout (1-2, 6.32 ERA) is scheduled to start for the RailCats on Tuesday night, against Quebec right-hander Bryan Rembisz (0-1, 7.20).