RailCats suffer first shutout loss of season
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent July 25, 2013 10:56PM
Scott M Bort/Post-Tribune Gary RailCats Media Day Mugs RC TAGERT GREG 2 050610.jpg PTSPT
Updated: August 27, 2013 6:44AM
GARY — The RailCats’ 5-0 loss to Sioux City on Thursday night at the Steel Yard wasn’t the ideal way to end a homestand but they still hold a firm grip (41/2 game lead prior to Thursday) on the wild card spot (thus a chance to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010) and are 11 games over .500.
Gary also took three out of four in the series and improved its home record to 22-12 on the season.
Still, the team’s loss to the Explorers (25-40) was disappointing since the offense struggled mightily, knocking out three hits and putting runners in scoring position four times. It was also the first time the team was shut out in 2013.
Sioux City smacked out 11 hits total to snap its six-game losing streak.
“We’re just not putting it together as consistently as we’d like,” Gary manager Greg Tagert said. “We have flashes like the 12 hits last night but we’re the type of club that has to put it together with the extra base hits and we didn’t do that tonight.”
The RailCats’ Adam Klein put his team in good position to score the game’s first run, smacking a double to the left-field fence opening the bottom of the first. But Mike Massaro and Cristian Guerrero each popped out and cleanup hitter catcher Ryan Babineau struck out to end the threat.
The Explorers capitalized in their half of the second when Austin Gallagher, who is leading the team with a .500 batting average over the past 10 games, singled and scored on Luke Murton’s third home run of the season over the left-field wall.
Gary (38-27) looked like it would rally for the second straight night in the sixth inning when Massaro walked with two outs and Guerrero reached on an error, but Babineau bounced out to winning pitcher Richard Salazar (7 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 SO), who improved to 5-3, to end the inning.
Sioux City wasted no time putting more runs on the scoreboard, knocking out Gary starting pitcher Osvaldo Rodriguez (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER) when Gallagher singled to lead off the seventh.
The trouble wasn’t over there, though, as Luke Murton doubled, putting runners on second and third with no outs and Yusuke Inoguchi followed with a two-run single off reliever Taylor Sewitt to make it 4-0.
He eventually scored an unearned run to finish the scoring.
Tagert said he was thrilled with the performance he got out of Rodriguez.
“If you had told me Osvaldo would give up two runs in the six-plus innings, I’d like our chances,” he said. “We just have to do our part offensively.”
Gary travels to St. Paul on Friday when it will throw out lefty James Adkins (0-2, 4.95 ERA) against probable starter Drew Gay (1-1, 4.11 ERA). The RailCats swept the Saints in a four-game series at home in June.