GARY, IND. — Despite having a baserunner reach in every inning following the first game after the American Association All-Star Game on Wednesday, the Gary SouthShore RailCats fell to the Sioux City Explorers, 3-2, in the first game of the year between the two teams at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park. Following Thursday night’s defeat, the ‘Cats are a season-worst 14 games below .500 and have lost six straight series openers.
Sioux City (33-29) took the opening lead of the series with a run in the fourth. All-Star shortstop Nate Samson tripled off the left-center field wall to begin the inning before former RailCat Jose Sermo brought him home with a sacrifice fly to the left field warning track.
The Explorers increased their lead to 3-0 with two more runs in the sixth. Consecutive singles from Kyle Wren and Michael Lang gave Sioux City runners on the corners. Samson followed Wren with an RBI single to right-center before a flyout to center from Drew Stankiewicz advanced both baserunners into scoroing position. Dexture McCall then delivered the final run of the inning with an RBI infield single up the third base line.
Gary (24-38) got their only runs in the seventh. Ray Jones walked on five pitches to begin the inning before Marcus Mooney reached on a fielder’s choice. With Mooney taking off for second on the pitch, Will Savage lined a single to center, however, the ball went under the glove of Sioux City center fielder Wren, allowing both Mooney and Savage to score.
Dugan Darnell (0-1) signed his first professional baseball contract with Gary and was charged with the loss in his professional baseball debut. The right-hander went two innings out of the bullpen and allowed one run on two hits. Christian DeLeon pitched for the first time since May 26th after coming off the Inactive List and tossed two hitless innings as the opener.
Pete Tago (1-1) recorded his first American Association win with six shutout innings. The right-hander yielded three hits, walked six and struck out six. All-Star relievers Tyler Fallwell and Matt Gercken each recorded holds with an inning each out of the bullpen while All-Star closer Matt Pobereyko (17) worked a perfect top of the ninth, including consecutive strikeouts to end the game in the save.
The Gary SouthShore RailCats continue their six-game road trip and three-game series against Sioux City on Thursday at 7:12 p.m. in Iowa at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. RailCats right-hander Frank Moscatiello (0-1, 4.97) opposes X’s right-hander Carlos Sierra (4-0, 3.67) in the middle game of the series.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday, July 30th for a nine-game, 10-day homestand vs. the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday’s game is Crown Point Community Library Night and features a food drive, supporting Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Tuesday’s game is also another Community HealthNet Health Centers Tuesday and Taco Tuesday. Visit any Northwest Indiana CHN for complimentary tickets to Tuesday’s game and enjoy our beef tacos and margaritas for $2 and $5, respectively.