ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Dogs launched three home runs and overcame an early offensive barrage from the visitors, but the Texas AirHogs rallied late to stun the Dogs, 9-7, on Tuesday night at Impact Field.
Victor Roache, Rey Gonzalez, and Keon Barnum each hit the long ball to spark the Chicago offense, but the Chicago bullpen could not close out the game. The AirHogs rallied for four runs in the ninth off of Josh Goossen-Brown (L, 1-2), highlighted by a three-run homer by Ijames that gave him five RBI on the night, to take a 9-7 lead.
Chicago had the tying run at first with Gonzalez at the plate, but Travis Ballew (W, 1-3) slammed the door to secure the victory.
It was an otherwise spectacular day at the plate for Gonzalez, who finished 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI, three runs scored, and two walks.
Dogs starter Jake Dahlberg allowed four early runs, but got into a rhythm after the third inning. The UIC grad finished with a season-high eight strikeouts over five innings. He allowed four runs, although only one was earned, on six hits and walked one.
Texas struck first with an RBI groundout, but Victor Roache tied things up with a towering solo home run, his fifth of the season, that went off the left field scoreboard. Two batters later, Rey Gonzalez launched a homer of his own to put the Dogs ahead, 2-1.
The AirHogs rallied back in the top of the third as Li Xhong led off with a double and scored on an error during the next at-bat, tying the game at two. Three batters later, Texas re-took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Stewart Ijames. The AirHogs pushed their lead to two when Luo Jinjun singled to right, scoring Jonathan Moroney.
Texas’ lead would be short-lived, however, as Chicago stormed back for three runs in the bottom of the fourth. After walks by Roache and Jordan Dean, Gonzalez ripped a single into left field and send Roache home. Two batters later, Edwin Arroyo smoked a double into the left-center gap to plate two runs and put the Dogs ahead, 5-4.
Keon Barnum extended the Dogs’ lead to two with an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the fifth. The former first-round pick has eight home runs this season, tied for the most in the American Association.
Brandon Shimo took over for Dahlberg in the sixth and went 1-2-3 in the inning. The AirHogs went on to add a run in the seventh on an RBI double by Ijames, but Kyle Halbohn entered the game and induced a groundout to limit the damage and end the inning. Halbohn went on to strike out the side in the eighth to keep the score at 7-5.
The Dogs will send Austin Wright (0-3) to the mound on Wiener Wednesday for the series finale against the AirHogs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Impact Field. Zhang Tao (0-4) will start for the AirHogs.
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