Rosemont, Ill. – A four-run top of the ninth inning doomed Chicago Tuesday afternoon as they fell to the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-2 at Impact Field.
In a game that featured early offensive fireworks for the second time in as many days, the Dogs and ‘Cats found themselves tied at 2-2 after the second inning. Both pitching staffs would settle in nicely from there, with the next six innings passing by without a run.
Gary scored first on a two-run, opposite field home run from Colin Willis in the top of the first inning. The home run, which was a team-leading fourth for the Gary right fielder, snapped a 12-game home run drought for the RailCats.
Chicago scratched one run back from the ‘Cats, thanks to a Treysen Vavra RBI double in the bottom of the inning. The RBI was Vavra’s 22nd of the year, and just his second against a left-handed pitcher.
Matt Telesco knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second inning thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly. The RBI was Telesco’s first of the season.
Chicago starter Josh Goossen-Brown was stellar for Chicago, going seven and one-third innings, and not allowing a run after the first. Goossen-Brown gave way to Chicago reliever Taylor Grover in the top of the eighth. After Grover issued a one-out walk to load the bases, he coaxed an-inning ending double play off the bat of Andy DeJesus to preserve the 2-2 tie.
Gabe Perez meanwhile, worked two and one-third scoreless innings of relief for Gary, striking out five, and earning the win.
In the ninth, Gary would send eight men to the plate, and the tie would be broken immediately by the first of those hitters, Randy Santiesteban. The RailCats third baseman popped a solo home run over the left field wall off Grover to give Gary a 3-2 lead. The long ball was Santiesteban’s second of the year, and just the eleventh of the season for Gary.
Cole Fabio chipped in a two run, two-out double to blow the game open for the RailCats and give them a 6-2 lead. Adam Quintana worked a scoreless ninth to close the door.
The game, which was played in two hours and 24 minutes, was the shortest home game of the year for the Dogs. The game saw 233 combined pitches, with 119 of them producing swings, good for 51 percent. Of the 75 batters in the game, 29 of them put one of the first two pitches of their plate appearance in play.
With the four-game home-and-home series between the two teams now split at one win apiece, the two teams will shift to Gary for the remaining two games of the series. Wednesday at U.S Steel Yard will begin with the resumption of a suspended game between the two teams from May 31. First pitch of the conclusion, which will begin in the eleventh inning, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The regularly scheduled game between the two clubs will take place after.
Both games will be broadcast at www.thechicagodogs.com/broadcasts/