Cleburne, Texas. – The Dogs received five scoreless innings from their bullpen and hit three home runs to defeat the Railroaders 7-6 in a topsy-turvy game Saturday night in Cleburne.
In a game that saw six combined home runs, Chicago won for just the sixth time this year in 25 road games. The Dogs hit multiple home runs in a game for the fifth time this season, and moved to 5-0 in such games.
Treysen Vavra got the scoring started for Chicago, as he busted out of an 0-12 skid with a two-run shot to left field in the top of the first.
Angel Rosa cut the deficit in half for the Railroaders with a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the frame. The long ball was the sixth of the year for the Cleburne shortstop, and three of his six home runs have come against the Dogs.
Tony Rosselli popped his sixth home run of the year in the top of the second to stretch the Dogs’ cushion back to two runs at 3-1. That score would remain until Chase Simpson clubbed a three-run home run for Cleburne in the bottom of the third, and Cameron Monger followed with a solo shot of his own two batters later.
Down 5-3, Chicago inched closer thanks to an RBI triple from Stephen Perez in the top of the fourth. Perez lined a ball to shallow center field, but the ball bounced on one hop over the head of Cleburne center fielder K.C. Huth, allowing Perez to begin a tear around the bases. Perez ultimately attempted to score and tie the game, but was thrown out at the plate to preserve the 5-4 Railroader lead.
Edwin Arroyo recaptured the lead for Chicago with his fourth home run of the year in the top of the fifth. The home run, a two-run shot, was the fourth home run in seven games for the Chicago second baseman.
Cleburne would answer again immediately in their half of the fifth thanks to a two-base throwing error from Chicago starter Scott Barnes that allowed Trevor Sealey to score. With men on the corners and no outs in the inning Barnes was lifted from the game in favor of Jared Carkuff. Carkuff struck out each of the next three batters to keep the score tied.
Carkuff pitched three innings in relief for the Dogs, allowing two hits and one walk, while recording eight of his nine outs on the night by way of the strike out. The right-hander earned the win, his third of the year.
The game remained tied until Chicago pushed in front for the third different time in the top of the eighth. The Dogs sent seven men to the plate without producing a single hit, but walked four times, and scored on a go-ahead wild pitch with the bases loaded. The wild pitch was the 50th of the year for Railroader pitching, which is the most of any staff in the American Association.
The game-winning wild pitch marked the second issued by Cleburne pitching against the Dogs in a seven day span.
Chad Girodo pitched a one-two-three bottom of the eighth for Chicago to pave the way for Taylor Grover to lock down his third save of the season in the bottom of the ninth.
The Dogs bullpen has now used six different pitchers to toss nine scoreless innings through the first two games of the series with Cleburne.
The two teams will play a rubber match Sunday evening in Cleburne. Chicago will send left-hander Evan Smith to the mound while Cleburne will counter with right-hander Patrick Mincey.
First pitch from The Depot at Cleburne Station is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast at www.thechicagodogs.com/broadcasts/ with the Crowne Plaza Pregame Show beginning at 5:45 p.m.