ROSEMONT, Ill. — Kelly Dugan crushed two home runs, including a grand slam, to back Carlos Zambrano’s first start of the season, pushing the Chicago Dogs to an 14-7 victory on Sunday afternoon at Impact Field.
The Dogs exploded for a season-high ten runs on 11 hits in the fourth inning to claim the lead and never looked back. Zambrano, making his first professional start in Chicago since 2011, allowed three runs — two earned — on five hits while striking out three over three innings of work.
Fargo-Moorhead struck first when T.J. Bennett launched a two-run homer off of Zambrano in the top of the second. Later in the frame, a throwing error by Zambrano on a pickoff attempt allowed Yhoxian Medina to score from second, putting the visitors up 3-0.
Trey Vavra got Chicago on the board with a towering homer to left, his sixth of the season, to make it a 3-1 game.
The newly-acquired Daniel Hurtado (W, 1-0) made his Dogs debut in the top of the fourth. The Venezuela native allowed one earned run on three hits to go with two walks and two strikeouts over two innings.
Chicago’s fortunes changed with an imposing fourth inning. With the bases loaded and no one out, Vavra beat out an infield single that sent home a run, bringing the Dogs within one. Two batters later, Rey Gonzalez drew a walk to score Dugan and tie the game.
The Dogs tallied three runs on the next two at-bats, courtesy of run-scoring singles by David Olmedo-Barrera and Victor Roache. That brought up Dugan, who blasted one over the left-field wall for the grand slam that gave Chicago an 11-3 lead.
Fargo-Moorhead scored four runs over the next two frames off of Hurtado and Luke Wilkins to cut their deficit in half going into the seventh.
Rich Mascheri and Casey Crosby each threw shutout frames to maintain the lead.
Dugan demolished another long home run in the bottom of the eighth, a three-run shot to dead center, to push the Dogs’ lead to 14-7.
Kyle Halbohn shut the door in the ninth to secure the series win.
The Dogs depart on a nine-game road trip that begins with a three-game set against the Lincoln Saltdogs on Monday night. First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM.
Fans can tune in to The Chicago Dogs Baseball Network for a radio feed of all Dogs road games. For more updates, follow @TheChicagoDogs on social media and use the hashtag #TakeABite.