Fargo, N.D. – Treysen Vavra hit a grand slam, and the Dogs defeated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 12-7 Tuesday in a marathon night of record-setting performances for Chicago at Newman Outdoor Field.
The grand slam from Vavra was the first in Chicago franchise history, and helped lift the lid on a single-game record-setting 12 run outburst from the Dogs offense.
Vavra hit the grand slam in the top of the second inning, one pitch after Edwin Arroyo drove in the first run of the game for the Dogs with a bases loaded walk. The long ball came against Fargo-Moorhead starter Trey McNutt, and was the league-leading 14th home run allowed by McNutt this year.
With the Dogs in front 5-0, Chicago starter Kylin Turnbull recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the second, but was removed from the game due to a groin injury. Tommy Thorpe entered the game, and allowed three consecutive baserunners, capped by a Derrick Fox two-run single to cut the Dogs lead to 5-2.
Following the Fox single, Thorpe and Dogs manager Butch Hobson were ejected from the game for arguing with third base umpire Mike Jarboe. As a result, Rich Mascheri entered the game for Chicago, and recorded the final out of the second inning. With two separate full warm-ups on the mound, the half-inning lasted 45 minutes, and served as a harbinger of things to come in a game that ultimately took four hours and 26 minutes to play.
Chicago brought a 7-2 cushion into the fourth inning, when Fargo-Moorhead began to chip away. The RedHawks scored a run in the fourth, another in the sixth inning, and two more in the bottom of the seventh inning to trim their deficit to 7-6.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning, Kaohi Downing struck out Leobaldo Pina swinging to preserve the Dogs lead. The RedHawks also stranded the bases loaded in their half of the fifth inning, and ultimately left 14 men on base.
Chicago added five insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning, all with two outs. The Dogs received a two-out RBI single from Dalton Blaser, a two-run home run from Stephen Perez, and a solo home run from Kenny Wilson. Blaser went 3-5 in the game with three RBI to extend his season-best hitting streak to seven games.
Downing earned the win for Chicago as six Dogs relievers cobbled together the final seven and two-thirds innings to even the series. The victory was the first of the season for the right-hander.
The two teams combined to produce a baserunner in 15 of the 18 half innings Tuesday. Six separate innings saw the bases loaded, and the teams combined for 11 bases loaded plate appearances. Fargo-Moorhead produced 16 hits, but only two of their 16 went for extra bases.
The victory snaps a three game losing streak for the Dogs, and pushes their season record to 30-45. Fargo-Moorhead falls to 42-32 with the loss.
The two teams will meet in the rubber match of a three-game set Wednesday at Newman Outdoor Field as the Dogs look for their first ever road series victory.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:02 p.m. The game will be broadcast at www.thechicagodogs.com/broadcasts/ with the Crowne Plaza Pregame Show beginning at 6:42 p.m.