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Friday, July 06, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Although the Grand Prairie AirHogs left 10 men on base on Thursday, they did enough with a pair of home runs in the third inning and stellar pitching from Nick DeBarr and Justin Dowdy to beat the Wichita Wingnuts 3-1 at QuikTrip Park, extending their winning streak to nine and their home winning streak to 16.
A pair of doubles by David Peralta and Jared McDonald gave Wichita (31-14) the lead in the second, and although the AirHogs (33-13) had a baserunner reach on an error and a hit in the first, three hits in the second and a walk in the third, they were held off the scoreboard by lefty Jeff Nadeau (0-1).
That would change in the fourth, as Greg Porter led off with a single up the middle before Chris McMurray lined his ninth home run of the season over the leftfield wall to give the AirHogs the lead. Two batters later it was David Thomas hitting his fourth of the season on a high drive to left just inside the foul pole to make it 3-1.
Grand Prairie would get two hit batters, three singles and a triple the rest of the way, but could not put any more runs up on the scoreboard.
But DeBarr (8-2) made those three runs hold up, allowing two hits and no other baserunners between the third and the eighth. However, two straight singles to start the eighth gave the AirHogs a major scare, but after Ryan Khoury bunted the runners over, Sean Smith popped out, and the AirHogs intentionally walked John Rodriguez to bring up Justin Tellam, who was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts and a popup against DeBarr. The moved worked, as DeBarr struck him out looking to end the inning.
In the ninth, Dowdy walked Peralta to start the inning, before McDonald flied out for the first out. But Dowdy then walked Blake Bergeron to put the possible tying run aboard, before McMurray nailed Bergeron on the back end of a possible double steal to take that second runner right off the bases. Dowdy then struck out pinch-hitter Steve Carrillo to finish off his 12th save of the year.
Notes: The bottom five hitters in the AirHogs order went 9-for-20…DeBarr had a season-high seven strikeouts, with six coming against Khoury and Tellam…DeBarr also got 13 groundball outs, including six to Bryan Frichter at second…Dowdy again tied Tom Davis of Fargo-Moorhead atop the league leaderboard in saves…No Wingnuts player had more than one hit.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs conclude their four-game series against the Central Division-leading Wichita Wingnuts on Friday, July 6, at 7:05 p.m. In honor of the date, all tickets will be $6. One lucky fan will also win two tickets to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City next week. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.