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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Former Grand Prairie AirHog Jake Taylor hit a two-out, go-ahead triple in the top of the ninth and scored on a passed ball as the Sioux Falls Pheasants beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs 6-4 at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday to keep the AirHogs from gaining ground on Laredo, which lost to Fargo-Moorhead.
The AirHogs (49-47) took the lead on an unearned run in the first, but Sioux Falls (43-52) got those back and more in the third with three runs on five hits against Josh Strawn.
Jonny Kaplan’s RBI single in the fourth brought Grand Prairie to within one, but Reggie Abercrombie’s two-out single after an error and a wild pitch made it 4-2 in the fifth.
Sioux Falls starter Mark Michael threw 110 pitches in six innings, striking out six with two walks and one earned run allowed, while going to 3-2 10 different times. With him out, the AirHogs got to the Pheasants’ bullpen, getting two hits off Dan Cooper before Jairo Perez broke a long slump with a two-run double to right to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Kyle Mertins (3-1).
Strawn struck out a career-high nine in 6 2/3 innings, and Ronnie Morales (4-4) got the next six outs, but the lefty walked Trevor Lawhorn with two outs in the ninth. Up stepped Taylor, who lined the first pitch over the reach of Trent Lockwood in right.
Up 6-4, Sioux Falls closer Alan DeRatt got the first two outs of the bottom of the ninth, before walking Keanon Simon on four pitches. But after throwing ball one, Yasutsugu Nishimoto hit a soft liner back to DeRatt, ending the game and giving the righty his fourth save.
Notes: Perez left the game after his double when he slid awkwardly into second…Laredo’s magic number is now three to clinch the South Division…The walk and double in the ninth by the Pheasants were their first baserunners since Abercrombie’s hit in the fifth.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs conclude their three-game series against the Sioux Falls Pheasants at QuikTrip Park on Thursday, August 30, at 7:05 p.m. It is Thirsty Thursday, with $2 beer specials throughout the game. 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.