07/25/2016 10:04 PM
JOPLIN, Missouri - The AirHogs dropped the opener of a 3-game set Monday in Joplin, falling to the Blasters 7-1. Cory Morales went deep for the first time in an AirHogs uniform in the loss.
Matt Shepherd got the ball to start for the AirHogs and surrendered a run in the bottom of the 1st after hitting Mitch Glasser to start his evening. The AirHogs quickly tied it up on a 2-out home run by Cory Morales off Joplin starter Wander Perez in the top of the 2nd. It was the 2nd overall home run this seaon for Morales, who has also spent time with the Blasters and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks this season.
Unfortunately, Perez would bear down, firing 5 straight scoreless frames after allowing the homer to Morales. The Blasters got to Shepherd in the 4th for 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. Glasser picked up the 1st of his 2 RBIs and scored for the 2nd time in the 4th. In the end, 9 batted for the home team in what would become the decisive frame.
Trailing 7-1 in the 8th, the AirHogs appeared to have a rally going. After being held to just 3 hits over 7 innings by Perez, the offense found a spark vs. relief man Raul Rivera. Michael Valadez and Leon Byrd each reached with singles, but the Blasters turned their 2nd double play of the evening to defuse the threat.
Perez picked up his 1st win, while Shepherd absorbed his 5th loss. The AirHogs (23-40) and the Blasters (21-41) meet again tomorrow at 7:05. RHP Cody Hebner is expected to start for the AirHogs.
A live radio broadcast will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs.