06/17/2017 11:22 PM
SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- The Texas AirHogs split their doubleheader with the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis and Clark Park Saturday. An opening gem by James Russell helped the team capture Game 1 2-0 before a 6-2 loss in Game 2.
Russell was superb, holding the Explorers to 5 hits and 0 runs in 8 frames. The former Cub dueled most of the evening with Hobbs Johnson, who threw 6 frames of 3-hit, 0-run ball himself. Russell finished with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk. Tied after the scheduled 7 innings, the AirHogs broke out in the 1st extra frame with 2 runs on an RBI walk from Brian Ragira and an RBI sac fly by Jake Taylor.
Russell blanked the Explorers for an 8th time after the team took the 2-0 lead to earn his 2nd win of the season. His ERA dropped to 2.08. The complete game was his 2nd. Sioux City relief man Brad Orosey took the loss after he surrendered 4 walks, including 2 intentional to load the bases, in allowing the AirHogs to take the lead in the 8th. The loss was his 1st.
Kramer Sneed started Game 2 for the Explorers and retired the 1st 9 he faced. Carlos Contreras got off to a considerably rockier start, allowing 5 runs, 4 of them on Explorer home runs, through the 1st 3 innings.
The AirHogs climbed back into it in the top half of the 4th, tagging Sneed for 2 runs on RBIs by Levi Scott and Denis Phipps. Scott extended his reach-base streak to 19 straight ballgames by doubling home Rondon to open the scoring.
Scott’s double would prove to be the only hit of Game 2 for the AirHogs though. After Kramer lasted 4 ⅓ innings, relief man Ryan Flores pitched ⅔ of a frame to pick up the W. Todd Eaton and Kevin McCanna closed out the contest for the Explorers.
The Explorers added a run in the 5th off TJ Bozeman and ended up out-hitting the AirHogs 10-1. The win was the 1st of the year for Flores. The loss was the 3rd of the season for Contreras.
The AirHogs and Explorers meet tomorrow in a rubber match at 6:05. The Explorers are expected to start LHP Cody Forsythe (1-1, 4.28 ERA). The AirHogs starter is to be announced.
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[PHOTO BY WALTER TENERY]