06/01/2018 10:35 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The Texas AirHogs opened their three-game set vs. the Sioux City Explorers with a 9-4 loss at AirHogs Stadium Friday evening. DH Dillon Thomas added two more doubles to an impressive homestand. He now has seven doubles and one home run over the last five games at AirHogs Stadium.
Gan Quan (0-3) got the start for the AirHogs and went 5.2 innings. He was tagged for three runs in the second and two runs in the fifth. He limited the Explorers to six hits while striking out four.
His counterpart Luis Mateo (2-1) escaped a bases loaded jam in the first unsscathed and induced a double play with the bases loaded in the second to limit the damage by the AirHogs bats. The AirHogs picked up an early RBI from left fielder Lu Zhenhong in the second on a base hit to score Luo Jinjun but could not narrow the the 3-1 deficit any further.
After Sioux City expanded the lead to 6-1 vs. Gan Quan and reliever Qi Xin in the top of the sixth, the AirHogs responded with an RBI double from shortstop Chen Chen and a sacrifice fly from catcher Luan Chenchen to cut the Explorer advantage to 6-3.
Sioux City tagged newly-signed reliever Mario Mendoza for three runs on four hits in the seventh to put the game away. Thomas picked up his doubles in the seventh and ninth and now has eight extra-base hits for the homestand. Every spot in the order reached or picked up an RBI for Texas. Third baseman Stewart Ijames picked up a late RBI in the ninth, scoring Thomas with a base hit following a double.
The AirHogs (2-12) meet the Explorers, who sport an American Association-best 11-4 record, again tomorrow at 7:05. RHP Sun Jianzeng (0-0, 6.00 ERA) is expected to get the start for the AirHogs. RHP James Dykstra (2-0, 3.38 ERA) will be on the mound for Sioux City. A live stream will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs and americanassociationbaseball.tv.
Individual tickets for the 2018 season are on sale now. The AirHogs – powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles, remain in town through Thursday vs. Sioux City and Kansas City. Visit AirHogsBaseball.com for more information. For the latest news, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TXAirHogs. Media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[FRONT PAGE PHOTO BY KAREN HARMON]