06/02/2018 11:17 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The Texas AirHogs got a brilliant pitching performance from Sun Jianzeng and two more RBIs from left fielder Dillon Thomas but fell short Saturday night at AirHogs Stadium vs. Sioux City. The Explorers took Game 2 of the three-game set by a final of 4-2. The teams wrap the series tomorrow afternoon.
Sun Jianzeng lasted into the sixth while surrendering only one earned run. He struck out three and issued zero walks while scattering seven hits.
The Explorers capitalized on an AirHogs error in the third to take a 1-0 lead before Thomas helped the home team reclaim the advantage. His eighth double in the last six games scored right fielder Lu Zhenhong and first baseman Chu Fujia to give Texas the 2-1 edge.
First baseman Dexture McCall went deep for Sioux City in the fourth to draw the X’s even. The solo blast to left was his first of the year.
In the sixth, lefty Pedro Hernandez helped to strand two in relief. He ran into trouble in the seventh though, as the Explorers struck for two runs to take a 4-2 lead.
The AirHogs could not muster a comeback vs. Sioux City relievers Patrick Schuster and Parker Markel, who combined to set aside nine in a row to end the game.
Chu Fujia, Stewart Ijames and Dillon Thomas all finished with two hits for the AirHogs. Ijames provided some early defensive wizardry in the first, catching Michael Lang trying to score from third on a ground ball. Second baseman Luo Jinjun also caught a runner at the plate in the seventh.
Hernandez (0-1) suffered the loss, while James Dykstra (3-0) picked up the win by going six innings and surrendering two runs as the Explorers starter. Markel earned his first save by retiring four in a row to end the game.
The AirHogs (2-13) and the Explorers (12-4) close the series tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. RHP Miguel Rosario (0-1, 5.19 ERA) is expected to start for the AirHogs. RHP Taylor Jordan (2-0, 3.86 ERA) is expected to go 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 Tuesday through Thursday vs. 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.