GARY | With Friday's loss, the RailCats hold at the top of the wild card standings shrunk.
Entering the weekend series against Sioux Falls -- a non-Division team with no hope of a postseason -- the RailCats were 2 1/2 games ahead of Lincoln in the wild card standings.
Lincoln beat Rockland 3-2 on Friday while the RailCats fell 12-5 to Sioux Falls, a 36-49 team that is 7-1 against the 'Cats this season.
Before the game, manager Greg Tagert said that the outlook for last night's starter, Alain Quijano, is good. Quijano told his manager that he feels better, the swelling is starting to diminish and he hopes to make a start next week.
Sioux Falls Canaries (36-49)
RF Nick Van Stratten
SS Cory Morales
1B Marcos Rodriguez
CF Reggie Abercrombie
DH Tim Pahuta
3B Jared Clark
LF JP Ramirez
C Kevin Dultz
2B Stephen King
RHP Ben Moore (8-6, 4.18 ERA)
LF Adam Klein
RF Mike Massaro
1B Christian Vitters
C Ryan Babineau
DH Cristian Guerrero
3B Brian Kolb
CF Drew Martinez
SS Zac Mitchell
2B Nick Liles
RHP Billy Spottiswood (5-2, 3.35 ERA)
Prior to the game, all players except the pitcher and catcher were wearing whit uniforms. After the national anthem, the remainder of the team changed tops and the front office personnel collected the "wrong" uniforms. (After the game it was explained that the RailCats wore old jerseys that were to be auctioned off so that fans could see the jerseys that they were bidding on. The wardrobe change was preplanned.)
Nick Van Stratten grounds out to second. Cory Morales pops out to second. Marcos Rodriguez grounds out to short. Billy Spottiswood threw eight pitches in that first inning. Mid 1st inning: Canaries 0, RailCats 0
Adam Klein hits a fly ball to right. Mike Massaro flies out to center. Can Christian Vitters get to left field (oppo for him)? Vitters kind of goes left, he grounds out to third base. Ben Moore is out of the first inning in seven pitches. End 1st inning: RailCats 0, Canaries 0
Reggie Abercrombie swings at three pitches to strike out. Tim Pahuta singles past a sliding Nick Liles. Jared Clark doubles off the left-center wall, scoring Pahuta. Clark takes third on an errant throw by Zac Mitchell. JP Ramirez grounds out to Mitchell at short. Kevin Dultz is hit by a pitch to give the Canaries runners on the corners. Stephen King singles to score Clark. Nick Van Stratten walks to load the bases. Cory Morales flies out to right, leaving the bases loaded. Mid 2nd inning: Canaries 2, RailCats 0
Ryan Babineau strikes out swinging. Cristian Guerrero flies out to left field. Brian Kolb grounds out to short. End 2nd inning: Canaries 2, RailCats 0
Mike Massaro reaches the warning track in right to make the out against Marcos Rodriguez. Reggie Abercrombie grounds out to short. The RailCats make their second error of the night as Tim Pahuta reaches base on an E4. Jared Clark flies out to right. Mid 3rd inning: Canaries 2, RailCats 0
Drew Martinez strikes out swinging. Zac Mitchell is walked. Nick Liles hits to third base, recorded as an error. Adam Klein flies out to right. Mike Massaro singles into center field, scoring Mitchell and moving Liles to third base. All runs this inning will be unearned. Christian Vitters hits a hopper down the first-base line, slides into first and is called out. Fans are not pleased with the call. End 3rd inning: Canaries 2, RailCats 1
JP Ramirez grounds out to second. Kevin Dultz singles with a ball that hugs the third-base line. Stephen King doubles off the wall in left field. Nick Van Stratten grounds out to second, scoring Dultz. Cory Morales singles into right-center, scoring King. Marcos Rodriguez singles into left, Morales takes third on an error in left field. Reggie Abercrombie strikes out swinging. Mid 4th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Ryan Babineau doubles into left field. Cristian Guerrero hits an infield single. Brian Kolb pops into shallow center, the ball falls between three fielders. Guerrero is forced out at second on an odd 8-3 play. Drew Martinez lines out to short. Zac Mitchell grounds out to second. End 4th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Tim Pahuta pops out to first base. Jared Clark flies out to center field. JP Ramirez strikes out swinging. Mid 5th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Nick Liles grounds out to short. Adam Klein doubles down the right-field line; RailCats fans seem upset that he didn't try to turn it into a triple. Mike Massaro pops out to short. Christian Vitters flies out to left field. End 5th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Kevin Dultz grounds out to short. Stephen King is walked on four pitches. Nick Van Stratten singles as the Canaries put two on. Cory Morales grounds into a double play. Mid 6th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Ryan Babineau singles. Cristian Guerrero strikes out swinging. Babineau steals second. Brian Kolb grounds out to third base. Drew Martinez flies out right field. End 6th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Matt Jernsad takes the mound for the RailCats. Marcos Rodriguez grounds out to third base. Reggie Abercrombie strikes out swinging for the third time tonight. Tim Pahuta pops out to Jernsad. 7th-inning stretch: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Zac Mitchell leads off with a single. Nick Liles flies out to center. Adam Klein hits a single into right field. Mike Massaro grounds out to first, moving both runners into scoring position. Christian Vitters strikes out swinging. End 7th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Jared Clark strikes out swinging. JP Ramirez pops out to third base. Kevin Dultz flies out to center field. Mid 8th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Chris Allen, the former RailCat, is pitching for the Canaries. Ryan Babineau strikes out looking. Cristian Guerrero grounds out to short. Brian Kolb grounds out to second. End 8th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
Ian Durham will pitch the ninth for the RailCats. Stephen King pops out to right field. Nick Van Stratten grounds out to second. Cory Morales strikes out looking. Mid 9th inning: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
New pitcher for Sioux Falls is Alan DeRatt. Drew Martinez hits a hard line drive right into the glove of shortstop Cory Morales. Zac Mitchell flies out to left. Nick Van Stratten makes a dive in right for the final out of the game: Nick Liles. FINAL: Canaries 4, RailCats 1
AFTER THE GAME
Greg Tagert: "It's one of those tough things to even I don't know if you accept it and wonder why we continue to be a little short offensively in some of these games. Ben Moore is very good, pitcher of the year a couple times, but usually you can plan to score three or four and that's the nature of our club, to scratch out three or four runs and last night against Ruwe we didn't do it and tonight we didn't do it and on the road trip, for the most part, and even against Wichita we were scratching and clawing for one run. We're going to come out on the short end of a lot of games if we keep doing that. Billy pitched well and really needs to, both times, we don't mind him giving up the two runs, he gave up the run to King and then he gave up one to Morales to add to those, limiting the damage we talk about that to starting pitchers all the time, now obviously if he holds them to 2-1 that's a lot to ask of a starting pitcher. But there are nights when you're starting pitcher, going up against a tough right-hander, we need Billy to limit that damage a little bit and both innings he got bit by that two-out base hit when he seemingly was going to work out of it and that was tough to swallow. When the club is struggling for runs, we need him to do that.
"We've got to get some of our guys clicking that have played a big part of our offense this year. There are some guys scuffling right now. A lot of 0-for-4s in that box score and guys not drawing the walks like they used to. Not doing some of the things that we have to to have success in these games. Not only is that the story of these last few weeks going back to the home stand, where we had that nice 5-1 home stand, but it's just tough to explain and tough to understand.
"You're seeing some good arms but they're not all upper echelon pitchers, other than that one game where we broke through. Our guys are frustrated and we hit a few balls hard and they make a nice catch there, but we didn't play well defensively from our end. Three errors on the board, I don't think that had any effect on the outcome of the game, but you make three errors and score one run you're going to come out on the short end every time.
"I don't know if it's a matter of, even though he wasn't in the game, we added to the lineup by bringing someone in here with a history in Reid Fronk, but sometimes you do that to kickstart some other guys and that has not happened. In other ways the effect has been negligible. Ryan Brockett has done well in his time, but we're just not able to, you know, with a club that is short on power, we need to string together a number of base hits. Tonight what was frustrating was the number of men we left on base in scoring position, sometimes who got on with no outs and sometimes with less than two outs. That's the part that's disappointing. We're in the position that with a club like ours, we didn't need a three-run homer tonight to get into the game, we needed one base hit. To not be able to do that, that's tough to explain. I'm sure as the at-bats start to mount up and these kinds of games start to mount up the players get out of their element, and frustrated. I hope also the club realizes that we hit three balls hard in the ninth inning and they didn't fall, that we lost it long before that when we didn't push runs across and gave up extra runs."