GARY — The RailCats dropped the weekend series against Winnipeg with a 9-7 loss on Sunday, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 'Cats rallied from a 7-3 deficit with a four-run eighth inning, their second rally in as many games.
A two-run home run in the ninth, the third in the game by the Goldeyes, was the difference in the score, but not in the game.
"We didn't lose that game on a two-run homer in the ninth inning," manager Greg Tagert said. "This club continues to be one of inconsistencies, from the first series in St. Paul to winning four in Kansas City to winning a series on the road then losing the first game of the series against clubs that would be second-division and now falling farther behind in the race, we have to make some decisions what direction we're going to go in the last month."
The RailCats were walked nine times and left 11 runners on base. Gary's pitchers allowed three walks, and the North Division-leading Goldeyes left three runners on base.
Reggie Abercrombie had three hits, two homers, and drove in six runs for Winnipeg, including the first four to give the Goldeyes first a 2-0 lead then a 4-3 lead.
"This is a tough one right there, because we've been fighting all year," starting pitcher Charle Rosario said. "We just want to win and do the best we can in the field. Playing together is the only way we can beat the other team. We've been playing pretty good, and we have to keep doing that, because we want to make the playoffs."
Rosario pitched five innings, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs. He struck out four and walked three. The five innings was his shortest start since July 18 when he went 4 1/3 against Cleburne.
The 'Cats dropped three of four to Winnipeg after winning back-to-back series against Salina and Texas. Up next is St. Paul, which is in a fight for the North with Winnipeg and Fargo-Moorhead.
The 'Cats are six games behind Lincoln in the Central Division and two games back of Kansas City and one behind Fargo for the wild card spot into the postseason.
As they fight for the playoffs, the 'Cats have another two weeks before the trade deadline.
The RailCats struck out six times on Sunday, including five in five innings against starter Edwin Carl, who pitched for the first time this season on three days rest. Of those six strikeouts, four came with runners in scoring position.
"Competing against a Winnipeg club and feeling like that's what we feel good about, that's not the expectation from this chair," Tagert said. "We really thought we would be more complete at this time of the year and we're just not."