Pro baseball

RailCats drop home-opening series to Wichita

2012-05-27T19:30:00Z 2012-05-28T03:44:03Z RailCats drop home-opening series to WichitaBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | The RailCats are still itching to have a starting pitcher reach past the fifth inning.

Kyle Wilson, the first in the rotation with three starts, was the next hope. Instead, the righty went 4 1/3 innings Sunday and gave up five runs as the RailCats dropped their third consecutive game at home 10-2 to Wichita. 

"I've thrown more pitches each and every outing, today was more than the last and more than the one before that," said Wilson, who was pulled after 79 pitches. "(I'll) get the work in the bullpen and throw a few more innings out there and give the relievers a break."

Wilson allowed two runs in the first, but settled down giving up just a solo homer in the third until the fifth.

"I think you saw some of the things that we like (about Wilson), like the fourth inning when he was outstanding," manager Greg Tagert said. "We like the excitement of what he brings with his stuff. He's a little different than guys we've had in the past, you can see the electricity in some of his stuff, the 91 miles an hour, and he can be tough on a hitter. But, the four-pitch walk to start the game, the issues with being able to command the strike zone. He's probably very much the epitome of the pitching staff as a work-in-progress."

Wilson was pulled after allowing a pair of singles, but Wichita then hit four straight doubles and a triple off of reliever Chad Rhoades for a seven-run inning. Rhoades' season ERA has ballooned to 28.93.

"Chad continues to struggle and that's a tough one for us to figure out," manager Greg Tagert said. "He was a guy that we signed as an impact reliever. ... Everything that we've watched, his training, the radar gun, he's throwing as hard as he was when he was closing out games for the Red Sox in Double A, but it's one of those things we're scratching our heads and I think Chad is, too."

Left-handed relievers T.J. Wohlever and Chuck Lukanen pitched the final four innings without a run.

Adam Klein scored the RailCats first run thanks to a leadoff walk to open the first inning and Sean Smith added a run in the seventh. Wichita out-scored the RailCats 19-5 during the opening-weekend series.

The RailCats amassed seven hits, but stranded four runners in scoring position and finished the three-game series with 24 left on base.

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