RAILCATS

RailCats drop series against division's last-place Lincoln

2012-06-24T18:15:00Z RailCats drop series against division's last-place LincolnBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | Lincoln entered a three-game series with the RailCats as the last place team in the American Association's Central Division.

Sunday's 6-5 RailCats loss that was part of a Saltdogs series win tied the two teams for last in the division standings with matching 15-20 records.

"We have hit about rock bottom," manager Greg Tagert said. "A club that comes in at the bottom of the standings takes two of three from us and I don't know what that says about us. We have hit rock bottom, the lowest point in my eight years here with the RailCats. That's a reflection on the manager, the staff and the players — we all have to take responsibility for it — so we're gonna make some changes."

RailCats starter Morgan Coombs gave up three runs with two out in the fourth inning to raise his season ERA to 6.15.

Five of the RailCats' nine hits were for extra bases, including a franchise record three triples by designated hitter Mike Massaro.

The RailCats also stranded 10 runners, including three on second base. They opened the eighth inning with the bases loaded on one out before Mike Coles grounded into a double play.

"We'll get a great outing, and not hit; we'll put up some hits, and then the pitchers will struggle," Massaro said. "So I think it's just finding the happy medium and putting it together on a consistent basis every day. If we do get a good start, we need to capitalize."

Lincoln took a 3-0 lead before the RailCats started chipping back. A lead-off double by Sean Henry in the second inning was followed with an RBI double by Brian Kolb.

The RailCats added two runs in the third on a walk, a Massaro triple and ground ball.

But after tying the game at 3-3, Coombs allowed a two-out homer as part of four hits and a walk in the fourth.

Tagert's promise of changes started before the first pitch. The RailCats are three games into a 19-game stretch without a break and before the game released pitcher Derek Drage, who was slated to start Tuesday's home game against Kansas City.

Instead, the start will be given to Will Krout, who was tabbed as the late-inning reliever at the start of the season.

"Unfortunately the performance and results did not match up and it's not just Derek; there are several guys where the results are not matching up," said Tagert, who was thrown out in the seventh inning for arguing an interference call on Coles.

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