GARY, IN. 7-10-2010 — Cristian Guerrero hit his team-leading eighth home run of the year but the Gary SouthShore RailCats did little else in dropping their sixth consecutive game, 6-1 to the league-leading Kansas City T-Bones Saturday night at U. S. Steel Yard.
Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on a Rico Washington sacrifice fly before Guerrero drilled a 3-1 pitch to deep left-center to tie the score. Guerrero’s longball was his second since coming back off the disabled list July 4, and eighth of the year in just 31 games. In three RailCats seasons, Guerrero has 35 home runs – second in team history – and is two home runs shy of becoming the first RailCats hitter ever to hit double-digit home runs in three straight seasons.
The RailCats had only five hits on the night against T-Bones starter Reid Santos (2-3) and a pair of relievers. Santos won for the first time since June 4 by going a season-high 7.0 innings and allowing just the five hits and one earned run along with six strikeouts. No runner besides Guerrero reached third base in the game for the RailCats, who lost by an identical 6-1 score for the second straight day.
Kansas City took the lead for good in the fifth inning, loading the bases with one out against starter Tom Thornton (1-4). The big left-hander got Rico Washington to pop out to shallow left, but Ray Sadler picked up his teammate with a ground ball double just inside the third base line to score two and make it 3-1. The T-Bones added three more in the sixth including a two-run Eladio Rodriguez home run.
Thornton went 5.1 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits, walking and striking out three. The loss was Thornton’s fourth in as many starts.
Jacob Blackwood reached base four times on three base hits and a walk to lead an 11-hit T-Bones attack, with Jimmy Mojica going 2-for-4 at the bottom of the Kansas City order. Mojica also stole three bases as Kansas City went 7-for-7 stealing bases Saturday. The first place T-Bones won for the 10th time in their last 11 games and took their fifth win in six games at U. S. Steel Yard.
The RailCats (23-25) and T-Bones (31-17) close out the first half of the season Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at U. S. Steel Yard. Left-hander Brad Halsey (2-3, 4.00 ERA) will start for the RailCats, while right-hander Cody McAllister (4-3, 3.93 ERA) will go for Kansas City. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Sunday is also the annual RailCats Beach Towel Giveaway, with the first 1,500 fans through the gates picking up a free beach towel from Community Health Care System. It’s also another The Times Family Sunday, with a discount coupon for four tickets and food available in all Sunday editions of The Northwest Indiana Times. For more information, call the RailCats at 219.882.2255 or stop by the U. S. Steel Yard Box Office anytime after 10 a.m. Sunday.
Notes: The RailCats six straight losses include five in a row at home, where the RailCats have lost nine of their last 10 … the RailCats have scored only nine total runs over their six-game losing streak, including just two combined in the last three games … the RailCats are now 9-15 at home in 2010 after going 34-14 at The Steel Yard in 2009.