SCHAUMBURG, IL. 7-16-2010 – Tanner Townsend hit a home run in his first game back from the disabled list but the Schaumburg Flyers scored eight unanswered runs after Townsend’s blast to send the Gary SouthShore RailCats to a 10-2 loss Friday night at Alexian Field, the RailCats eighth loss in a row.
The RailCats losing streak is their longest under sixth-year Manager Greg Tagert, and Friday’s loss was the most lopsided of the current stretch. Townsend – playing for the first time since suffering a concussion June 26 in Fargo – belted his 41st RailCats home run with two outs in the fourth to bring the RailCats even at 2-2, but Schaumburg re-took the lead in the bottom of the inning and never looked back. After going 5-14 against the RailCats in 2009, the Flyers have now won four of six games between the two teams this summer.
The Flyers notched singled tallies in the first and second innings against RailCats starter Tom Thornton (1-5), who lost for the fifth time in as many starts. Mike Rohde walked to lead off the third and came in to score three batters later on an Adam Klein sacrifice fly before Townsend tied the score.
Schaumburg scored the winning run when Joe Nowicki led off the fourth with a bloop double and scored two batters later on a Josh Burrus fly ball. The Flyers broke the game open with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth, when they scored all three runs with two outs. Brandon Newton hit a two-run homer in the eighth to round out the scoring.
Thornton allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in a 5.0 inning start before giving way to Will Morgan, who allowed five more runs on four hits and three walks in a 3.0 inning relief stint. Jeff Beachum and Mike Massaro each had two hits to lead the RailCats offensively. The second of Massaro’s two hits was an eighth inning double, the only ‘Cats extra-base hit outside of Townsend’s home run.
Schaumburg starter Brett Harker (3-6) won for the second time in as many starts by going 7.0 innings and limiting the ‘Cats to two earned runs on six hits. Harker – who allowed 10 runs in four innings the last time he faced the RailCats – walked and struck out three in the win. Newton had a huge day offensively for Schaumburg, going 2-for-4 with four runs scored, three driven in and a pair of stolen bases. Travis Brown chipped in three hits and three RBI.
The RailCats (23-27) and Flyers (20-31) continue their three-game series Saturday at 6 p.m. Right-hander Nolan Nicholson (1-2, 7.91 ERA) is scheduled to start for the ‘Cats with left-hander Ryan Gehring (3-3, 3.32 ERA) answering for the Flyers. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The previous longest RailCats losing streak under Tagert came July 20-27, 2006 … catcher Mike Valadez, playing in his first RailCats game, went 1-for-3 … Chris Carrara started for the first time since June 22 (wrist injury) and went 0-for-4 … Morgan’s outing was his longest as a RailCat … the ‘Cats are now four games under .500 for the first time in 2010 … the RailCats last win came July 3 in Schaumburg, a game started and won by Saturday’s scheduled starter, Nicholson.