Amarillo, TX-The Explorers put an end to a three-game road losing streak with a 7-6 win over the Sox Saturday night at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium.
With the victory, Sioux City (17-26) closed the book on a four-game losing streak to Amarillo in the season series. The X’s scored all the runs they needed in the second and third innings. Amos Ramon led off the top of the second with a walk. Dillon Usiak was hit by a pitch. Following a fly-out, Ramon and Usiak converted a double steal. An infield single by Oscar Mesa produced the first run as Ramon scored from third. Andres Perez followed with a single to right that scored Usiak and advanced Mesa to third. A sacrifice fly from Rene Tosoni made it 3-0.
The Explorers improved upon their three-run second with a four-run third. Peter Barrows reached base with a one-out walk. Tom Mendonca singled to right and pushed Barrows to third. With two outs, Dillon Usiak singled to right and drove in Barrows. A single to left by Todd Jennings brought Mendonca home. A wild pitch moved Usiak and Jennings up to second and third respectively. Following a pitching change by Amarillo, Oscar Mesa stroked a two-run double to left and it was 7-0 Sioux City.
The Sox (16-25) cracked the scoreboard for two in the bottom of the third. Following a lead-off single to center by Derek Perren, Brandon Pinckney clubbed a two-run home run that cut the lead to five. After three straight scoreless innings, Amarillo plated three runs in the seventh that made it 7-5. The Sox added a run in the eighth on a solo home run by Cory Patton. Amarillo put a base runner on the in the ninth before a strikeout ended the game.
On the mound, John Straka (pictured) picked up the win for Sioux City. Straka (4-3) worked six innings and allowed two earned runs on eleven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Cameron Cuneo took the loss for Amarillo. Cuneo (0-1) went just two-and-two-thirds and yielded seven earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Chris Bodishbaugh closed the game in the ninth to post his sixth save.
Oscar Mesa had a splendid night at the plate for Sioux City. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run, and three RBIs. Dillon Usiak collected two hits with two runs and an RBI. Brandon Pinckney, Cory Patton, Jason Martin, and Kyle Bellows all had three-hit nights for Amarillo. Pinckney scored twice and drove in two.
The Explorers stole a season-high seven bases in the game, one shy of tying an American Association record. Nate Samson stole three of those. The X’s pitching staff matched a season-high seventeen hits allowed. The Sox, meanwhile, made two errors and left twelve runners on base.
Sioux City continues its road trip in Texas Sunday night with the series finale at Amarillo. First pitch is set for 6:05. Following a road series at Grand Prairie, the Explorers return home to face Wichita July 3rd through 5th. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.