Cats and Rain Hammer Dogs
|By Kyle Kesses
ABILENE – First it was the Fort Worth offense then it was the weather; both gave the Dogs fits on Sunday night as the Cats rolled to their third win in four days at Walt Driggers Field, 9-2 in a game shortened to five innings by inclement weather.
The Cats used a seven-run top of the fifth to put the game out of reach, and moments after the Dogs wrapped up a one-run bottom half of the fifth, rain and lightning chased the teams off the field and ended the game.
Freddy Flores started for the Dogs and struggled in his third appearance with the club. Antoin Gray yanked a two-run homer off the veteran right-hander in the top of the first to give the Cats a 2-0 head start.
Abilene responded with a run in the bottom of the second off 24-year-old righty Blake Parry. Danny Gonzalez sliced a two-out single to right field, scoring Bryan Fogle and trimming the lead in half.
In the top of the second, Flores appeared to find the rhythm that allowed him to retire 10 batters on 18 pitches in San Angelo on Tuesday night. After facing four batters in the second, Flores used a fly out and pair of strikeouts to rip through a perfect third.
After going down quickly in the fourth, the Cats ambushed Flores in the fifth by sending 11 men to the plate. Jon Dziomba began the frame with a groundout before Chad Gabriel singled and scored on Antoin Gray’s R.B.I. double. 35 minutes and a pitching change later, the Cats had pasted seven runs on the board in a frame highlighted by R.J. Harris’ two-run single and Randall Thorp’s two-R.B.I. double into left-center.
Jason Martin continued his remarkable pace, reaching in each of his three plate appearances (two singles and a hit-by-pitch) and stealing a base. Bryan Fogle also swung a hefty stick, doubling in both of his at-bats and scoring the Dogs’ only pair of runs.
With both Edinburg and Rio Grande Valley losing Sunday night, third-place Fort Worth moves one game closer in the United standings.
The teams will enjoy a mutual off day on Monday before they get back at it on Tuesday night at Walt Driggers Field.
Official Box Score: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=96854