Uni-Trade Stadium proved to be a very welcoming site for a ballgame for the Lemurs tonight. After losing three straight games on the road in Joplin, they came home for four games against the Texas AirHogs. The Lemurs were searching for their 9th win in a row against the AirHogs and 16th overall. Laredo erased an early deficit to win 2-1 in a tight game.
Zack Dodson got the start for the Lemurs tonight, his fourth of the season. He picked up right where he left after his last outing against Kansas City. After retiring the first two batters of the game, Leon Byrd reached base on an error by Alvaro Rondon. Two soft hit singles would follow and the AirHogs were on the board. That would be the only run they would score all night though. Dodson worked out of trouble a couple times as the Texas bats kept locating their hits to get six singles off of Dodson. The lefty went on to strike out five and walk two batters allowing just the one unearned run over six innings of work for the Lemurs.
Diego Ibarra started his fifth game of his pro career and second against the Lemurs. Ibarra had command issues all night, walking six batters. He walked Abel Nieves with one out in the fifth inning. Later in the inning, with two outs and runners on the corners, Jesus Posso would strike out. However, catcher Michael Valadez would let the ball get behind him and had difficulty locating it. Once he found it, he threw wild to first, allowing Nieves to score from third and tie the game.
The Lemurs would break the tie in the seventh inning. Nieves would once again reach base, this time with a lead-off double. Denis Phipps would walk and the next two batter would be retired. With two outs and two on Ibarra would walk Zane Chavez. Then, with a full-count to JD Pulfer, he would walk in the go-ahead run before being removed from the game. That would be all the Lemurs would score in the game, but it would be enough as they won 2-1.
Luis De La Cruz earned the victory as he tossed two scoreless and hitless frames in relief for the Lemurs with a couple of strikeouts. Jeff Inman picked up his 15th save of the season, hurling a shutout ninth inning for the Lemurs. Nieves led the way for the Lemurs at the plate going 3-3 with two walks and two runs scored. He also hit the only extra-base hit in the game for either team.
With the win the Lemurs picked up a half of a game on the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the Wild Card and now trail them by two games. The Wichita Wingnuts won in walk-off fashion tonight over the Blasters, so they stay five games ahead of Laredo in the South Division. Every team in the American Association has now played 93 games out of 100 and have seven days left of baseball as the playoffs draw near.