AUBURN, NY (AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS)— After a rough road trip to Hudson Valley, a trip back to their home turf at Falcon Park hoped to be the Doubledays’ ticket back to their winning ways. Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
The Doubledays (18-28) dropped their series opener against the ValleyCats (17-28) , 4-3, in yet another slow offensive day for Auburn.
Rafael Gomez was roughed up in the early going by Tri-City. The ValleyCats — entering tonight’s contest with a team batting average of .243 — scored two runs right off the bat, recording two RBI singles for a 2-0 lead before the Doubledays even got in the batter’s box. And while they failed to score in the second and third innings, the ValleyCats came around to score another pair in the fourth with two fielder’s choices.
The Doubledays’ offense was able to get Gomez back in the game by putting up single runs in the second and third innings. A double steal in the second put Onix Vega at third base — perfect for a Jeremy Ydens sacrifice fly to get on the board. Jack Randa also collected an RBI the following inning with an RBI groundout that scored Jack Dunn.
But Tri-City was able to strike back in the fourth. Gomez led off the inning by hitting two batters, and an error from Jose Sanchez loaded the bases. A forceout at second base gave the ValleyCats the lead back while another ground out — this time hit by Jordan Brewer — put Tri-City two-runs ahead of the Doubledays.
Gomez pitched through the sixth inning and held Tri-City scoreless his last two trips out to the mound. Gilberto Chu kept the shut-out pitching rolling, as he only allowed two hits and no runs over his three innings of work.
The Doubledays brought the game back to within one when they scored a run in the eighth inning. Auburn began to rally when ValleyCats catcher C.J. Stubbs threw a dropped strike three into right field, which allowed Caldioli Sanfler to reach base. Sanfler then reached second on a passed ball, and a fielding error by right fielder Luis Guerrero put Sanfler at third and Eric Senior at second. Vega brought in a run with a sacrifice fly, but the rally ended when Sanchez popped out to first base.
The Doubledays will be back in action Saturday at 7PM for game 2 against the ValleyCats. Listen in on the action on fingerlakes1.com, milb.streamguys1.com, or the TuneIn app.