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Sioux City, IA - In the Chicago Dogs first ever trip to Sioux City the Explorers dealt them a 3-2 loss to welcome them to town. 


The Explorers coming fresh off a a series win against the Kansas City T-Bones were able to keep the momentum rolling with a series opening win over the Chicago Dogs. 


James Dykstra continued the trend of great starts for the Explorers from their starting pitchers. Dykstra would take the no decision but would toss 6 innings of one run ball, scattering 7 hits and striking out 5 and walking only one batter. Dykstra would be able to pitch out of trouble and base runners all night as he left seven Dogs stranded on the base paths in his six innings of work. 


The X’s gave him a lead in the first inning, as with two outs Nate Samson and Jose Sermo hit back to back doubles in that order to give Sioux City a 1-0 lead.


Chicago answered back in the top half of the second as Dalton Blaser lead off with a single to left. Tony Rosselli reached on a broken bat single and Blaser went first to third and Stephen Perez cashed in with a RBI base hit tying the game 1-1.


Sioux City would take a lead in the fourth as Sermo lead off with a walk, and Jay Baum tripled, his seventh of the year and gave him his 68th RBI of the season to pad his league lead and gave Sioux City a 2-1 lead.


Chicago tied the game in the seventh off of Explorers reliever Ryan Flores (7-2) as he ended up getting the win. He would give up a one out walk to Kenny Wilson. Wilson went first to third on a base hit by Edwin Arroyo and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Rubi Silva tying the game 2-2.


Sioux City answered right back in the bottom of the seventh. Blake Schmit lead off the inning with a single. It was Sioux City’s first hit in the game that wasn’t an extra base hit. As the Explorers finished with five of their seven hits going for extra bases with four of them being doubles. Dylan Kelly added one of those doubles as he followed Schmit in the order. After a ground out by McCall which did not produce a run, Chicago intentionally walked Luis Durango to load the bases. They would strike out Michael Lang which brought up Nate Samson. Samson hit a ground ball to deep short and was able to beat out the throw to first by a step allowing Schmit to score with two outs in the inning and gave Sioux City a 3-2 lead. 


That was a lead that the X’s would not relinquish as Patrick Schuster would pitch a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts. Followed by a perfect ninth by Eric Karch who also struck out two while picking up his 20th save of the year. 


Sioux City was actually out hit by Chicago 8 to 7 and was the 30th time that has happened this season and Sioux City is now 11-19 when that happens. And was the 33rd time that Sioux City has struck out 10 or more batters in a game and are 27-6 when they are able to accomplish that feat.


With the win the Explorers are the first team in the league to reach 60 wins on the season and whittle their magic number for a playoff berth down to 9.


The X’s and Dogs will finish their brief two game series on Thursday night with first pitch set for 7:05, Jared Carkuff on the mound for the Dogs against south paw Ian McKinney for the Explorers.