CLEBURNE, Texas | Missed opportunities and shoddy defense doomed the Sioux City Explorers in an 11-8 American Association baseball loss to the Cleburne Raildoaders at The Depot here Wednesday.

The Explorers, trying to reach the .500 mark for the season, stranded 10 baserunners, leaving the sacks full in two straight innings. They also committed five errors while losing to the Railroaders for the second time in three nights.

Cleburne erupted for five runs in the bottom of the first and never relinquished the lead, although the X’s certainly had their chances. The Railroaders banged out 15 hits, including six while sending nine batters to the plate in the first.

Sioux City cut into the deficit with three in the second, also sending nine batters to the dish. Joel Davis and Tony Campana had RBI singles while Joe Bennie drew a bases-loaded walk.

After Cleburne scored again in the second, the X’s countered with a run in the third when Levon Washington doubled and eventually scored when Jonathan Gonzalez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Explorers, however, left the sacks full in both the second and third and although they scored twice in the sixth, left the tying runs on base trailing 9-7.

Cleburne tacked on two unearned runs in the ninth when the Explorers committed two errors.

Washington collected two doubles and two singles, scoring twice, while Campana had three hits and two RBIs, although the speedster was picked off second in the seventh after singling and stealing his 32nd base.

Chris Powell, the first of three X’s pitchers, took the loss, lasting only 1 1/3 innings. Keith Picht worked into the fifth before giving way to Bubby Rossman, who had his longest outing of the season, pitching four innings.

Rookie Joe Jones, making his first professional start, pitched the first 2 2/3 innings. Cortland Cox, the fourth pitcher used by the Railroaders, was the winner.

Joel Davis, who drove in two, ripped an RBI double in the top of the ninth, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.

The Explorers (37-39) open a four-game series at Central Division leader Lincoln on Thursday.


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