CLEBURNE, Texas | Sioux City starting pitcher Kramer Sneed continued his strong run of recent outings as he helped the Explorers even its series with Cleburne with a 6-3 win in an American Association game played at The Depot here Tuesday evening.
The lefty Sneed pitched the first six innings and gave up a run on seven hits and a walk while fanning three. Sneed has given up five earned runs in his last five starts after being lashed for a dozen in a disastrous 12-0 loss at Winnipeg July 13. Tuesday's win was the third straight victorious decision for Sneed (5-2).
Sioux City gave Sneed a three-run lead to work with early, scoring twice in the second inning on an RBI double by Tyler Ogle and a run-scoring single by Michael Lang. LeVon Washington hit a long home run just inside the foul pole in right field to make it 3-0 in the third inning. It was his seventh round-tripper this season.
Sneed ran into a jam in the fourth inning after giving up four straight hits to start the inning but was able to work out of the situation giving up just one run. With a run in and the bases still loaded, Sneed induced a short fly ball to centerfield for the first out of the inning then got a double play grounder to avoid any further damage and keep the X's up 3-1.
Sioux City got a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a bases-loaded single by Michael Lang and a Jayce Ray sacrifice fly and made it 6-1 on Joel Davis' RBI double to left-center.
The Railroaders loaded the bases with one out in both the eighth inning and ninth innings but scored just once each frame. Reliever Brad Orosey was able to work out of the eighth inning with only a sacrifice fly by K.C. Huth scoring to make it 6-2. Sioux City closer P.J. Francescon also escaped a jam in the final inning, allowing Cleburne just a one-out sacrifice fly by Pichi Balet before fanning Axel Johnson to end the game.
The Explorers (37-38) moved back to within a game of .500 heading into the final game of the series Wednesday evening. Sioux City is six games behind wild card leader Kansas City after the T-Bones lost 5-0 at Fargo Moorhead Tuesday.