ROSEMONT, Ill. - Chicago's first-year entry into the American Association survived a fast start by Sioux City and kept the X's late-inning magic in check to pull out a 5-3 win at Impact Field here Tuesday.
The X's gave starter Luis Mateo a two-run lead to work with two batters into the game. Luis Durango led off things off with a ground-rule double, then came around on Michael Lang's sixth home run of the year.
But the Dogs got the lead for good in the bottom of the first inning scoring three times to go up 3-2.
Edwin Arroyo hit a solo home run to get Chicago on the board with one out. Mateo appeared to be safely out of any major trouble after getting the second out with no runners on, but a single and walk were followed by a two-run double by Jonathan Moroney that put the Dogs up 3-2.
The Chicago lead grew by a run in the second when Michael Falsetti scored on a wild pitch, but Durango pulled Sioux City back within 4-3 in the third, leading off with a single and scoring again ahead of Jay Austin's one-out RBI double.
Chicago starting pitcher Evan Smith rebounded from the jolting start to allow only one more run over six innings work. Smith was getting his second start of the season for the Dogs after having been signed last week. Smith, who saw a dozen relief appearances for the Angels' Class AA team in Orem, Utah, got three strikeouts while giving up only one hit after the third inning.
Taylor Grover, Chicago's fire-balling closer on this night, struck out Nate Samson with the tying runs on base in the eighth inning then fanned three straight batters after walking Jose Sermo and Jay Baum to start the ninth. It was his second save of the season.
The loss snapped a 10-game road winning streak for the Explorers (24-4 on the road prior to the day game Wednesday). Had the X's won, they would have tied the league record for consecutive road wins of 11 set by Sioux City in 2015.