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FARGO, N.D. -- Another strong road trip behind them and the Sioux City Explorers are a step closer to locking up a playoff berth.

The Explorers downed Fargo-Moorhead 7-3 here Wednesday. By winning two of three games in the series, the X’s are just one win away from equaling the league record for road victories in a season. The 2015 X's went 38-12 away from home.

The Explorers loaded the bases in the third inning before Luis Durango brought home Blake Schmit with a groundout, but a stike'em out, throw'em out situation got the RedHawks out of the inning without giving up anything else.

Three straight singles to start the fourth inning brought in another run for the X's. A Fargo-Moorhead double play followed, but Schmit's single plated Jose Sermo to put the Explorers up 3-0.

Sioux City made it three straight innings of scoring runs in the fifth. Sermo singled in Michael Lange and Jay Baum smacked another base hit to bring in Sermo and increase the lead to 5-0.

The Explorers had 11 hits through five innings, all of RedHawks’ starter Brandon Barker. He allowed 13 hits in his six innings of work.

The RedHawks got on the board in the bottom of the fifth on a Devan Ahart solo home run, but the Explorers got that run back in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Nate Samson that brought home Dylan Kelly.

Fargo-Moorhead (47-40) closed the X's lead to 6-3 in the sixth with two more runs, but Durango got one of those back in the eight when he smacked a one-out double and came home on Samson's single.

Justin Vernia worked six strong innings for the X's as he allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Explorers (65-23) return home to Lewis and Clark Park Thursday to start a series against Sioux Falls. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.


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