FARGO, N.D. -- One big inning brought the Sioux City Explorers' three-game winning streak to an end.
Fargo-Moorhead used a five-run third inning to erase a three-run deficit and earn the 7-3 victory here Monday.
The Explorers got three runs in the second inning as Jose Sermo and Dean Green opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Jay Baum hit a sacrifice fly to plate Sermo before the X's loaded the bases on a Blake Schmit single before Dylan Kelly was hit by a pitch. A strikeout recorded the second out, but Luis Durango made RedHawks pay with a two-RBI single.
The X's had runners on second and third with one out in the third but couldn't get a hit to drive them in.
That proved costly in the bottom of the third as X's pitcher James Dykstra ran into trouble after getting the first two outs. Tim Colwell drew a walk and moved to second when Brennan Metzger singled. A Devan Ahart single brought in Colwell and Leobaldo Pina followed with a triple to tie the game with two RBIs.
With a runner on third, Keury De La Cruz smacked a two-run home run to put the RedHawks up 5-3. Both benches would clear after the homer as the Explorers took exception to De La Cruz carrying his bat all the way to first base before discarding it.
The Explorers put runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth inning as well but could not capitalize. The theme continued in the eighth inning as a hit batter and a walk put two on with no outs, but the runners were stranded at second and third.
Fargo-Moorhead missed an opportunity in the sixth as a suicide squeeze turned into the double play for the X's. Yhoxian Medina tried to bunt while De La Cruz came crashing down the line from third, but the ball popped into the air where Dykstra caught it and threw to third for the final out.
The RedHawks added two insurance runs in the eighth as they loaded the bases with no outs.
Dykstra was strong with the exception of one inning as he went seven, gave up eight hits, two walks and struck out two. Fargo-Moorhead starter D.J. Brown went seven innings, allowed six hits, walked three and stuck out four.
The Red Hawks had 10 hits in the game with Ahart and De La Cruze collecting three apiece.
The Explorers are now 63-23 while the RedHawks remain outside of the playoff picture by a game at 47-38. The second game of the series is Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.