The Game: The Phoenix Desert Dogs held off a late game rally by the Surprise Rafters to win 7-6 on Tuesday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Desert Dogs hit the scoreboard first in the second inning. Josh Bell was hit by a pitch and Grant Desme drew a walk to lead off the inning. Corey Brown followed with an RBI double to score Bell. Then Brad Emaus drove home Desme to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead.
Phoenix increased their lead in the fourth inning. Grant Desme walked to lead off the inning. Corey Brown cleared the bases with a two run home run to give the Desert Dogs a 4-0 lead.
Surprise reached the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a double to right. Marcus Lemon followed with an RBI triple to score Moustakas. Then Daryl Jones drove home Lemon to pull Surprise within two runs of the lead.
The Desert Dogs added three more runs to the scoreboard in the fifth. Danny Espinosa and Chris Marrero delivered back to back singled to get things going. Grant Desme continued his hitting streak with a two run double to left. Desme later scored on an RBI single by Brad Emaus and the Dog increased their lead to 7-2.
The Rafters began their comeback in the eighth inning as Jeff Bianchi led off with a single to left. Ike Davis drew a walk to follow, giving Surprise runners on first and second. Mitchell Moreland then struck an RBI double to score Bianchi and pull Surprise to within four runs of the lead.
The Surprise rally continued into the ninth inning. Tyler Henley doubled to left to lead off the inning. Marcus Lemon followed with a single, moving Henley to third and putting runners on the corners. Jeff Bianchi then cleared the bases with a three run homer off Matt Gorgen to pull the Rafters to within a run of the lead. But Sam Demel recorded the final two outs of the game to give the Desert Dogs a 7-6 win.
Steven Strasburg earned the win, his second of the season, allowing 1 run in 4 1/3 innings. Sam Demel picked up the save, his first of the season. Matt Harrison was the losing pitcher for Surprise.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Grant Desme; increased his hitting streak to 10 games by going 1 for 2 with double, 2 walks, 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.
Rays Organization Stats:
Shawn O’Malley; 0 for 4 with a strikeout.
Paul Phillips; 1 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 K and 1 walk.
Matt Gorgen; 1/3 IP, 3 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 K and 1 home run.
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs travel to Peoria to play the Javelinas on Wednesday at Peoria Sports Complex. Mitch Talbot (1-0, 5.40) will be on the mound for the Desert Dogs facing Josh Butler (2-0, 11.57) for the Javelinas.