The Game: The offense remained hot as the Phoenix Desert Dogs defeated the Mesa Solar Sox 11-5 on Thurday.
Phoenix took the lead in the first inning by posting two runs to the scoreboard. Shawn O’Malley drew a walk to lead off the inning. Corey Brown then cleared the bases with a two run home run to put the Desert Dogs ahead 2-0.
Mesa cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Starlin Castro got things started with a double to center. Castro later scored on a single by Josh Vitters as the Solar Sox pulled within one run of the lead.
The Solar Sox took the lead in the second inning. Luis Exposito, Greg Burns and Jose Iglesias singled to load the bases for Mesa. Brian Peterson reached base on an error and drove home the first run of the inning. Starlin Castro followed with a ground ball to second to push across the second run. Josh Vitters was then hit by a pitch to push across the third run of the inning and give the Solar Sox a 4-2 lead.
The Desert Dogs regained the lead in the fifth inning thanks to some wild pitching by Mesa. Shawn O’Malley lead of the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Danny Espinosa then drew and walk. Both runners then advanced into scoring position on the second passed ball of the inning. Corey Brown followed with a walk to load the bases for Phoenix. O’Malley then scored on a wild pitch and both runners advanced into scoring position. Josh Bell drove home Espinosa with a single to left. Brad Emaus drove home another run with a sac fly to left, giving the Desert Dogs the lead 5-4.
Phoenix added another run in the sixth inning as Shawn O’Malley and Danny Espinosa drew walks to lead off the inning. Corey Brown then delivered an RBI single to right, scoring O’Malley and increasing the lead to 6-4.
The Desert Dogs offense kept rolling, picking up two more runs in the seventh inning. Brad Emaus singled to left to get things going. Nevin Ashley followed with an RBI triple to score Emaus. Ashley later scored on a single by Adam Loewen to give Phoenix a 8-4 lead.
Mesa added another run in the seventh inning. Ryan Kalish singled to right to get the inning started. Kalish later scored on a double by PJ Phillips to pull the Solar Sox within three runs of the lead.
Phoenix added some insurance in the top of the eighth, striking for three runs and putting the game out of reach for Mesa. Danny Espinosa and Corey Brown collected back to back singles to lead off the inning. Grant Desme followed with an RBI single to score Espinosa and then advance to second on the throw. Josh Bell drove home two runs with s ingle to center, scoring Brown and Desme and giving the Desert Dogs the 11-5 margin of victory.
Robert Ray picked up the win for Phoenix, improving his record to 2-1.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Corey Brown; 3 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBI’s and 3 runs scored while drawing 2 walks.
Rays Organization Stats:
Nevin Ashley; 2 for 5 with a double, triple, RBI and a run scored.
Shawn O’Malley; 1 for 3 with 3 walks and 3 runs scored.
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs return home to Phoenix Municipal Stadium for a rematch with the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday.