The Game: The Phoenix Desert Dogs could not hold off the late inning rally and dropped the regular season finale to the Surprise Rafters 7-4 on Thursday.
Surprise took the lead in the third inning. Tyler Henley led off the inning with a double to left. Reese Havens later cleared the bases with a two run home run to give the Rafters a 2-0 lead.
The Desert Dogs cut the lead in half in the fourth inning. Josh Bell doubled to center to get things started. Chris Marrero followed with an RBI double to right, scoring Bell and bringing the Desert Dogs to within a run of the lead 2-1.
Phoenix took the lead in the sixth inning. Shawn O’Malley was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Corey Brown followed with an RBI triple to score O’Malley for the first run of the inning. Brown later scored in a sac fly by Josh Bell to give the Desert Dogs a 3-2 lead.
The Rafters tied the game again in the seventh inning. Daryl Jones doubled to right to get the inning going. Marcus Lemon followed with a single to right, advancing Jones to third. Jones then scored on a single by Mitch Moreland to tie the game 3-3.
The Desert Dogs regained the lead in the ninth inning. Darin Mastroianni drew a walk to lead off the inning. Adam Loewen moved Mastroianni to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Mastroianni then stole third base. AJ Jimenez followed with a single to center, scoring Mastroianni and giving Phoenix the lead again 4-3.
But Surprise rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning, striking for two home runs to win the game. Marcus Lemon led off the inning with a solo home run. Then Reese Havens singled to right field. Ike Davis followed with a walk. Taylor Teagarden delivered the game winning home run, a three run shot to left-center, giving the Rafters a 7-4 win.
Hiroshi Katayama suffered the loss, getting hit hard in the ninth inning and suffering his first loss of the season.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Chris Marrero; 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, only D-Dog with multiple hits in the game.
Rays Organization Stats:
Matt Gorgen; allowed 1 run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk in an inning pitched.
Shawn O’Malley; saw one plate appearance and was hit by a pitch, scored a run.
Paul Phillips; earned his third hold of the season with a no hit inning.
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs look to win their sixth consecutive title as they face the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League Championship Game on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium. Mitch Talbot will get the start for Phoenix facing Anthony Varvaro for Peoria. The game can be seen live on MLB Networks or www.mlb.com with first pitch scheduled for 2:35 EST.