Sioux City Explorers end final regular-season road trip with win at Lake Country | Explorers baseball

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. — With one week left to go in the regular-season, the Sioux City Explorers are coming home with a three-game lead in the wild card.

The Explorers (46-47) are coming back to Sioux City after winning 10-4 Sunday over Lake Country, and they completed a 6-2 road trip that also included a five-game series with the Sioux Falls Canaries.

Now, the Explorers return to start a three-game series against Fargo-Moorhead on Tuesday, then play a four-game series with Lincoln, the team the Explorers are battling for the No. 4 playoff spots.

The game on Sunday lasted just six innings because of rainy conditions in the Waukesha County, Wisconsin, city.

Sioux City rained down five runs on the DockHounds in the first inning. The Explorers had four hits during the first stanza. Four of the first five hitters reached base.

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Danny Amaral sets the tone on the fifth pitch of the game with a lead-off homer.

Five batters later, Chase Harris scored Danry Vasquez and Trey Martin that made it a 3-0 game.

Dylan Kelly brought in Miguel Sierra on a sacrifice fly, and Blake Tiberi had an RBI single that scored Harris with two outs.

The Explorers tacked on two more runs during the second inning, both by solo homers.

Right after Lake Country retired Amaral and Vasquez, Martin and Gabe Snyder hit back-to-back home runs to put the Explorers up by a touchdown.

The Explorers added three more runs in the sixth inning.

Ademar Rifaela scored on a Tiberi sacrifice fly with one out, and then a batter later, Amaral hit his second homer of the game that scored Kelly. Kelly reached base with a single with no one out after Rifaela led off the inning with a double.

Amaral had three hits with three RBIs, and he bumped up his average to .297.

Explorers ace Kevin McCanna pitched all six innings, and he got the win on Sunday. He allowed four runs on nine hits, and he struck out seven.

Lake Country scored once in the first, and then thrice more in the sixth. Efrain Contreras hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning. That was the only extra-base hit McCanna allowed.

McCanna threw 88 pitches and 59 of those were strikes.

McCanna has won five of his last six starts. He’s thrown five or more innings in each of those appearances.

Saturday’s game

Explorers 13, Dockhounds 9: The Explorers’ offense started early on Saturday, too, to clinch the win on a cool night in Oconomowoc.

The Explorers scored five times in both the third and fourth innings.

In the third inning, Vasquez had a two-run single that broke the scoring open. Amaral advanced to second base on a wild pitch earlier in the at-bat.

Gabe Snyder hit his first of two homers on Saturday during the third inning. Snyder scored Vasquez and Rifaela on the three-run homer.

Trey Martin started the fourth-inning scoring, as he had a two-run double with one out.

Two pitches later, Rifaela drove in Vasquez on a sacrifice fly.

Snyder hit his second homer of the night, and that, too, was a three-run shot that made the score at the time 10-0.

Lake Country scored six times in the fourth inning.

Sierra homered in the fifth inning, Harris followed suit in the sixth, and former Minnesota catcher Jack Kelly connected on a solo shot in the seventh inning.

Solomon Bates earned the win on Saturday night. He went three innings after Patrick Ledet started the game for the first four innings.

Bates needed 60 pitches to get his nine outs, and he threw 40 strikes. He struck out three. The former Giants farmhand allowed one run on three hits.

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