06/11/2013 10:14 PM -
Millionaires Double Up Millers, 8-4
June 10, 2013
A four-run first inning was wasted by the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Monday night in Melville, as they didn't score another run in an 8-4 loss to the Millionaires. It's the Millers' second loss in two games against Melville, after getting roughed up, 21-9, last week at home.
The first four batters for Moose Jaw reached base in the first inning and came around to score, so it looked like they were well on their way to their second straight win, but the hitting with runners in scoring position went dry after that. Melville scored eight unanswered to pick up the win.
“Giving up seven runs in the second and third inning, it kind of shut down some of what we could do,” said head coach Michael Hunt after the game. “We tried to do a little bit of small ball and just weren't able to get that done.”
Moose Jaw ended up out hitting Melville in the game, 14-9, but they left 12 runners on base, including back-to-back bases loaded situations in the second and third inning with no runs coming across.
“There's no doubt that everybody on the bench expects and knows that any time we can go ahead and put up a five spot,” said Hunt. “It's just more internal frustration because they know that they can play better and they've seen each other playing better.”
Instead of extending their lead after the first inning, the Millers watched as Melville went up 7-4 after three and cruised from there. Moose Jaw scattered six singles from the fourth inning on, but never really threatened again after the third inning.
Kyle Olver made his third start of the season for the Millers and took his third loss, but again didn't receive much help from the defence behind him. Two errors on the same play in the third inning extended the frame and allowed two more runs to come across for Melville.
Olver finished six innings, giving up eight runs – six earned – on eight hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. His ERA jumps up to 12.18 with his record dropping to 0-3, with two of those losses coming against Melville.
“(Kyle) wants to do everything he can to help us win, but when we make him throw 20, 30, 40 extra pitches because of things going on behind him that he has no control over, it makes his outings look not as good as they are,” said Hunt on Olver. “He's a competitor, he battles and right now he's the tough luck guy on our staff and we haven't been there for him.”
Frank Pluskota finished the night 3-for-5 at the plate to bump his average up to .457 on the year. He also had one run and one RBI. Hitters one through four in the line-up had multiple hits, but key strikeouts and double plays got Melville out of trouble.
Mitchell Bro got the start for the Millionaires and went five innings, giving up four runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts. Jeremy Newton came on for four innings of relief and was very effective, giving up only three hits with four strikeouts.
Right fielder John Clark led the offence for Melville as he finished 2-for-3 with a double, a two-run home run in the third, and a walk. Tyler was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Moose Jaw will get a much needed break on Tuesday with only their second off-day since the start of the season, they've played 11 games over the past 12 days. Hunt doesn't think fatigue is playing a part in the errors that have been plaguing his team in their losses.
“We've got a big enough roster that guys are healthy and fresh, sure legs might be a little bit tired, but the mind is still fresh and there's really no excuses for what's been going on,” he said. “We've just got to find it and start clicking on all cylinders.”
The Millers sit second in the Central Division with a 5-6 record. They head up to Saskatoon for their first meeting of the season with the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday.
GAME NOTES... Catcher Matt Kirk made his Millers debut in the game after just arriving in town before the game. He went 0-for-3 with one walk in his first game. Kirk was finishing high school in Eureka, California