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Offence Sputters For Millers In Loss To Regina

07/29/2014 11:05 PM -

Offence Sputters For Millers In Loss To Regina
Marc Smith
July 28, 2014

The final three days of the regular season will be some interesting ones for the Moose Jaw Miller Express.

“It's going to be a tight battle,” said shortstop Drew Danzeisen. “If it all comes down to the end, that will be pretty exciting baseball.”

The Millers finished the weekend with a 5-1 loss to the Regina Red Sox. The loss ends what was otherwise a good week for the Millers as they entered the game on a four-game winning streak after sweeping their doubleheader against the Edmonton Prospects on Saturday.

“We're feeling really good, that was a good four (wins), we had great offence in all of them and great outings by all of our pitchers,” said Brandon Acosta, Sunday's starter for the Millers against Regina. “We're just looking to keep it rolling into the playoffs and hopefully we can.”

Before Moose Jaw can focus on the playoffs, they've got a three-game stretch that will decide their playoff positioning. The Millers currently sit two games back of the Swift Current Indians for top spot in the Central Division with the final two games of the season between the two teams.

“We've got good pitchers in line and our bullpen pitchers are coming in throwing strikes, so we've got a lot going into these next three games,” said Danzeisen.

With Sunday's loss, Moose Jaw missed a chance to make it just a one-game lead for Swift Current heading into the final stretch as their offence just couldn't get going.

In their two wins over the Prospects on Saturday, Moose Jaw's offence came through in the clutch, but that wasn't the case on Sunday night as they were stifled by Regina starter Labradford Giffis, who worked seven innings, giving up one run on five hits with six strikeouts.

“We just couldn't get guys on,” said Danzeisen. “We couldn't get guys on and get things happening.”

Regina opened the scoring with two in the top of the fourth, but Moose Jaw answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Danzeisen smoked a double and eventually came into to score Moose Jaw's lone run on a wild pitch. He would finish the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.

The Red Sox added some insurance in the seventh, scoring one, and then in the eighth when they added two more.

Moose Jaw had their chances in the early innings, leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, but they struggled late in the game. Just three hitters reached base over the final four innings, but none with a hit.

“Early we had (Griffis) with 36 pitches in the first inning and if we would have kept that going, it would have been better for us,” said Danzeisen. “We need to take more pitches and let the pitchers work a bit more to get into the bullpen.”

Acosta took the loss on the mound for Moose Jaw as his record dropped to 5-3 on the year, but he gave the Millers a chance to win. Acosta threw seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out eight, but walked five in the loss.

“The other pitcher, he was good, he was shutting us down, but I thought I held them pretty good,” said Acosta. “They got a couple little dinkers that they scored some runs on, nothing you can do about those.”

Acosta pitched out of trouble a couple of times in the game, stranding runners on second and third in the fifth and holding the Red Sox to just one run in the seventh when they had the bases loaded with no outs. That gave Moose Jaw a chance to come back with the game at just 3-1 then.

“I like the pressure, I sometimes put myself in it, which is not good, but I like being in those situations,” said Acosta. “I only gave up one run, which is good.”

Connor Keating allowed two runs on two hits over the final two innings as Moose Jaw's offence sputtered late.

The Millers will travel to Melville on Monday to face off with the Millionaires at 7:05pm. They will then be back at Ross Wells Park on Tuesday to face the Indians in the regular season home finale and then a trip to Swift Current on Wednesday ends the regular season.