Salt River (4-9) blew a 6-0 lead on Wednesday, falling to Surprise 8-6 on the road for its third loss in a row.
Dean Kiekhefer entered the game in the bottom of the fifth with his squad up 6-0 and very quickly handed over most of the lead. Kiekhefer allowed four runs, three earned, on two hits and three walks with only one out recorded. The Kentucky native sandwiched his first base-on-balls around two doubles that brought across two tallies before the first out.
After coaxing a fly out to centerfielder James Ramsey, Kiekhefer's defense let him down when a throwing error by Salt River's third baseman ended up with the batter on second. Two more free passes loaded the bases, leading to Kiekhefer's departure. Right-hander Dan Houston (COL) limited the damage by permitting only one of three inherited runners to cross.
Houston gave up a tally in the sixth that brought the Saguaros to within one and Toronto's Marcus Stroman (BS, 1) (L, 0-2) finished the job by yielding three runs in the eighth. Aaron Sanchez (TOR) started for the Rafters, shutting down the opposition on just one walk over the first four frames with four strikeouts. The right-hander is the youngest player on Salt River's roster, having turned 21 in early July.
Ramsey moved up to the second spot in the batting order but failed to acquire any of his team's 10 hits. The Florida State product went hitless in four at bats with one walk and two strikeouts. His initial K came with a runner at second in the first and his second at bat ended with him grounding out 4-3 for the second out in the third. Ramsey was the trailer in back-to-backs that kicked off the fifth but he was subsequently forced at second. His final two outs were a fly out to center and a swinging strikeout.
Thursday's game: vs. Surprise (8-5), 1:35 pm CT, Sam Gaviglio (1-0, 4.50)
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