The Rafters were out-hit but not out-scored as they edged the Saguaros 10-9 at home. Third-place Salt River (5-9) kept pace with first-place Mesa with the win, a team they trail by 4 ½.
The home team trailed in the hits column 16 to 11 but went a timely 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The balanced scoring attack featured hits from eight of nine starters, including James Ramsey. The left fielder singled once in two at bats with two base-on-balls, two runs scored and one driven in.
The first of Ramsey's two free passes was issued in the second but he was stranded there. He opened the fourth by grounding out 4-3 but was in the thick of the scoring during Salt River's six-run fifth. Ramsey lined a single to right to bring one across for his squad's second tally of the frame and subsequently scored the inning's fifth run via a wild pitch.
The number six batter's second base-on-balls in the seventh proved crucial to the victory. Ramsey swiped his fourth bag of the season, putting him in position to race home on a single for the decisive 10th tally. Stephen Piscotty did not play for the second straight day, the first time the Cardinals' outfield prospect has not seen action in consecutive games.
Sam Gaviglio got the start for Salt River but had his least effective outing to date. The righty yielded two singles and a double in the second that plated two runs, giving the opposition an early 2-0 advantage. After the Rafters responded with three scores of their own in the bottom of the third, Gaviglio loaded the bases on a walk and two singles in the fifth before serving up a grand slam. All six runs charged to the 23-year-old over 4 2/3 were earned and came on six hits and three free passes in all.
Friday's game: at Glendale (7-8), 1:35 pm CT, TBA
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