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Baseball: Slammers stumble 4-2 vs. Frontier Greys

Updated: August 2, 2014 4:21PM



For a variety of reasons, the Joliet Slammers really needed to win the series against the Frontier Greys.

Even with a recent surge, the nomad Greys have the worst record in the Frontier League and the highest team ERA.

Meanwhile, the Slammers still are trying to get close to .500. A series loss to the Greys would be another obstacle in that path, with the Schaumburg Boomers, the hottest team in the league, next on the schedule.

Frontier hit two homers in the fifth inning and held on for a 4-2 series-clinching win Friday night over the Slammers in front of a season-high crowd of 4,661 at Silver Cross Field.

The downpour that hit two hours before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. game time pushed back the start one hour while the grounds crew, with some help from manager Jeff Isom and general manager Chris Franklin, cleared water from areas around the field.

Designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer cut Frontier’s lead to 4-2 with an RBI single in the seventh. Joliet trailed 4-0 before Adam Giacalone’s two-out single scored Grant DeBruin (double) in the fifth.

Joliet twice hit into inning-ending double plays, in the third with the bases loaded and in the sixth with runners at first and second.

Right-hander Ethan Carter made his first start on the mound for Joliet. He was released this week by River City and signed as a free agent.

Carter allowed four runs on nine hits before he was lifted after five innings in favor of Jordan Wellander.

Although Carter went into the game with a 6.20 ERA, Isom said part of that figure was from pitching for the Rascals.

“River City is a tough place to pitch. It’s a small park,’’ Isom said before the game. “What I like is he had 40 innings pitched and only walked six. We’ve had issues with walks.’’

Left fielder Matt Weaver helped Carter by stretching out to make a diving catch in the second inning with a runner at first.

While the Slammers welcomed Carter, they released Jose Garcia, the former Triple-A infielder who was signed in the offseason amid great expectations. A St. Louis Cardinals farmhand for seven seasons, Garcia hit .206 this season in 47 games.

“He’s better than a .206 hitter, he’s better than that,’’ Isom said. “We just brought in some new blood.’’

Isom said the Slammers were unable to make a trade involving Garcia because they couldn’t find a team willing to take on his salary.



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