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Baseball: Slammers fall 5-1 to Rockford Aviators

Updated: September 23, 2014 6:22AM



A little over a week ago, Andrew Strenge was sitting on the couch waiting for a call.

Cut by the Florence Freedom during spring training, he did his best to keep in shape, keeping his arm ready, to, hopefully, get another shot at pro baseball.

He got the call from the Joliet Slammers.

Making his fourth appearance since being picked up Aug. 13, Strenge pitched three shutout innings Thursday for the Slammers in an otherwise disappointing 5-1 loss to Rockford at Silver Cross Field.

“I was playing in a men’s league, looking for jobs, and thought I might as well take one last shot,” Strenge said with a smile. “See what happens. We want to put a winning team out here, so I need to go out and control what I can.”

In three innings in relief, Strenge allowed two hits with four strikeouts, keeping the Slammers in the game after they fell behind 3-0 through three innings.

Rockford tagged Slammers starting pitcher Matt Crim (1-4) for three runs in the third. Crim gave up three hits and three walks in three innings.

Enter Strenge.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Strenge said. “All I had to do was go out there and throw up zeroes. Hopefully, our offense can get back into it, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. That’s all you can do.”

Joliet (31-53) scratched a run across in the fifth on a J.D. Dorgan sacrifice fly, Adam Giacalone scoring from third, to draw to within 3-1. Rockford, through, scored twice in the top of the eight.

The Slammers managed just five hits, totaling five runs in getting swept in the three-game series by the Aviators.

Joliet has lost seven straight series dating to late July, and hasn’t scored more than four runs in a game since Aug. 10, a span of eight games.

“Guys are thinking too much at the plate, trying to do too much. They need to get back to basics,” Slammers manager Jeff Isom said. “Shorten up swings and put the ball in play.”

Rockford (35-49) received RBI from Dusty Robinson and Kenny Bryant.

Joliet opens a three-game set at Windy City at 7:10 p.m. Friday.



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