Cunningham, Captains ground Air Hogs

Cunningham, Captains ground Air Hogs
Published: Jun. 22, 2011 at 2:48 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:07 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La.---Aaron Cunningham (2-4) and three Captains relievers combined to throw a nine-hit shutout as Shreveport-Bossier defeated the first-place Grand Prairie AirHogs for the first time this year, 3-0 at Fair Grounds Field. The win came just one night after Grand Prairie tagged Captains pitchers for 15 runs on 21 hits in a 15-2 defeat.

Cunningham went six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and no runs, while striking out three and walking only one. The shutout was the Captains second of the year as Mark Haynes, Jameson Maj and Dan Griffin (Sv, 11) allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out five over the final three frames.

AirHogs starer Josh Rainwater (6-2) was also highly effective, allowing two runs on ten hits in 7.2 innings. Rainwater served up zeros on the scoreboard for the first five innings before the Captains finally got to him for two in the sixth on a Palmer Karr Jr. RBI double and a throwing error by Grand Prairie shortstop Guillermo Martinez on a double steal to score Karr Jr. from third.

The Captains had two singles in both the first and second innings but were retired without scoring when Andres Rodriguez and then Brian Peterson each hit into inning-ending double plays. On the other side, the AirHogs also hit into DPs in the first and third innings. Grand Prairie's best scoring chance came in the fourth inning against Cunningham when they loaded the bases with no outs.

Cesar Nicolas, Greg Porter and John Alonso all singled to start the frame, but Cunningham got Tyler Henley to pop out to second, then struck out Chris McMurray. Martinez came to the plate and hit a hard ground ball to third that Captains third baseman Mike Provencher dove for to his left, knocked down, and threw to second base to reitre Alonso on the fielder's choice.

The AirHogs got back-to-back two out singles by Alonso and Henley in the sixth but again Cunningham worked out of trouble, getting McMurray to hit into another fielder's choice.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rodriguez led off with a double. After Karr Jr. grounded out, the AirHogs replaced Rainwater with lefthander Jason Moody, who got Uriak Marquez to ground out to first. Then, the AirHogs again played the matchups, bringing in righthander Reese Cross to face Joe Urtuzuastegui. Urtuzuastegui singled to center, scoring Rodriguez and giving Shreveport-Bossier the 3-0 lead.

Dan Griffin struck out Danny Figueroa and David Espinosa in the ninth to end the game and pick up his league-leading 11th save. Peterson went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Bryan Frichter went 2-for-3 before exiting the game in the sixth inning. Safe on an infield single, the Captains second baseman appeared to be injured running down the first base line and was lifted from the game.

AirHogs designated hitter Alonso went 3-for-4 with three singles in the losing effort.

After playing two straight errorless games, Shreveport-Bossier committed three on the night and have now made six errors in the first five games of the current homestand.

With the shutout victory, the Captains are now 20-17 and 4-1 on the current homestand. They improve to 6.5 games behind Grand Prairie in the American Association South. The Captains and AirHogs play the rubber game of this three game series June 22 as Richard Salazar (2-2, 5.80) takes the hill against David Nathanson (0-1, 7.08) on Willis-Knighton Wednesday, where kids eat free with paid admission. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6:05.

Season tickets and single-game tickets are available for purchase in-person or over the phone by visiting the Captains Executive Offices at 2901 Pershing Boulevard at Fair Grounds Field or by calling (318) 636-5555. VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.

For more information about season and individual game tickets, game times, promotions, marketing opportunities, full game schedule, and everything else Captains, visit the "Official Website of the Shreveport-Bossier Captains" by logging onto www.sbcaptains.com

(Courtesy: Shreveport-Bossier Captains)