Speakers vs. Devil Dogs

Game 1 – James Paxton gets a surprise start when Stephen Strasburg requires a bit more rest from his first outing. Paxton twirls a 4-hit shutout against the Speakers, who have now been shut out five times in 29 games.

Chris Archer matches Paxton until the bottom of the 7th. With two outs and no base runners, Jacoby Ellsbury legs out an infield single and steals second. Former Speaker David Wright bounces a single through the infield for the game-winner. Brandon Phillips adds the exclamation point with an RBI double for a 2-0 final and the Dogs’ first win of the season!

W – Paxton (1-0), L – Archer (1-3)

Game 2 – Ellsbury’s 1st inning sac fly puts the Dogs ahead again. However, Strasburg’s additional rest doesn’t help. The Speakers put together a trio of doubles in the 2nd for a 2-1 lead.

In the 3rd, Strasburg faces a dozen Speakers yet still can’t finish the inning. After 6 hits, 3 walks and an Anthony Rizzo HBP, Strasburg departs with this tragic line: 2.2 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.

Against the Dog pen, Rizzo later homers (4) as does Yoenis Cespedes (4) and Yasiel Puig (2). Felix Hernandez finally enjoys some offensive support in the 14-4 win.

W – Felix (5-3), L – Strasburg (0-2)

Game 3 – The Devil Dogs strike for 3 in the 2nd on Sal Perez’s gift 3-run HR off Bud Norris (8.10 ERA coming in to this start). Albert Pujols’ RBI single in the bottom half makes it 3-1 after 2.

Even though the Dogs collect 9 hits over the next 5 innings, they fail to score, thanks in part to a Cespedes 7-2 double play with the bases juiced in the top of the 7th.

After the stretch, the Speakers use that momentum at the plate. Manny Machado singles to start the inning against James Shields. Pujols (3-4, HR-2, 3-RBI, R) homers to tie at 3-3, but the Speakers aren’t finished. After Cespedes whiffs, Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward club back-to-back doubles. With 2-outs, Buster Posey singles home Heyward, and then Rizzo hits a 2-run HR, his 5th, to complete a 6-run inning.

The Speakers bat around for the second time in two days resulting in a 7-3 win. This despite Norris scattering a dozen hits and a gift HR through 6.1 shaky innings of work. The Dogs strand 11, but it seems like even more, on 13 hits.

W – Jeremy Jeffress (1-2), L – Shields (0-2)

Game 4 – Yovani Gallardo and Alex Wood begin with each turning in a quality start. Simmons’ RBI single follows Carlos Gonzalez’s 2-out double in the 2nd.

Wood coughs up that early lead as Hanley Ramirez homers to start the Dogs’ 3rd. Josh Hamilton solos in the 6th for a 2-1 Devil Dogs’ lead.

Howie Kendrick coaxes a walk to begin the bottom half. Stephen Vogt (2-4, T, RBI) triples him home for a 2-2 tie.

The Speakers feel as though they should be leading due to Vogt getting caught in a rundown at 3rd in the 4th, a bases loaded Pujols GIDP to end the 5th, and Sal Perez picking Vogt off 3rd after the no-out triple in the 6th.

The Dogs get only a Chris Carter (2-4, K) 2-out single in the 9th after Hamilton’s HR. The Speakers don’t fare much better against the Dog pen through regulation. However, Anthony Rendon doubles to start the bottom of the 10th. Rizzo’s 6th HR, his 3rd of the series, walks off with a 4-2 win, the Speakers’ first extra-innings victory of the season (1-5).

W – Jeurys Familia (1-0), L – Al Alburquerque

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