Offense goes missing in loss to Rox
The Eau Claire Express expected to come back from a three-day break well rested and ready to go.
St. Cloud Rox' pitcher Josh Taylor was much more so.
The opposing left-hander struck out 11 in six innings while shutting out the Express offense in a 5-0 game in front of 2,038 people Thursday at Carson Park.
Taylor, who hit up to 92 miles per hour on the radar gun, mixed his speeds to keep Eau Claire off balance all night. The orange and black really never had a scoring opportunity excluding a warning track fly ball from Daniel Salters in the first inning.
Express starter CJ Eldred matched Taylor early on, but some high pitch counts forced him out after the fifth inning. Eldred finished the game with two strikeouts, two hits and no runs.
The Rox got on the board with an unearned run in the top of the sixth and then exploded for three in the top of the seventh, which inlcuded a home run from Mitchell Kranson. Kranson is tied with Salters as having the individual Carson Park lead for home runs by an individual as he launched his second home run of the season in Eau Claire. Kranson and the Rox have hit 43 total home runs while only four of Eau Claire's 24 have come at home.
Newcomer Cody Peterson relieved the game's losing pitcher, Miles Nablo, in the seventh and didn't allow an earned run in his Express debut.
The offense will look to get back in the swing of things against another left-handed pitcher in Tim Faix tomorrow. Peter Hendron will oppose him, and it is a Fireworks Friday at Carson Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with the fireworks show taking place after the game.