(7/14/06) The temperatures reached the mid-90s in Mankato on Friday, but it was the MoonDogs’ bats that were the hottest of all.
The MoonDogs slugged two home runs in a four-run first inning, and chased Brainerd starter Chase Bayuk from the game with another two runs in the second inning, en route to a 7-1 win over the Blue Thunder.
Shane Buschini’s two-run shot in the first was his 11th as a MoonDog, setting a new franchise record. It followed a Tim Smith infield single and stolen base to give the ‘Dogs a 2-0 lead. After a Robert Rodebaugh single, Ryan Addison homered to left-center and, in one inning, the MoonDogs had equaled their biggest run output of the season at Franklin Rogers Park. They scored four runs in a victory over the Alexandria Beetles on July 7.
Mankato tacked on another two runs in the second, and again it was the combination of Rodebaugh and Addison. Michael Parker, returning to the lineup after a three week absence due to a broken thumb, led off with a walk and moved to second on a Smith single. With two outs, Rodebaugh singled to center to score Parker, and Addison followed with a base hit into left to plate Smith.
Given a six-run lead, MoonDogs starter Steve Salas settled into a groove and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. Salas (3-4) finished with seven innings of two-hit ball, giving up just one unearned run while striking out five. Fabian Gomez and Tom Porter each contributed a scoreless inning of relief. Brainerd, meanwhile, used seven pitchers on the night, with none going longer than Bayuk (2-3).
Addison went 3-for-3, finishing a triple short of the cycle, and drive in four runs. Smith went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and stole his team-leading 10th base, while Rodebaugh also went 2-for-4.