(Mankato, MN) – Right fielder Alan Oaks blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to push the MoonDogs (14-12, 31-29) lead up to five and a strong bullpen effort from five different MoonDog pitchers held on as the MoonDogs won for the sixth time in seven games, beating the Rochester Honkers (9-16, 27-32) 5-2 Sunday night in Mankato. The MoonDogs also managed to use the full infield while recording a triple play to get Keefe out of a jam in the fourth inning. The MoonDogs bullpen finished off an effective start by Danny Keefe by throwing the final five innings and giving up just two runs on one hit while striking out five.
Oaks finished the game 1-for-2 with a two-run home run. First baseman Adam Abraham went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and a run batted in. Shortstop Sean Nicol also went 2-for-4 with a double and a run batted in. Catcher Ben Geelan singled and scored for the MoonDogs.
MoonDogs starter Danny Keefe threw four shutout innings, giving up three hits before exiting the game. Reliever Jordan Tiegs (4-6) threw two innings, giving up two runs on one hit. Relievers Josh Castanza, Ted Farni, Adam Abraham, and Chad Dawson finished off the game, throwing three scoreless innings. Dawson extended his league-lead in saves, recording his seventeeth save of the season, striking out two in the ninth inning.
Honker designated hitter Brett Featherston provided the only fireworks of the night for Rochester smashing a two-run home run out of the park in the top of the sixth inning. Right fielder Brain Spear also scored on the play. The Honkers managed to record just four hits and left ten stranded on the bases. Honkers starter Ryan Hill (1-3) went five innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits. Relievers Ryan Kussmaul and Sean Finn finished off the game, throwing a hitless final three innings.
The MoonDogs finish the series Monday night in Rochester. Game time is set for 7:05 pm and the game can be heard on the Mankato MoonDogs website. The MoonDogs return home for a four-game homestand, starting Tuesday night against the Duluth Huskies. Join the MoonDogs as they host Minnesota Twins Night featuring former Twin Al Newman.