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November 18, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Mesa blown out again by Surprise


11/18 Cup of Coffee: It was the same old story for Mesa on Tuesday, as the team jumped out to a first-inning lead but quickly gave it up and went on to lose big, this time by a 9-2 score to the Surprise Rafters.

The early Solar Sox lead came courtesy of three consecutive one-out singles by Starlin Castro (CHC), David Cooper (TOR), and Ryan Kalish, the last of which drove in the run to make it 1-0. Kalish promptly stole second base, his fifth theft of the AFL season, to put runners at second and third with two outs, but P. J. Phillips (LAA) grounded out to end the threat. Surprise took a lead of its own just half an inning later. Mike Moustakas (KC) opened the inning by reaching on a Casey Kelley error and Daryl Jones (STL) reached on a fielder's choice grounder that yielded no outs. One out later, Ruben Tejada (NYM) doubled and Jarrod Dyson (KC) singled, driving in all three runs against Mesa starter Andrew Cashner (CHC).

The Rafters would tack on two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two-run home run by Nick Evans (NYM), but the game would be put out of reach in the seventh. After having just retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, Richie Lentz allowed a lead-off double to Dyson. After striking out Daniel Descalso (STL), Colin Curtis (NYY) lined a two-run home run to right to make the score 7-1. Another strikeout and a walk later, the home-run bug again bit Lentz, as Moustakas hit his fifth of the season to make it 9-1. Mesa would get one back in the bottom of the inning when Kelley was doubled home by Michael Brenly (CHC), but it was too little, too late.

Kalish, who played right field in this one, ended up 1 for 3 with a walk, an RBI and a steal, while third baseman Kelley was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. Lentz ultimately struck out 3 in his 1.2 innings, but gave up 4 runs on 3 hits (2 home runs) and a walk. Chris Province, who relieved Lentz with two outs in the seventh, pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout. Mesa travels to Scottsdale to take on the Scorpions tonight at 8:35 EST.