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Eric Peterson, Published June 28 2013

Caldera sparks first-place RedHawks to home victory

FARGO – Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks manager Doug Simunic liked the Alex Caldera he saw Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

“When he gets three pitches going, he’s pretty untouchable,” Simunic said.

Caldera pitched seven strong innings, striking out nine batters, to help lift the RedHawks to a 5-2 victory against the Kansas City T-Bones in American Association baseball before a sellout crowd of 4,770 fans.

“It was probably one of my better days, throwing all my pitches for strikes,” said Caldera, who featured a fastball, split-finger and slider against the T-Bones.

The RedHawks (24-17) have won eight of their past nine games to remain in first place in the North Division. F-M was playing its first home game since June 16. The team had played its previous 10 games on the road.

“To come home and play in front of our fans is definitely a little bit of an energy boost,” said RedHawks first baseman Keith Brachold, who went 4-for-4 against the T-Bones.

Caldera retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing his first hit in the third inning. The right-handed starter allowed single runs in the fourth a seventh innings. He retired the T-Bones in order in the fifth and sixth innings.

Caldera was lifted after the seventh inning and lowered his season ERA to 2.90. He threw 96 pitches against Kansas City, including 63 for strikes. Caldera limited the T-Bones to four hits in his seven innings.

“My split-finger today was probably my best pitch,” Caldera said. “It just felt good.”

Caldera (6-2) has won his last three starts. He’s allowed two runs in 19 innings during that stretch. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA.

“He’s just a good pitcher,” Simunic said. “He’s not going to let certain people hurt him. He’s going to pitch his style.”

Brachold helped fuel the RedHawks offense. He cracked an RBI single in the seventh inning that capped a two-run frame and gave F-M a 5-2 lead. Brachold scored runs in the second and sixth innings and also stole two bases. Brachold’s run in the sixth proved to be the game-winner. He scored on a Todd Jennings single that gave the RedHawks a 3-1 lead.

“He was a big positive for us winning the game tonight,” Simunic said of Brachold. “He gave four really good at-bats and drove the ball around the field.”

The RedHawks have 22-9 record of their past 31 games after starting the season with a 2-8 mark.

“We’ve got to stay up on the top here,” Simunic said. “We can’t back off the pedal. … We’re going to turn the calendar here in a couple days. We’ve got to make July a big month for us.”

NOTES: Left-hander Jake Laber (3-3, 3.59 ERA) is slated to start today for the RedHawks. Kansas City is expected to counter with left-hander Aaron Meade (3-3, 4.67 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. … The 4,770 fans at Friday’s game was a season-high for the RedHawks.

KANSAS CITY REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Jones cf 4 0 0 0 Pnprse ss 5 2 2 0

Gdwin ss 4 0 0 0 Einertson lf 5 1 2 0

Pdgt 1b-3b 4 0 0 0 Jckson cf 4 0 1 2

Perez dh 4 1 2 0 Rthrfrd 2b 4 0 0 0

Jones lf 3 1 1 1 Brchold 1b 4 2 4 1

Sadler rf 3 0 0 0 Alberts dh 4 0 1 0

Molina 2b 1 0 0 0 Bourqn 3b 3 0 0 1

Ramler 1b 2 0 1 1 Jennings c 3 0 1 1

Yoo c 3 0 0 0 Sosnskie rf 4 0 0 0

Hgtw 2b3b 3 0 1 0

Totals 31 2 5 2 Totals 36 5 11 5

KC 000 100 100 –2 5 3

FM 011 001 20x –5 11 0

E–Goodwin 2 (7), Yoo (2). LOB–Kansas City 3, RedHawks 9. DP–Kansas City 1, RedHawks 0. 2B–Perez (8), Jones (9), Einertson (12), Brachold (8). SB–Perez (4), Penprase (17), Brachold 2 (6).

KANSAS CITY

IP H R ER BB SO

Garceau L 6 6 3 1 2 5

Cole 1 4 2 2 0 0

Toler 1 1 0 0 0 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Caldera W 7 4 2 2 1 9

Harris 1 0 0 0 0 0

Johnson S 1 1 0 0 0 1

Umpires–Home: Morgan. First: Durante. Third: Hicks. Time–2:31. A–4,770.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com